Thursday, July 27, 2006

Then Want Must Be Your DARK Master
This is what we say to Fred, and now she says it too, want must be your daaark master. We shake it up occasionally: your black prince, the overlord of your heart.
Speaking of dark masters (what a segueway), I am now in training to be one. Ah, not really. But I am freshly enrolled in a Masters of Creative Writing at the hallowed University of Melbourne. I am not used to my universities having ambience. (Uni of Tas, nope. Monash? Well, I remember a Melbourne University guest lecturer really pissing off my Monash lecturer by saying 'Every time I come out to Clayton I can see another ugly building has been built.' Ah Monash, you were ugly but interesting. Ditto Flinders. Ditto RMIT. Actually RMIT has groovy art deco bits but I never went into any of them, they were strictly reserved for the university section, I was in the functional utilitarian Tafe building instead. Uni of Adelaide had ambience...walking down the main staircase from the Classics department was like being Scarlett O'Hara, but it almost doesn't count because I only attended about three classes and therefore didn't walk down the staircase very often. Gosh. I've been to a lot of universities.) But Uni of Melbourne has ambience up the wazoo. It is also already the most chaotic institution I have attended which says a lot, considering I once got a letter in the mail from RMIT to tell me I wouldn't be getting my results because they didn't have enough stationery.
So I had my first class on Tuesdays, after wading my way through a particularly difficult essay on Time and Narrative by Paul Ricoeur. The course seems very removed to me from the practice of being a writer and from the publishing industry, it's not about craft, it's about something else, kind of about situating yourself in a wider critical context as a writer (a potentially paralysing and angst-ridden exercise if you ask me). Academia is it's own country, with a language of its own. I've been living outside it long enough to find it absurd (I sniggered internally when someone said, in all seriousness, 'so if there's no text, does that mean there is no time?', which I hasten to add was a perfectly valid observation in the context of the paper), but hopefully the absurdity will wear off.


  1. Uni sounds haaaaaaard! Meanwhile, is the "want" comment as response to a three-year-old's demands of "but I waaaant it!"?? I love it. Want has been MY dark master for many years (see Fad of Stuff post!)!!

  2. Yes. I am sure she will loathe me for it. It will be her bread and duck under the table, or y's a crooked letter and it can't be straightened.