Image courtesy of Magabala Books
y Earth single work   novel   historical fiction  
Is part of Jim Fox 1988-1999 series - author novel (number 4 in series)
Issue Details: First known date: 2001 2001
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

With his fourth novel, Bruce Pascoe firmly establishes himself at the peak of contemporary Australian literature. Earth is a daring and thought provoking work; a novel of voices from the past and the present. The setting is the Victorian countryside, west of Melbourne during the latter part of the nineteenth century. The story unfolds through the lively dialogue of its protagonists, some wordly, others more ethereal. It is a story of love, denial, hypocrisy, greed and murder. There is also humour and warmth in the narrative, counterbalancing the sense of anger and sadness at the injustice, duplicity, mendacity and callous brutality being perpetrated in the name of Christianity, civilisation and progress. And ultimately there is hope amongst despair, as old values richly reassert themselves against overwhelming odds. (Source: LibrariesAustralia)

Notes

  • Dedication: For the Australians.
  • Other formats: Also e-book.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Broome, Kimberley area, North Western Australia, Western Australia,: Magabala Books , 2001 .
      Image courtesy of Magabala Books
      Extent: 245p.
      Note/s:
      • Includes glossary of the Wathaurong language (pp. 241-244).
      ISBN: 1875641610

Works about this Work

Learning to Read Country : Bruce Pascoe’s Earth, an Indigenous Ecological Allegory David Michael Fonteyn , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australasian Journal of Ecocriticism and Cultural Ecology , vol. 4 no. 2014; (p. 35-51)

'Allegories contain specific forms and techniques which define a text as an allegory, including an intention written into the text. The reader is required to make an effort to determine that intention if they are to uncover the allegory. Also, allegories function didactically to educate the reader in a certain way, and, through that education, transform the reader. This is the traditional function of allegory.

'In this paper, I read Bruce Pascoe’s 2001 novel, Earth, as an example of what I term an ‘Indigenous ecological allegory’. The novel encodes in allegorical form an Indigenous worldview of the natural world. Many theorists agree that such a worldview can broadly be termed ecological. The didactic principle is to educate the reader about this Indigenous worldview of Country. As the reader comes to an understanding of Country, the narrative events, which describe a colonial (1880s) war between non-indigenous and indigenous people, as well as the language that encodes those events, become re-interpreted through this alternative metaphysics. What emerges is a possibility for the overturning of incipient dualism. The growth in the reader’s knowledge of Country opens the way to mutual acceptance. Country makes welcome all people to its land on the provision of respect and a commitment to its care.

Pascoe’s novel utilises medieval allegorical forms, techniques and strategies in order to expose the narratives and language of the Australian Tradition to the language of the ‘other’ of Indigenous Country, that is (more specifically) the Wathaurong language and worldview that it encodes. The allegorical techniques include a cyclic narrative structure involving a Threshold scene followed by related scenes and commentary, direct address to the reader, narrative digression, debate, allegorical names and puns. Using these techniques, Pascoe uncovers a polysemy that has developed within the English language in its encounter with the Indigenous people.

'Finally, while allegory has yet to be studied in ecocrticisim as a form for writing nature, I argue that it is an ideal literary form in which Nature and an ecological worldview may be portrayed in a written text.' (Publication abstract)

Unsettling the Colonial Linear Perspective in Kim Scott's Benang Anne Le Guellec-Minel , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Commonwealth , Autumn vol. 33 no. 1 2010; (p. 35-44)
'This paper focuses 'on how Kim Scott undertakes in his novel Benang (1999) to subvert the simplistic, destructive and ultimately self-defeating doctrine of progress championed by colonists whose eugenicist policies aimed at 'breeding out' the Aboriginal heritage. Scott shows how pioneering megalomania drove those white visionaries of the future of Australian race to aspire to being their own beginning and their own end. To counter this colonial narrative which maps out progress as a process of purification, and posits sameness as the only desirable goal on the national horizon, he deploys a circuitous and ultimately circular exploration of time and space. This narrative is informed both by the memories of his narrator's Aboriginal relatives and by the narrator's imaginative empathy with his ancestors, which eventually enables him to substitute a pattern of return and permanence for the narcissistic and misguided abstraction of linear progress.'' (p 35)
A Promising Outlook on a Hopeless Situation Lars Ahlstrom , 2003 single work review
— Appears in: Antipodes , June vol. 17 no. 1 2003; (p. 67)

— Review of Earth Bruce Pascoe 2001 single work novel
Untitled Ian McFarlane , 2002 single work review
— Appears in: Voice : A Journal of Comment and Review , March no. 1 2002; (p. 34-36)

— Review of Miles McGinty Tom Gilling 2001 single work novel ; Earth Bruce Pascoe 2001 single work novel
Earth, Ground, Soil and Bare Bones Cath Kenneally , 2002 single work review
— Appears in: Overland , Winter no. 167 2002; (p. 104-106)

— Review of Dirt Music Tim Winton 2001 single work novel ; Earth Bruce Pascoe 2001 single work novel
In a Fourth Novel, Writers Deliver the Goods Michelle Griffin , 2001 single work review
— Appears in: The Age , 1 September 2001; (p. 10)

— Review of Earth Bruce Pascoe 2001 single work novel ; The Art of the Engine Driver Steven Carroll 2001 single work novel
Delight from a Naturally Gifted Writer Ian McFarlane , 2001 single work review
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 27 October 2001; (p. 17)

— Review of Miles McGinty Tom Gilling 2001 single work novel ; Earth Bruce Pascoe 2001 single work novel
Two New Novels Katharine England , 2001 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , September no. 234 2001; (p. 58-59)

— Review of The Deepest Part of the Lake Robert Hillman 2001 single work novel ; Earth Bruce Pascoe 2001 single work novel
A Promising Outlook on a Hopeless Situation Lars Ahlstrom , 2003 single work review
— Appears in: Antipodes , June vol. 17 no. 1 2003; (p. 67)

— Review of Earth Bruce Pascoe 2001 single work novel
Untitled Ian McFarlane , 2002 single work review
— Appears in: Voice : A Journal of Comment and Review , March no. 1 2002; (p. 34-36)

— Review of Miles McGinty Tom Gilling 2001 single work novel ; Earth Bruce Pascoe 2001 single work novel
In a Fourth Novel, Writers Deliver the Goods Michelle Griffin , 2001 single work review
— Appears in: The Age , 1 September 2001; (p. 10)

— Review of Earth Bruce Pascoe 2001 single work novel ; The Art of the Engine Driver Steven Carroll 2001 single work novel
Delight from a Naturally Gifted Writer Ian McFarlane , 2001 single work review
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 27 October 2001; (p. 17)

— Review of Miles McGinty Tom Gilling 2001 single work novel ; Earth Bruce Pascoe 2001 single work novel
Two New Novels Katharine England , 2001 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , September no. 234 2001; (p. 58-59)

— Review of The Deepest Part of the Lake Robert Hillman 2001 single work novel ; Earth Bruce Pascoe 2001 single work novel
Earth, Ground, Soil and Bare Bones Cath Kenneally , 2002 single work review
— Appears in: Overland , Winter no. 167 2002; (p. 104-106)

— Review of Dirt Music Tim Winton 2001 single work novel ; Earth Bruce Pascoe 2001 single work novel
Unsettling the Colonial Linear Perspective in Kim Scott's Benang Anne Le Guellec-Minel , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Commonwealth , Autumn vol. 33 no. 1 2010; (p. 35-44)
'This paper focuses 'on how Kim Scott undertakes in his novel Benang (1999) to subvert the simplistic, destructive and ultimately self-defeating doctrine of progress championed by colonists whose eugenicist policies aimed at 'breeding out' the Aboriginal heritage. Scott shows how pioneering megalomania drove those white visionaries of the future of Australian race to aspire to being their own beginning and their own end. To counter this colonial narrative which maps out progress as a process of purification, and posits sameness as the only desirable goal on the national horizon, he deploys a circuitous and ultimately circular exploration of time and space. This narrative is informed both by the memories of his narrator's Aboriginal relatives and by the narrator's imaginative empathy with his ancestors, which eventually enables him to substitute a pattern of return and permanence for the narcissistic and misguided abstraction of linear progress.'' (p 35)
Learning to Read Country : Bruce Pascoe’s Earth, an Indigenous Ecological Allegory David Michael Fonteyn , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australasian Journal of Ecocriticism and Cultural Ecology , vol. 4 no. 2014; (p. 35-51)

'Allegories contain specific forms and techniques which define a text as an allegory, including an intention written into the text. The reader is required to make an effort to determine that intention if they are to uncover the allegory. Also, allegories function didactically to educate the reader in a certain way, and, through that education, transform the reader. This is the traditional function of allegory.

'In this paper, I read Bruce Pascoe’s 2001 novel, Earth, as an example of what I term an ‘Indigenous ecological allegory’. The novel encodes in allegorical form an Indigenous worldview of the natural world. Many theorists agree that such a worldview can broadly be termed ecological. The didactic principle is to educate the reader about this Indigenous worldview of Country. As the reader comes to an understanding of Country, the narrative events, which describe a colonial (1880s) war between non-indigenous and indigenous people, as well as the language that encodes those events, become re-interpreted through this alternative metaphysics. What emerges is a possibility for the overturning of incipient dualism. The growth in the reader’s knowledge of Country opens the way to mutual acceptance. Country makes welcome all people to its land on the provision of respect and a commitment to its care.

Pascoe’s novel utilises medieval allegorical forms, techniques and strategies in order to expose the narratives and language of the Australian Tradition to the language of the ‘other’ of Indigenous Country, that is (more specifically) the Wathaurong language and worldview that it encodes. The allegorical techniques include a cyclic narrative structure involving a Threshold scene followed by related scenes and commentary, direct address to the reader, narrative digression, debate, allegorical names and puns. Using these techniques, Pascoe uncovers a polysemy that has developed within the English language in its encounter with the Indigenous people.

'Finally, while allegory has yet to be studied in ecocrticisim as a form for writing nature, I argue that it is an ideal literary form in which Nature and an ecological worldview may be portrayed in a written text.' (Publication abstract)

Last amended 15 Aug 2016 14:35:27
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