Issue Details: First known date: 2001 2001
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Starting with the central significance of autobiography for constructions of national identity, this essay examines the potential inherent in autobiography as a form of cultural agency capable of offering models of social existence based upon tolerance and pluralism. The issue of a possible nomadic poetics as manifest in autobiography is addressed through a reading of Malouf's 12 Edmondstone Street. Malouf's autobiography depicts a childhood in Brisbane under the sign of exile and marginality. The aporias created by the apparent tension between roots and nomadism form the mainspring of Malouf's writing enterprise, and in turn work to evoke a decentered, fragmented version of Antipodean identities, one which accurately corresponds to the multiple realities of Australian destinies.

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  • Appears in:
    y Imaginary Antipodes : Essays on Contemporary Australian Literature and Culture Russell West-Pavlov , Heidelberg : Winter Verlag , 2011 Z1819744 2011 selected work criticism 'How can contemporary Australian literature and culture be ‘imagined’ from abroad? What particular refractions may emerge out of an expatriate reflection upon Antipodean literature and culture? This collection of essays summarizes fifteen years’ work done from an explicitly European perspective. The unashamedly outside perspective these essays present envisages a largely ‘imaginary Antipodes’ whose character is regarded from four distinct angles: indigenous literary production, white settler identities, migrant destinies, and the global construction of Australian literature, thereby gesturing towards the transnational perspective that furnishes the framing rationale for the collection itself. The thirteen essays range over a broad selection of literary and filmic texts, from classics such as Patrick White and Crocodile Dundee, via Castro, Davison, Fremd, Gooneratne, Grenville, Hall, Hospital, Lawrence, McGahan, Malouf, Martin, Morgan, Scott, Teo, or Yasbincek, through to wider issues such as indigenous poetry, the post-Mabo ‘history wars’ of the 1990s, and the global translation of Australian literature' (Publisher blurb). Heidelberg : Winter Verlag , 2011 pg. 117-127
Last amended 25 Sep 2012
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