In the tutorial this week we went through the mysteries of the first few pages of David Malouf's "Conversations at Curlow Creek". Before this class I had read only the first chapter and I couldn’t really get my head around Malouf’s amazing use of language and his unconventional style. While I was reading the chapter on the bus I realized I couldn’t half concentrate on the words I was reading and half focus my energies on the what was passing by me out the window- if I did, I found I was totally lost and had missed the intrinsic meaning hidden deep within the long constructed descriptive phrases. At first I didn’t know what to think; but as a read on and became more affiliated with Malouf’s technique, and became more trusting of his written hand and its attempt to make me see something truly amazing- and anyway, what’s the point of reading something if it doesn’t demand your full attention?
In the first few pages we are introduced to the main character Adair; we know him to be the main character because we are inside his head. We can hear his inner most thoughts, the thoughts he does not speak. We are also introduced to Carney- a paddy and criminal- who at first only relates to Adair in the terms of that they are both Irish and that he had falsely hoped that he was a priest; but through the course of the night, they learn a lot more about each other and have conversations so deep that they reach almost an enlightened level of thinking that redefines the boundaries and relationship between law enforcer and law breaker.
Malouf has created a great opening setting for the novel, full of suspense and questions that keep the reader interested and brimmed with burning questions. We want to know what Carney has done. We want to know why Adair is so ponderous in his demeanour. We want to know what has happened to both of these characters before we meet them in the smelling and confined hut.
It is a tense book from the beginning. Adair is alone in a dark room with the man he has to send to death in the morning. There are no distractions in that dark little room, no flickering lights to shift the focus onto something else or provide a warm sense of comfort, it is a confronting reality that Adair has to experience and that we have to witness.
I like the book so far and am eager to found out what happens next. I’m also eager about having the opportunity to understand the inner motives of David Malouf’s mind when he comes to visit in a couple of weeks.
My group performed our scene for the class in this week’s lecture. I think the performance went well, however in attempt to spice up and modernize the scene we changed the song from “I Wonder Whose Kissing Her Now” by Bobby Darrin to “Kiss Me” by Sixpence None the Richer. Either way, I was glad to bring Sam to life in front of an audience because he is such a wild and unconfined character with the trickery he plays on the police guards who monitor him and his love/ hate relationship with his own reflection. We rallied audience involvement and participation with the bribery of lollies- entertainment and satisfaction for all!