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Unit 3 Fly Away Peter(1)


Unit 3

David Malouf

Born Occupation

20 March 1934 Brisbane, Australia novelist, short story writer, playwright

Nationality

Australian

University Grammar School

Teaching in Britain (1959-68) Teaching in Australia (1968-77)

David Malouf

Writer

Personal Life

? 戴维· 马洛夫生于布里斯班,父亲为黎巴嫩移民,母 亲是英国人。马洛夫毕业于昆士兰大学,并在该校 执教两年,1958年去英国任教,1968年返回澳大利 亚,在悉尼大学教授英语,1977年离职,1978年移 居意大利从事专业写作,1985年再度返澳,此后经 常往返于澳大利亚与意大利之间。

His Works & Prizes
? His first novel – Johnno

His Works & Prizes
? An Imaginary Life - won the NSW Premier's Literary Award in 1979

His Works & Prizes
? Fly Away Peter - won The Age Book of the Year Award in 1982

His Works & Prizes
? The Great World - won the Miles Franklin Award in 1991 and the 1991 Commonwealth Prize for fiction

His Works & Prizes
? Remembering Babylon《忆起了巴比伦》 - won the NSW Premier's Literary Award in 1993 and the first International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award in June 1996

His Works & Prizes
? Every Move You Make, his short-story collection, - won The Age Book of the Year Award for Fiction and the Queensland Premier's Literary Awards, Australian Short Story Collection - Arts Queensland Steele Rudd Award in 2007.

Where does the title come from?

Two

little

funny

birds

? The title of the book is from a children?s song <Two little funny birds >: ? Two little funny birds sitting on the wall ? One named Peter ? The other named Paul ? Fly away Peter ? Fly away Paul ? Come back Peter ? Come back Paul

Fly Away Peter (1982)
? Time: ? before and during World War I ? Settings: ? Part 1: Queensland Gold Coast, Australia ? Part 2: Western Front, Europe
? ? ? ? Characters: Jim Saddler Ashley Crowther Imogen Harcourt

Fly Away Peter (1982)
? Conflict: ? Europe, an old world vs. Australia, a new world ? Jim and Ashley’s idyllic life in Australia vs. the outbreak of the World War I in Europe

The story
? Much of Malouf's fiction has been concerned with sorting out what he has called "the matter of Australia." Being an Australian writer, he says, is both a challenge and a gift. It gives him the freedom - but also the responsibility - to write about a place which is still in the making, still in need of definition. The tension between "cultured" Europe and "natural" Australia is a recurrent theme of his work. Other prominent themes are the ecological interdependence of nature and humanity, the blurred boundary between history and fiction, and the "other history“, the history of those insignificant events which constitute "the major part of what happens each day in the life of the planet."

? In Fly Away Peter, the tension is between Europe, an old, already-made world, that is sick unto death, and Australia, a new world, idyllic, alive, and yet to be fully formed. The birds alluded to in the title are migratory, and they have a knowledge of both hemispheres. It is clear though that Jim (and through him, Malouf) sees Australia to be their home; and similarly, in the dreamlike account of Jim's death he imagines himself digging through the earth, all the way down to Australia, his haven, his heaven.

Dualities
The novel consists of dualities(二元性): war and peace, life and death, innocence and experience, wealth and poverty, natural and man-made. However, these binaries(双星) are tinged with ambiguity(不明确). While the ?haven? is idyllic (田园的), it is in this time and place of ?innocence? that Jim saw his brother killed on the farm, and had to live with the venomous(怨恨的) and destructive despair of his father. Conversely, in the trenches, friendship is rich and the bird life is miraculous.

? Jim is a creature of innocence, just like the birds he loves. When he sees new species of birds in the early part of the novel, he names them. In this he is another Adam before the fall, a name of animals. Australia is his Garden of Eden. The notion that inspires the whole novel is well expressed in Imogen Harcourt's reflections on Jim's death. She has a vision of all life, great and small, having enormous dignity and integrity.

Analysis
I. Genre (类,体裁) ['d?ɑ?r?]
This novel is written in the genre of social realism. It is written in a third person narrative voice. This objective viewpoint paints some very realistic insights of character and their complex relationships in the wake of war.

II. Plot Summary
? Fly Away Peter is a short chronicle of important events in the lives of Jim Saddler, a plain Australian who has a passion for bird watching; Ashley Crowther, a Cambridgeeducated landowner who employs Jim to give tours of the wildlife on his extensive property; and Imogen Harcourt, an eccentric English photographer whom Jim and Ashley befriend. ? Their idyllic life in Australia is disrupted by the outbreak of the First World War in Europe. Jim, curious to see lands beyond his own, joins the forces as a private soldier and goes to war. Ashley goes as an officer.

? War in the ditches and trenches of Europe is hellish, and Jim, a gentle spirit, is duteous but he greatly wishes to return to his Eden, to the open hills, swamplands and lakes of Australia. Ashley's and Jim's paths cross occasionally, though only briefly, during the war. However, Ashley is there when Jim dies after receiving fatal wounds. He himself survives and returns to Australia. The novel finishes with Imogen Harcourt, having received news of Jim's death, visiting his father and reflecting on the great waste of life which the war has effected.

III. Themes and Issues
? Nature and history
Jim is a young Queenslander who has a strong sense of having found his place when he becomes warden of a bird sanctuary on Queensland. He is a silent young man at ease with observing the markings and migrations of birds. His life is marginal since world history does not pass through this region. It is a harmless, innocent life, rich in detailed experience of nature. The migratory birds remind him it is possible to span the immense distance that separates him from Europe.

? His friend Ashley Crowther, sophisticated, educated and returned from the heathlands of European culture in Cambridge and Germany. They are both very different. In 1914 war occurs. Both migrate to Europe to the trenches of World War One. ? The dying Jim imagines he is digging his way back home to Australia having now experienced Europe. This theme is reflected in the pervasive image of the migratory birds that have reconciled knowledge of two hemispheres. ? The novel clearly sets forth Ashley's preference for Australia as a place still to be made over Europe.

? War
The grim reality of war and the ensuing suffering is a striking theme in this story. We are exposed to the harsh quality of life in the trenches in Europe as World War I breaks out. The latent savagery within man, the fear, terror, cold deprivations which war unleashes is told through the images given of Jim who suffers the brutality of life in the trenches. These images are continuously juxtaposed (并列) by strong bright images of a better life in another land. The story also shows how war not only brings about death and tragedy in its wake but it also shows the powerful capacity in humankind for endurance and tenacity (顽强).

Motif of birds
? The central motif of birds gives the author the opportunity to explore a range of themes. The miracle of bird migration becomes symbolic, echoing Jim’s journey across the globe to the war. The notion of the bird’s eye view is explored. Like a migratory bird, Jim holds a ‘map’ of the swampland(沼泽地) in his mind, whilst also seeing the detail of grass, undergrowth and water.

Part Division
para 1-2 para 3-4 para 5-7 para 8-9 Ruins left by war Memories of his brother's death Freeing a small kestrel Field destroyed by war

para 10-13 The account about an old man para 14-17 Going back to notes para 18 Ending......

New words and expressions: paras. 1- 2
scorching heat 酷暑 rumble 隆隆声 jingling 叮当声 neighing 马嘶声 clamour 吵闹声 on end 连续的 bloated 肿胀的 cattletruck 拥挤而不舒服的车辆 push in 向里推, 推进去;挤入内 in operation 运转着 up ahead 在前方

The cattletrucks would keep on right across the century, and when there were no more young men to fill them they would be filled with the old, and with women and children. (Para. 2) Paraphrase: The war would go on endlessly, and people would be carried in the cattletrucks to the front continuously. When young men were all killed in war, those cattletrucks would be filled with the old, women and children for the front of the war.

They had fallen, he and his contemporaries, into a dark pocket of time from which there was no escape. (Para. 2)
Paraphrase: The young soldiers, he and his

contemporaries, had been involved into the endless war and become hopeless because they could see no way out.

Paras 1-2 Ruins left by war
When the rain fell, and continued to fall as it did for days and end, they were a sea of mud into which everything was in danger of sinking without trace(悄无声息) and which stank if what it had already swallowed(吞下) ,corpses(尸 体),the bloated carcasses (肿胀的尸体) of mules(骡子), horses, men.

The immense and murderous machine that was in operation up ahead would require more and more blood to keep it running; it was no longer in control.
战争是一部正在运转着的巨大的杀人机器,需要越来越多 的鲜血使它继续运行。

New words and expressions: paras. 3-4
other than 不同于 placid 宁静的 guard 防护装置 harvester 收割机 rascal 淘气鬼,调皮鬼 footing n. 立足点 tip v. 倾斜, 翻倒 blade 刀片 swath 一长条的草或庄稼 ears of wheat 小麦穗 strip v. 剥去,脱去 inhuman 非人的 shriek n. 尖叫 unspoken 未说出口的

(Para.3)
? Jim saw that he had been Living, till he came here, in a state of dangerous innocence. The world when you looked from both sides was quite other than a placid, slow-moving dream, without change of climate or color and with time and place for all. He had been blind. ? Paraphrase: Jim became aware that before he had been involved in the war he was just too socially naive, which put him in danger in the realistic world. Now having experienced the realities of the ruthless world, he came to know it was utterly different from his dream world which should be slow-paced and peaceful, and where the climate, color, time and place remained unchanged. Until now he realized that he knew nothing about the realistic world.

It wasn’t that violence had no part in what he had known back there, but he had believed it to be extraordinary. (Para 4)
Paraphrase: It’s not to say that he had never experienced violence when he was back in homeland before the war, but at that time, he had thought that violence was not something common.

narration interspersed with flashbacks

… and been unable when he arrived at the McLaren’s door to get the image, it so fitted him, into words (Para. 4)
… Jim had been unable to get the image into words

when he arrived at the McLaren’s door because he was too frightened by the image to say anything.

Paras 3-4 Memories of His brother's death
Jim had run a half mile through the swath he had cut in the standing grain with the image in his head of the child caught there among the smashed stalks and bloodied ears of wheat. 吉姆已经在庄稼地里跑了有半英里了,路上有一 个画面一直盘踞在他的脑中:一个孩子血肉模糊 地卡在在粉碎的茎秆和被血染的麦穗中。

New words and expressions (paras. 5-7)
mean a. 卑鄙的;吝啬的 flop v. (啪啪作响地)扑动,扑腾 plough v. 耕(田) clod 泥块,土块 minute adj. 极小的,极少的 divergent 有差异的 metallic 金属的 aloft adv. 在空中,在高处 thump v. 重击,嘭地作响 annihilating 毁灭性的

Paras 5-7 Freeing a small kestrel
There was a kestrel he had found once with a tin tied to its leg… His hands had been torn by the bird, which couldn't distinguish between kindness and more cruelty… …when it flapped away … (Jim) thought of his brother. There, something in him had said. There!
看着得到自由的红隼拍打着翅膀,他想到了他的弟弟。 飞走吧,他心里的声音喊着。飞走吧!

New words and expressions (paras.8-9)
utterly blasted 彻底枯萎 buckled snapshot 变形的快照 smashed: destroyed dented 有凹痕的 bits of (作定语) 微不足道的一群/堆 scum 浮渣,泡沫 spew up 呕出 snap v. 裂开 jag v. 撕得参差不齐 break off 分离,脱离

(paras 8-9) Field destroyed by war
The earth was one vast rag (破烂布) and bone shop, the scattered remains(残骸) of both sides lay all over it: shell ( 炸 弹 ) fragments and whole shells of every size, dangerously unexploded, old sandbags trodden into the mud. All the leaves had been blasted(枯萎) from the trees and they stood bare(光秃秃的)… their branches jagged, split, or broken off raw(生生地 被折断) and hanging.

New words and expressions: paras. 10-13
aspect 外观,样子 acknowledge v. 对…做出反应 in rows 成排,成行 inversion 颠倒 stoop v. 弯腰; 屈身 lift one?s spirit 振奋精神

Discussion
? Why did Jim think of Miss Harcourt when he saw the old man?(Para.13)
? 1.The old man was digging. It looked like a grave. Jim saw that and imagined about his fate. One day he might die in the battle and his friend, Ashley and Miss Harcourt, they might stand before his grave like this scene.

Paras 10-13 The account about an old man
? The old man, who did not acknowledge their presence, had taken up a hoe (锄头) and was preparing the earth in rows. It was the time for winter sowing (播种), but it was a measure of the strangeness of all things here…

? 2.The abnormal action of the old man near the battlefield reminded him of his previous life. That’s just life with his friends and nothing special. They might sow in winter. But during the war, that was nothing but strangeness. He was strongly missing Miss Harcourt, his friend, his home, his peaceful life and his motherland.

New words and expressions: paras. 14-17
in the thick of 在…的最激烈时刻、最紧张时刻

Paras 14-17 Going back to notes ? Saturday: a wryneck (啄木鸟), with its funny flight,up and down in waves, the banded tail (镶 边的尾巴) quite clear. ? Wednesday: larks (百灵鸟), singing high up and tumbling, not at all scared by the sound of gunfire.Skylarks (云雀).They are so tame that when they are on the ground you can get real close and see the upswept crest. ? Friday: a yellow wagtail (鹡鸰)... ? Again,Jim shows his passion for bird. ? Through the migratory birds, the author displays the wild beauty of the Australian landscape.

New words and expressions: Para. 18
bivouack v. 露营,露宿 toppled 倾倒的 sodden 湿透的

Paragraph 18 Nature
One night in October In the old cemetery Greylag greese

when

where

what

……

skylark greylag woodlark wagtail

gun-carriage 炮架

stink of
散发恶臭 bloated carcasses 泡涨了的死尸

annihilating 毁灭性的

war

immense and murderous machine 巨大的杀人机器

nightmare 噩梦

contrast
placid 安详 in one?s babyish voice utterly blasted 彻底枯萎 smashed…dented … 打碎的水瓶,有 凹痕的杯子 spew up 呕吐 During the war
Company Logo

操着孩子气的声音
a ploughed hillside 一片耕过的山坡 Before the war

Character Analysis of Jim
Love birds Regret for his brother’s death Pursue peace & hate wars

Love Birds
When he saw a kestrel with a tin tied to its leg, he tried to save the bird by removing the rolled-up sardine-tin. (Para. 5) ? Even during the war, Jim still recorded the birds’ presence. (Para.14)

Jim’s brother died when Jim was operating a harvester. When he saw the kestrel, it reminded him of the death of his brother. The experience had a great impact on Jim. As a result, he hated wars and death.
Regret for his brother?s death

Pursue peace & hate wars
He saw lots of bloated carcasses. The deaths resulted from the war. Jim looked forward to peace instead of seeing more people involved in the war but he couldn’t do anything to change the situation. He wished that he were a bird so that he could fly away from the war and sought for a peaceful place to live.

? Who “fly away”?
? 1. The bird rescued by Jim. He wanted the little life fly back to its home. ? 2. Jim missed his hometown, Australia. It was his wonderland and peaceful heaven. As the war is being more and more fierce, his wish to go back home become stronger and stronger.

? 3. All the people who suffered from the war, the violence and the cruelty. The bloody battlefield let him think of the accident happened on his little brother. These kind of sadness let us feel that life is fragile and transient. Jim and the author himself are praying for the lives in this world that you never know what will happen next. What we can do is to treasure the peaceful life that we have now.

Key words and expressions
? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? scorching rumble rascal blade ears of wheat strip unspoken mean ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? plough minute metallic spew inversion stoop keep hold of in the thick of the fighting

Topics for discussion
? 1. What does Jim think of war? Please use evidence in the story to support your idea. ? 2. Are you impressed by the story? Which paragraph leaves you the deepest impression? Why?
? Why does David Malouf mention so many kinds of birds in the story? What’s the relationship between birds and Jim?


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