By Mary Beard
Her crucial issues are the classics, universities and teaching—and a lot else along with. during this moment assortment following on from the luck of It's a Don's lifestyles, Beard ponders even if Gaddafi's house is Roman or now not, we percentage her 'terror of humiliation' as she enters 'hairdresser country' and stick with her trouble as she wanders during the challenge of illegible handwriting on exam papers and 'longing for the subsequent dyslexic'—on whose paper the solutions are typed, now not handwritten.
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Now, Malouf adds, Australians read it that way too, and see it “as a disguised argument about Australia [ . . ] as a postcolonial text, though I’m not sure I thought about it that way when I wrote it” (Levasseur and Rabalais 2002, 171). This generic liminality and its difficult location on a clear literary and cultural map reﬂects the way in which the novel itself questions any sense of solid boundaries between self and world, human and animal, progress and regress. The theme is directly explored both in Ovid’s physical journey to the edges of the Empire to pass, ﬁnally, beyond it, when he crosses the frozen Danube and dies in an imprecise place; and in his spiritual trajectory, when he leaves his former skeptical artist-self behind to encounter otherness and belief.
This ﬁctional auto/biographical reconstruction of the legendary ﬁgure will be shown to achieve a much broader import than its fragmentary, postmodern mix of prose, poems, pictures and blank spaces would seem to suggest, making it in fact also a commentary on America’s history of violence. The violence that the outlaws inﬂ ict and that is inﬂ icted on them leads to a discussion of the role of the body, its physical boundaries, and the senses through which it establishes a contact with the world.
In this act of becoming, the Child shows Ovid a path to “drive out my old self and let the universe in” (IL 96). Ovid’s plan of educating the Child to speak encounters the superstitious skepticism of the villagers who fear his demonic powers. During a fever, in his delirium, the Child utters for the ﬁ rst time a human word; this causes the family of the village’s chief, Ryzak, with whom Ovid and the Child are staying, to fear that he has snatched one of their souls. Lullo, Ryzak’s grandson, falls ill; he recovers, but then Ryzak himself falls ill and dies.
All in a Don's Day by Mary Beard