‘Tales of the Otori’ by Lian Hearn

I forgot to name my good friend Carmel, when I was mentioning friends I was grateful for. She was lumped in with my work mates. She has leant me book 4 of the ‘Tales of the Otori’ series, ‘The Harsh Cry of the Heron’. Carmel was my daughter’s homeroom teacher when she started at secondary school and a real role model for her. When I started at the school I work at we soon became good friends. She’d come highly recommended.
Tales of the Otori
I have thoroughly enjoyed the entire series I’ve loaned from Carmel so far.
‘Across the Nightingale Floor’, ‘Grass for His Pillow’ and ‘Brilliance of the Moon’ were all wonderful and I look forward to reading this latest one. There is a new book ‘Heavens Net is Wide’ that goes back to the start. I will savour these ending and beginning books as I did Harry Potter.
Lian Hearn
Lian Hearn lives in Australia, yet these books are based in Japan. She weaves the landscape and mythology well and I learnt a lot from these books that helped me to understand Feudal Japan.
My Book Pile Right Now….
I have a delicious pile of books I’m currently reading in addition to ‘The Harsh Cry of the Heron’. I have James Moloney’s ‘Master of the Books’ and it every bit as engrossing as ‘The Book of Lies‘. I have Maureen McCarthy’s ‘Rose By Any Other Name’ and I’m looking forward to that also. I have 7 other books in addition. Two of these I have began, yet put aside for these more compelling books. I may or may not get back to them!

Poor Ned, You’re Better Off Dead

I loved the Redgum song about Ned Kelly when I was a teenager, Poor Ned. Today I have been immersed in the legend of Ned Kelly.

First stop was to the State Museum in Melbourne to see their Ned Kelly exhibit and to participate in some art activities. The State Library of Victoria has the Jerilderie Letter online. They have the real thing at the library as well as the armour. My students completed an art activity making the armour in a well prepared session. I learnt today the letter was not published until the 60’s as it was held by the government. When I say letter I would like to add this was an 8000 word document and was dictated to Joe Byrne (one of the Kelly gang) by Ned Kelly.

From there it was off to the Arts Centre to watch a performance called ‘The Legend of Ned Kelly’. This performance was inspired by the Sidney Nolan Paintings and these paintings were featured in the performance. The performance was a mixture of puppetry and video and light. Some of the effects were quite impressive.

It was not mentioned today but I think it is interesting that ‘The Story of Ned Kelly’ was probably the worlds first full-length feature film. There have been many books and films made about the legend of Ned Kelly, the notorious Australian Bushranger. There was much discussion between teachers and students as to whether he was a hero or a villian. I was interested to note that many students saw him as neither, but rather a victim of circumstance. The Irish in my ancestry makes me want to believe he was a hero, yet I think the students were right.

Epic 2014

If you are interested in the future of media and or the history of the Internet, this little 8 minute clip Epic 2014, is a very interesting and thought provoking watch. I have always loved the ‘future history’genre although I find it difficult to find material.

I remember in the late 80’s I had this book called ‘The Third Millennium:A History of the World:AD 2000-3000’ by Brian Stableford and David Langford. I loved it and read it cover to cover. It inspired many ideas for me and some of the future I eagerly awaited, just as I did for the Internet to get how I knew it would. I remember being on Compuserve which was all American almost and I felt like a lone Aussie, plodding along looking for the diversity of a global community. Not that I didn’t like learning about America and americans, but I knew one day it would be like it is now.

This little clip however has a much smaller scale than the Millennium of the book, but still food for thought and interesting.