An Australian Rip Van Winkle single work   short story  
Issue Details: First known date: 1921 1921
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Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y An Australian Rip Van Winkle and Other Pieces : Being a Sketch-Book After the Style of Washington Irving William Gosse Hay , London : George Allen and Unwin , 1921 Z287819 1921 selected work prose London : George Allen and Unwin , 1921 pg. 7-47
  • Appears in:
    y The Oxford Book of Australian Ghost Stories Ken Gelder (editor), Melbourne : Oxford University Press , 1994 Z356827 1994 anthology short story crime young adult 'Did Australian ghosts suffer from a cultural cringe? Dr Ken Gelder indicates in the introduction to another fascinating OUP anthology that early ghost stories were essentially a "transported genre" that looked back to England as their source. Thus John Lang's well-known story "The Ghost upon the Rail" is based upon a case of murder for post-convict wealth. Gelder argues that Australian ghost stories possess their own ironical flavour, but the gothic tradition has to be resolved in outback locations or deserted mining towns, as in David Rowbotham's "A Schoolie and the Ghost".'

    'Gelder relies heavily on Victorian and Edwardian writers, such as Marcus Clarke, Barbara Baynton and Hume Nisbet, as if unsure as to the nature of contemporary ghosts. It is interesting to see that Australia's science fiction writers, such as Lucy Sussex and Terry Dowling, provide the link between the past and the present. Dowling's "The Daeman Street Ghost-Trap" effectively uses traditional settings to link ghosts with a current horror, namely cancer. Several bunyip stories remind us of a particular Antipodean creature to stand against the assorted European manifestations.'

    (Colin Steele, SF Commentary No 77, p.55).


    Melbourne : Oxford University Press , 1994
    pg. 166-191
  • Appears in:
    y The Anthology of Colonial Australian Gothic Fiction Ken Gelder (editor), Rachael Weaver (editor), Carlton : Melbourne University Press , 2007 Z1415120 2007 anthology short story extract horror mystery science fiction historical fiction children's (taught in 7 units) Carlton : Melbourne University Press , 2007 pg. 231-260
  • Appears in:
    y The Penguin Book of the Road Delia Falconer (editor), Camberwell : Viking , 2008 Z1532526 2008 anthology short story biography travel

    'Australia is a nation of drivers. We spend more time behind the wheel than almost anyone else, on fast highways, lonely bush tracks, jammed city lanes and suburban streets. The road is the place where the great dramas of our lives unfold, the route to our greatest pleasures as well as our worst nightmares. It is sexy, dangerous and unnerving.

    'In this landmark collection, acclaimed novelist and essayist Delia Falconer brings together some of our very best writing on every aspect of the road.' (Publisher's blurb)

    Camberwell : Viking , 2008
    pg. 137-175

Works about this Work

'The Poetry of the Earth is Never Dead' : Australia's Road Writing Delia Falconer , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , Special Issue 2009;
This article discusses the process of editing The Australian Book of the Road. It uses William Hay's 'An Australian Rip Van Winkle' as an exemplary Australian road text. With its diffuse sense of hauntedness, multiple time-warps, and eerie appropriation of northern hemisphere literary texts, Hay's story offers a suggestive frame for reflecting on our relationship with the road in Australia and the way it is figured in our writing; to consider the road not only as a material artefact represented by our road texts but a set of cultural traditions and tropes. Its layered hauntings offer paths to unpacking of the odd sense of unease that permeates so many of these road stories. Using 'road writing' (my own term) as a strategic generic category through which disparate works can be interpreted, this paper will consider them as instances of 'spatial history', following Paul Carter, opposed to more triumphalist literary traditions. It will also, finally, consider the Australian road within a global context; in particular, the strategic ways in which these stories play with strategies of adaptation.
Capturing the Spirit of the Genre Stephen Wilks , 2003 single work column
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 3 May 2003; (p. 3a)
Capturing the Spirit of the Genre Stephen Wilks , 2003 single work column
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 3 May 2003; (p. 3a)
'The Poetry of the Earth is Never Dead' : Australia's Road Writing Delia Falconer , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , Special Issue 2009;
This article discusses the process of editing The Australian Book of the Road. It uses William Hay's 'An Australian Rip Van Winkle' as an exemplary Australian road text. With its diffuse sense of hauntedness, multiple time-warps, and eerie appropriation of northern hemisphere literary texts, Hay's story offers a suggestive frame for reflecting on our relationship with the road in Australia and the way it is figured in our writing; to consider the road not only as a material artefact represented by our road texts but a set of cultural traditions and tropes. Its layered hauntings offer paths to unpacking of the odd sense of unease that permeates so many of these road stories. Using 'road writing' (my own term) as a strategic generic category through which disparate works can be interpreted, this paper will consider them as instances of 'spatial history', following Paul Carter, opposed to more triumphalist literary traditions. It will also, finally, consider the Australian road within a global context; in particular, the strategic ways in which these stories play with strategies of adaptation.
Last amended 6 Nov 2007 09:19:14
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