Monday, March 26, 2012

The process of accumulation of cultural information in a word. Australian and New Zealand language and literature masterpieces.

One of the oldest terminological wrangles in anthropology is term culture.  The term has a sense both as a process (“ the passing on” of what has been learned before to succeeding generations) and as  a particular class of things (“ shared knowledge”). One might think that these two aspects of the terms could coexist quite neatly if the process were used to define content. In such a definition, culture would be whatever it is that is passed on through learning to succeeding generations. The difficulty  with this solution is that many things are passed on, not all of which most anthropologists would want to consider culture. A second strategy is to define culture as giving a particular content. The problem with these solution is that there are different kind of content – which should get to be called culture?
There are, at present, at least three major  views  about  the nature of culture. One is a notion of culture  as  knowledge,  as the accumulation of information. According to this view can and does accumulate and does not need to be shared if the distribution of knowledge is such that the proper  “ linking understandings ”  are maintained.  The amount of  information in the total cultural pool of knowledge is very large – even for simple societies  my estimate is that there are between several hundred thousand  and several million “chunks”  of information of the total pool. Furthermore,  in this view culture is not integrated: the knowledge concerning  what to do about illness has no particular connection or relation to the knowledge needed to build houses, for example.
But we know that cultural information in a word  affects  the language and the literature masterpieces in any country, because the process of accumulation puts together  the languages and it’s world popular literature.
 ( Emirova F.)

So, let’s talk about Australian and New Zealand  literature masterpieces!
 "The basic Australian literary tradition is a compound of sound learning, rebelliousness, ardent faith in the common man, and an even more ardent faith in the Australian future. What better tradition could any nation want?" ~ C. Hartley Grattan, in Introducing Australia (New York, 1942)
The origins of Australian poetry lay in the prison systems. As Convict etiquette strictly prescribed that one "suffer in silence" whatever emotional turmoil the Convicts were suffering, they were unable to talk about it with their friends. Poetry acted as cathartic outburst of emotion which allowed the Convicts to address those feelings that they could not openly discuss. The most notable of these early poets included the likes of Michael Massey Robinson, George Barrington and Frank the Poet.
A sense of nationalism is also found in poems about the Australian land. In "My Country", Dorothy Mackellar tells why she has turned her back on the ordered landscape of Europe to embrace the rugged, pitiless country of Australia. To her, the reasons for her love can't be communicated, they can only be understood by those who have shared the Australian experience.Although many poems glorify the country, some also contain themes of rebellion; not against authorities but against the culture of stoicism and the land itself.
New Zealand literature is essentially literature in English that is either written by New Zealanders, or migrants, dealing with New Zealand themes or places and is primarily a 20th Century creation. New Zealand literature is almost exclusively literature in the English language and as such a sub-type of English literature.
The Māori were a pre-literate stone-aged culture until contact with Europeans in the early 19th Century. New Zealand acknowledges the presence of its indigenous Māori and the special place they have in New Zealand culture. Oratory and recitation of quasi historical / hagiographical ancestral blood lines has a special place in Māori culture, eurocentric notions of 'literature' may fail to describe the Māori cultural forms in the oral tradition.
New Zealand poetry, like all poetry, is influenced by time and place and has been through a number of changes. Poetry has been part of New Zealand culture since before European settlement in the form of Māori sung poems or waiata. Novelists Patricia Grace, Albert Wendt, Maurice Gee and children’s author Margaret Mahy, are prominent in New Zealand.
Keri Hulme gained prominence when her novel, The Bone People, won the Booker Prize. Witi Ihimaera wrote the novel that became the critically acclaimed movie Whale Rider, directed by Nikki Caro. His works deal with Māori life in the modern world, often incorporating fantastic elements.
New Zealand has a lively community of playwrights in theatre. One of the country's most significant and successful playwrights is Roger Hall. Support for playwrights and plays in New Zealand is provided by Playmarket, a national organisation which also publishes and sells plays and scripts. Playmarket also represents Māori and Pacific Island playwrights.
 (Zentsova A.)

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