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Image sourced from the University of Sydney, Fisher Library
Issue Details: First known date: 1882 1882
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

The novels Halek (1881) and its sequel, Amoni (1904) tell the story of a young man, Halek (a Hebrew word meaning pilgrim), who after becoming inspired by his beloved, Turoni, undertakes a lifelong spiritual quest. The journey, which is completed by the end of the first book sees Halek's pilgrimage play out in variety of utopian and dystopian settings, taking him from 'a fictive world of greed and incivility (Pagam) to a land of moral aspiration and spiritual effort (Karom) and finally to a place of spiritual perfection (Sahitam)' (Buckridge and McKay, p.24). In his Preface to Almoni Nicholson provides a brief explanation of Pagam, Karom and Sahitam:

The island which is the scene of Halek's adventures is peoples by Pagmas, Karomas and Sahitamas. He that is wasting his substance in a far country is a Pagma; he that has arisen, and is on his way to the Father, is a Karoma; [and] he that has realised his oneness with the father, and dwells in the peace of love is a Sahitama (x).

Almoni, described by Nicholson as a 'companion volume,' deals with Halek's 'progressive initiation into "worshipful brethren" of spiritual adepts, his falling in love with the lovely Lirusan, and his return on a mission to Karom and Pagam. In By the Book: A Literary History of Queensland, Buckridge and McKay argue that while Nicholson claims that his intention was to "to write a work which would combine the most engaging qualities of Robinson Crusoe with those of The Arabian Nights," The Pilgrim's Progress is in some ways the more obvious model' (p. 24).

Buckridge and McKay further note that one of the more unusual features of both books 'is their preoccupation with the subject of poetry and "being a poet:"

Social life, even in the debased land of Pagam revolves around regular public performances, some of them fiercely competitive. Halek and his associates agonise about the technical virtuosity and emotional power of their own and others' poems, and Halek's retun journey to Pagam clearly symbolises the civilising mission of poetry to a culturally deprived colonial outpost... Halek's world embodies a kind of Augustian ideal in which poetry, music and the other arts all matter deeply and form the common staple of public recreation and discourse (25).

Notes

  • In his preface to the 1896 A. J. Ross edition, G. D. Buckman suggests that the novel is an allegory proclaiming 'the way by which the seeker after truth can rise from the bondage of the flesh (Pagam), through the enlargement of the intellect (Karom), to the illumination of the Spirit (Sahitam)... 'Halek is a romance of the highest order, and when all the little books, written for little minds, shall be forgotten, Halek will stand, as the dream of a seer, whose vision of life came to him in the wilds of the Australian bush' ('What is Halek,' pp5-6).

  • This work has been digitised by the Reason in Revolt project.

Contents

* Contents derived from the Brisbane, Queensland,: A. J. Ross , 1896 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
What is Halek?, G. D. Buchanan , 1882-1896 single work review (p. 5-6)
Review of Halek, Theodore Wood , 1882-1896 single work criticism (p. 7-24)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Works about this Work

An Outline of Australian Literature : Third Period Continued - Chapter VI H. M. Green , 1930 single work criticism biography
— Appears in: An Outline of Australian Literature 1930; (p. 57-69)
"Halek" and Its Author Emily Bulcock , 1923 single work criticism biography
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 16 August vol. 44 no. 2270 1923; (p. 3)
John H. Nicholson and "Halek" R. S. Ross , 1923 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 4 October vol. 44 no. 2277 1923; (p. 3)
Untitled 1923 single work obituary (for John H. Nicholson )
— Appears in: The Bookfellow , 15 July 1923; (p. 104)
y 'Halek'. What's it all about? G. D. Buchanan , Brisbane : A. J. Ross , 1896 Z1326691 1896 single work criticism

Title continues: 'This pamphlet will tell you, for it contains an Introduction to "Halek" by Sir S. W. Griffith, Denis Donovan Esq; and other well-known men: together with a review of "Halek" by Sir Theodore Wood.'

Nicholson's "Halek" 1896 single work review
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 5 September vol. 17 no. 864 1896; (p. 2)

— Review of The Adventures of Halek : An Autobiographical Fragment John H. Nicholson 1882 single work novel
[Untitled] [The Bulletin, 28 April 1894] Bookworm , 1894 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 28 April vol. 14 no. 741 1894; (p. 23)
What is Halek? G. D. Buchanan , 1882-1896 single work review
— Appears in: The Adventures of Halek : An Autobiographical Fragment 1896; (p. 5-6)
Review of Halek Theodore Wood , 1882-1896 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Adventures of Halek : An Autobiographical Fragment 1896; (p. 7-24) 'Halek'. What's it all about? 1896;
Nicholson's "Halek" 1896 single work review
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 5 September vol. 17 no. 864 1896; (p. 2)

— Review of The Adventures of Halek : An Autobiographical Fragment John H. Nicholson 1882 single work novel
y 'Halek'. What's it all about? G. D. Buchanan , Brisbane : A. J. Ross , 1896 Z1326691 1896 single work criticism

Title continues: 'This pamphlet will tell you, for it contains an Introduction to "Halek" by Sir S. W. Griffith, Denis Donovan Esq; and other well-known men: together with a review of "Halek" by Sir Theodore Wood.'

What is Halek? G. D. Buchanan , 1882-1896 single work review
— Appears in: The Adventures of Halek : An Autobiographical Fragment 1896; (p. 5-6)
Review of Halek Theodore Wood , 1882-1896 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Adventures of Halek : An Autobiographical Fragment 1896; (p. 7-24) 'Halek'. What's it all about? 1896;
"Halek" and Its Author Emily Bulcock , 1923 single work criticism biography
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 16 August vol. 44 no. 2270 1923; (p. 3)
John H. Nicholson and "Halek" R. S. Ross , 1923 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 4 October vol. 44 no. 2277 1923; (p. 3)
[Untitled] [The Bulletin, 28 April 1894] Bookworm , 1894 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 28 April vol. 14 no. 741 1894; (p. 23)
Untitled 1923 single work obituary (for John H. Nicholson )
— Appears in: The Bookfellow , 15 July 1923; (p. 104)
An Outline of Australian Literature : Third Period Continued - Chapter VI H. M. Green , 1930 single work criticism biography
— Appears in: An Outline of Australian Literature 1930; (p. 57-69)
Last amended 20 Apr 2016 09:19:46
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