Lecture on Picnic at Hanging Rock (You Tube)
Some of her points:
Some people have quite personal feelings about the book.
The film and the book are quite different.
She talks about Joan Lindsay's background.
Watches always stopped for her.
The style of the book is old-fashioned in some ways.
The speaker's mother and some friends thought the girls just went down the other side of the rock to hang out with some boys.
The book can be labeled as a gothic novel.
It's an intensely homoerotic novel.
Sara was in love with Miranda.
The white people lacked a connection with the land as reflected in their clothing.
There's an obsession with corsets.
In relation to chapter 18, the girls took their corsets off and threw them off and then hung in the air.
The book pretends to be a thriller of sorts.
The film is better than the book as to describing what the police do in their investigation.
It's also a bit of a science fiction novel.
Irma had been missing for a about a week but when she was found it was as if she had only been missing for some hours.
There are constant references to time.
The book examines the effect of the disappearance of the girls on everyone else.
The book doesn't stand up to any type of plot analysis.
The film pulls the book into some kind of order.
The 18th chapter was cut from the original book.
What happens in that chapter goes against the spirit of the original novel
In that chapter the girls have come across a hole in time.
The math teacher turns into a crab.
It may have been a kind of dream time where people can morph into animals.
Miranda turns into a beetle which makes no sense since she had been referred to various times as being swan-like.
The lecturer feels that Lindsay did not think things totally through when writing that chapter.
In one parallel universe the girls died; in another they transformed into animals and in another they climbed down to meet some boys.
If it was meant to be a dreamtime resolution then it failed, one reason being there was no actual lead-up to that type of resolution.
Albert is the only character that comes out fine at the end.
The clothes the girls wore are in sharp contrast to the landscape.
Lindsay was quite eccentric.
There's a variety of writing styles in the book.
The film captured an Australian Gothic.
The speaker doesn't know why Mrs. Appleyard seemed to hate Sara so much.
She also doesn't know why the girls in the gym treated Irma and her return with so much hostility.
Lindsay was happy with the film but not happy with the attention it brought to her.
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