[wwpoenglish] An Australian opinion

  • From: "Hilarie Roseman" <hilarieroseman@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <wwpoenglish@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, "'wwpoenglish digest users'" <ecartis@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 29 Dec 2014 17:29:28 +1100

Sorry my Australian opinion didn’t seem to be attached.  Here it is underneath.
An Australian Opinion
This Australian opinion is gained from three books:
Robert Hughes, The Fatal Shore, (1987) New York:Vintage Books
Peter Carey, The True History of the Kelly Gang, (2000) University of 
Queensland Press
Frank McCourt, Angela’s Ashes, (1999)

As requested by Professor Bruce Cook, this is an opinion on the purpose of a 
fiction writer, and it deals, in part, with “exploring methods for relieving 
stress in education”.
The goal of the writer, according to Cook, could be to evoke memories, and by 
evoking, to connect with the reader.
My very first response was that we all need fairy stories.  We need to know who 
the bad people are, and we need to know that the hero and heroines can overcome 
their fear and come to some kind of successful conclusion.  I immediately 
thought about the story of the film “The Sound of Music” – a story with a basis 
of truth, which showed how a whole family could escape from Hitler and survive. 
The songs from this film enable us, as a whole family, to join in and sing with 
My second response was to think about the fiction books that I had recently 
read.  Most of my reading has been done for my PhD, and when I made a list of 3 
books that I wanted to write about, I could see that they indeed had deeply 
gone into not only my known memories, but somehow had touched on memories 
stored in my DNA.  I had always known that I had a physical reaction when I 
heard one of those English Oxford Accents. The hairs jumped up on the back of 
my neck.  Now I am from Ireland, and my father’s family came to Australia in 
1838.  They came by boat and lost 4 of their children to measles and buried 
them at sea before they arrived in Hobart. Is there any evidence that the 
author of a book could be a grief counsellor?
Some years ago I was given a book by Peter Carey, “The True Story of the Kelly 
Gang” a fictional narrative of the bushranger Ned Kelly.  It tells of the 
dreadful way that Kelly’s mother and sister were treated by the police in those 
days at the beginning of the colonisation of Australia.  I think I must have 
too much grief left in me, because I could not continue to read about the 
sexual harassment and terrible grief of that family.  I know that he stood up 
to the police, and that his spirit is still with us, urging us to stand up, but 
I just could not continue to read on. You could say, according to Cook, that 
the story did not open “the door and the reader clearly sees the new reality in 
contrast with suppressed grief.”
I could say the same for Angela’s Ashes, which relates the story of an 
impoverished Irish family in detail.  I have never been back to Ireland, but 
this portrait was so vivid that I only read a few chapters.
Finally, there is the book by Robert Hughes “The Fatal Shore”.  This tells the 
story of the convicts who were sent from England to Norfolk Island.  It was 
described as a place that was inhuman, and worse, even if this is possible, 
than the terrible convict encampments in Hobart, Tasmania.  I was able to 
finish this book, and afterwards I actually went to Norfolk Island, off the 
coast of NSW in Australia, and accessible from Sydney.  I read all the stories 
on the many grave yard headstones, and remembered that conditions were so 
extremely violent that the prisoners used to take turns, with whoever took the 
shortest piece of wood, to kill one f their group and so escape the pain.  I 
remember vividly that the Catholics would not do this, as their priests had 
said it was a sin to kill a person.
As Cook says, “Regardless of details, the narrative stands back as the emotion 
and memory which is normally shielded from expression bursts forth with new 
power”   By some strange timing, it was at this moment that we found out the 
story of my mother’s family.  Most of them had died, mother had been looked 
after by the nuns in a NSW country town, and the history of the family was a 
closed book.  But one of my daughters researched the name, and found that John 
Hore had been in the grand Irish rebellion on an English ship in 1795 and had 
been sent to Norfolk Island.  After 15 years there he had been released and 
married a woman called Elizabeth Love.  They married and had 10 children.
In conclusion, I would say that Cook is correct when he asks authors to look at 
exactly what kind of message they are going to pack up and slowly reveal to a 
reader.  These books have opened to me the intense grief and humiliation and 
violence that went on for 600 years in Ireland, and which continued in 
Australia. There is a certain outcome in me from my ancestors, I have inherited 
a bit of that up and at them attitude – an attitude that helps one to survive 
under difficult conditions.

Copyright Hilarie Roseman PhD  29th December, 2014 

-----Original Message-----
From: worldwidepeaceorg@xxxxxxxxx [mailto:worldwidepeaceorg@xxxxxxxxx] 
Sent: Monday, 29 December 2014 5:09 PM
To: wwpoenglish digest users
Subject: wwpoenglish Digest V1 #44

wwpoenglish Digest      Sun, 28 Dec 2014        Volume: 01  Issue: 044

In This Issue:
                [wwpoenglish] Re: wwpoenglish Digest V1 #43


From: "Hilarie Roseman" <hilarieroseman@xxxxxxxxx>
Subject: [wwpoenglish] Re: wwpoenglish Digest V1 #43
Date: Mon, 29 Dec 2014 13:02:17 +1100

Dear Bruce, I have inserted with this email my opinion piece as you have 
requested.  With blessings for the new year of 2015, Hilarie Rosemn  ps if the 
insertion does not work, I will try another way.
-----Original Message-----
From: worldwidepeaceorg@xxxxxxxxx [mailto:worldwidepeaceorg@xxxxxxxxx] 
Sent: Saturday, 27 December 2014 5:08 PM
To: wwpoenglish digest users
Subject: wwpoenglish Digest V1 #43

wwpoenglish Digest      Fri, 26 Dec 2014        Volume: 01  Issue: 043

In This Issue:
                [wwpoenglish] Purpose of a Writer - To Evoke Inner Stressors


Date: Fri, 26 Dec 2014 20:22:56 -0600
Subject: [wwpoenglish] Purpose of a Writer - To Evoke Inner Stressors
From: Bruce Cook <cookcomm@xxxxxxxxx>

Dear WWPO Members,
I submit for comments my opinion piece on the purpose of a fiction writer, 
which I plan to release on author-me.com at the end of December. I feel this is 
important since we need to explore methods for relievng stress in education.

Thank you for your comments.

Writer’s Purpose – No. 1 - Evoke

By Bruce L. Cook

What is the purpose of your story? Hopefully you don’t just want to 
extend your fame as a writer. Instead, you want to offer something to your 

A writer may have a variety of goals in mind. In my estimation, one of the most 
important is to evoke. And, to evoke, the author needs to connect.

In this case, the story will need to stimulate an emotion that comes from the 
reader’s life experience.

For example, if the reader had experience in ground warfare, a story might 
evoke fear and terror learned in that setting. However, as a protection against 
hurt, that reader might only risk those memories if the story is written by a 

More typically, consider the grief someone feels when they have lost a beloved 
companion –a spouse or other family member or close friend.  Here the 
author may become a grief counselor, and this involves increased 

In this case a reader can permit the story to penetrate into protected areas. 
The new life a reader has developed to cope with the loss has been hiding the 
grief, but now the story opens the door and the reader clearly sees the new 
reality in contrast with suppressed grief.

As an example for someone who has lost a loved one to cancer, the recent film 
“Wild!” powerfully evokes moments of impending and actual loss.

In a role as grief counselor, the author leaves the arena of director/producer 
and fades into the background. Regardless of details, the narrative stands back 
as the emotion and memory which is normally shielded from expression bursts 
forth with new power.

Some readers might object, for it can be embarrassing to weep or act 
erratically while viewing a film or reading a book in a public place. In my 
view, on the other hand, this as one of the most powerful roles an author can 
assume, for the story has successfully removed a shield and opened the spigot 
for a reader’s self-introspection. This can achieve the goal often set 
forth by meditation exercises and other artificial stimuli.

At this point, confronted by electric memory of past hurt, the reader confronts 
a reality that has been lurking in the background throughout a new life that 
was created out of necessity. In experiencing this juxtaposition of past with 
present, the reader can relax stress and gain a healthy renewal of faith in the 
future. Who could ask for more?

The writer has a serious responsibility in helping the reader achieve this 
level of personal truth. I encourage writers to explore ways to evoke past 
memories and help shape the reader’s positive view of the future.


End of wwpoenglish Digest V1 #43


End of wwpoenglish Digest V1 #44

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  • » [wwpoenglish] An Australian opinion - Hilarie Roseman