Uploaded by Skye (Linda) Ganbaatar

SkyeG Assignment1 Dalrymple style langpractice

Skye Ganbaatar
March 1, 2016
Assignment 1
Based on the discussions and examples offered by participants to the course and materials on the course home
page you are asked to provide the following:
 an annotated extract of around 300 words of a passage of your own choice [or you may wish to use a
passage from one of the examination papers provided in Resources] showing comments on highlighted
words and phrases at the planning stage - not full essay format
 set a directed writing task based on the 300 word passage you have chosen.
 select three possible formats that could be used in a directed writing task and for each one explain the
conventions and ingredients you would expect to find in each of them [this may be done in a diagrammatic
format if you wish].
Ta Prohm
Hidden deep in a jungle overrun by parrots, cicadas and banyan trees is a magical 12th-century temple.
Writer William Dalrymple journeys into the heart of medieval Cambodia
I know nowhere more secretive, more lost-in-the-forest, or more mysteriously, darkly lovely than the Khmer
temple complex of Ta Prohm, a few miles' hike into the jungle from Angkor Wat.
Angkor itself is one of the great ruins of the world; but surrounded as it is now by grass and parkland and a
moated lake, it feels magnificently grand, like a Cambodian Blenheim or a Khmer Castle Howard; and by
necessity, given its fame, it is attended by ticket offices and little cabins selling postcards and guidebooks and
fizzy drinks. Ta Prohm, by contrast, is hidden deep in the jungle, and is still wildly, magnificently, hopelessly
overgrown - a Sleeping Beauty of a temple complex, tangled in a thick lattice of aerial roots and creepers.
… To
get [to Ta Prohm], we trekked through thick monsoon-green jungle for an hour, as the children saw huge
centipedes, squawking parrots, cicadas as loud as car alarms, hooting geckos and, best of all, a green poisonous
snake hunting a lizard, one of the highlights of the trip for them. But it was the temple which made the biggest
impact on me.
It was late evening by the time we finally got there, and the sun was setting. Suddenly, out of the trees, a
mountain of masonry rose in successive ranges from the jungle - a great tumbling scree of plinths and capitals,
octagonal pillars and lotus jambs. Trees spiralled out of the barrel vaults of the shingled temple roofs like the
flying buttresses of a Gothic cathedral; branches knotted over Sanskrit inscriptions, before curving around the
bas reliefs of lions and elephants, gods and goldlings, sprites and tree spirits.
Snake-like tendrils of pepper vines fingered their way through window frames and up door jambs. Cracked
lintels covered in mosses and bright lichens were supported by the roots of 1,000-year-old banyan trees, which
wrapped their way over broken arcades, coiling in spirals like the tail of some slumbering guardian dragon. Roots
like fused spiders' webs gripped fallen finials and crumbling friezes of bare-breasted dancing girls in girdles and
anklets, spear-holding warriors in war chariots, and long-haired, cross-legged meditating sages. As the shadows
lengthened, we wandered through terraces and overgrown galleries, narrow corridors and dark staircases,
courtyard after courtyard, the sculptures gradually losing their definition, crumbling into shadows of dusk.
Darkness fell, and it was by the light of a torch that we saw the eeriest sight of all: the 40ft-high face of the
temple's 12th-century founder, Jayavarman VII, impressed into the monsoon-stained ashlar of one of the temple
spires. He looked out into the night, with his full lips and firm chin, broad nose and prominent forehead, his eyes
closed in meditation, expression impassive but powerful, pensive and philosophical, both monk and ruler,
enlightened incarnation and megalomaniac monarch. The fireflies danced around us, the nightbirds screeched
from the ruins, and the frogs croaked. A long walk back lay ahead; but we all knew we would never, ever forget
this place.
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