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  • Author: Tom Collins http://www.poetrylibrary.edu.au/poets/furphy-joseph
Issue Details: First known date: 1897 1897
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

Such is Life: Being Certain Extracts from the Diary of Tom Collins. Joseph Furphy's title gives an indication of the complexity of the narrative that will unravel before a persistent reader. In chapter one, the narrator, Tom Collins, joins a group of bullockies to camp for the night a few miles from Runnymede Station. Their conversations reveal many of the issues that arise throughout the rest of the novel: the ownership of, or control of access to, pasture; ideas of providence, fate and superstition; and a concern for federation that flows into descriptions of the coming Australian in later chapters. Each of the characters provides a portrait of bush types that Furphy uses to measure the qualities of squatters and others against popular ideas of the 'gentleman'. Furphy's choice of a narrative structure to create a 'loosely federated' series of yarns is itself a critique of popular narratives populated by stock characters who are driven by action that leads to predictable and uncomplicated conclusions. Tom Collins, the unreliable narrator, adds further complications by claiming to 'read men like signboards' while all the time being unknowingly contradicted by circumstances that become obvious to the reader.

In each subsequent chapter Tom Collins leads the reader through a series of experiences chosen from his diaries. In chapter two, Collins meets the boundary rider Rory O'Halloran and his daughter, Mary, a symbol of the coming Australian whose devotion to her father will have tragic consequences in chapter five. There are many links between chapters like this one that remain invisible to Collins, despite his attempts to understand the 'controlling alternatives' that affect our lives. In chapter three Tom loses his clothes crossing the Murray River and spends the night wandering naked until he is able to steal a pair of pants after diverting attention by setting fire to a haystack. In chapter four Collins helps an ailing Warrigal Alf by deceiving several boundary riders who have impounded Alf's bullocks. In chapter five, among other yarns of lost children, Thompson completes the tragic tale of Mary O'Halloran, connecting with the events of chapter two. Chapters six and seven take Tom Collins back to Runnymede Station where he attempts to avoid an unwelcome union with Maud Beaudesart. He also meets the disfigured boundary rider, Nosey Alf, whose life story Furphy has threaded throughout the narrative, signs not perceived by Tom Collins. When Collins returns to Runnymede at the end of the novel, Furphy ties up more loose narrative threads, but Tom Collins, the narrator, remains oblivious to the end.

In short, Such Is Life 'reflects the preoccupations of [the 1890s]: contemporary capitalism, ardent Australian nationalism, the difficulties of pioneering pastoralism, and speculation about a future Australian civilization. It was instantly seen as a major example of the "radical nationalism" of the time and praised for its realistic representation of life on the frontier in the 1880s. But it was forty years before many readers realized that the novel was also a subtle comment on fiction itself and that within it were hidden stories that revealed a world of "romance" within its "realist" representation of life. Such Is Life can be read as the first experimental novel in Australian literature and the first Australian literary expression of a twentieth-century sensibility of the provisionality of life and reality.' (Julian Croft, 'Joseph Furphy.' in Dictionary of Literary Biography Vol. 230.)

Adaptations

y Such Is Life Gail Holst-Warhaft , West Melbourne : Nelson , 1979 Z1097550 1979 single work children's fiction children's
form y Child Lost on Goolumbulla Anson Cameron , Australia : 2013 Z1856578 2013 single work film/TV

Notes

  • Other formats: Also braille and sound recording.

Contents

* Contents derived from the Melbourne, Victoria,: Specialty Press , 1917 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
Preface to Second Edition, Vance Palmer , 1897 single work criticism (p. v-viii)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

      1897 .
      177579712244014729.jpg
      Link: Full text document AustLit Full Text
      (Manuscript) assertion
      Note/s:
      • Manuscript - Furphy delivered the 1,125 page manuscript of Such is Life to J. F. Archibald soon after making an enquiry about submission procedures. After inspecting the manuscript, the literary editor A. G. Stephens replied, suggesting that a shorter version would be necessary to be financially viable, and requesting a typed copy to enable closer inspection. Furphy took on the typing job himself, and, in the process of transferring text to the typescript, he discarded or recycled most of the manuscript. Only seventy pages of the manuscript have been preserved in Furphy's archives.

      Holdings

      Held at: Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW
      Location: ML MSS 364/66
      1898 .
      5955048444682209290.jpg
      Link: Full text document AustLit Full Text
      (Manuscript) assertion
      Note/s:
      • Typescript with author's revisions - Of the 654 typescript pages that Furphy delivered to A. G. Stephens in July 1898, 415 are preserved in Furphy's archives. Furphy completed the typescript version of Such is Life on 11 July 1898. Three years later, acting on A. G. Stephens' persistent requests for a shorter version to please the Bulletin managers, Furphy replaced the two longest chapters with shorter ones. Retyping a new clean copy, he also revised other chapters to match his new narrative scheme, delivering a second typescript (now lost) to A. G. Stephens on 18 October 1901.

      Holdings

      Held at: Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW
      Location: ML MSS 364/65

Works about this Work

y Such Is Life : The 1898 Typescript Roger Osborne , St Lucia : AustLit: The Australian Literature Resource , 2015 8663343 2015 single work essay
The Preciousness of Everything : The 2014 Brian Medlin Memorial Lecture Brian Matthews , 2015 single work criticism
— Appears in: Transnational Literature , November vol. 8 no. 1 2015;
'A Nation for a Continent' : Australian Literature and the Cartographic Imaginary of the Federation Era Robert Dixon , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: Antipodes , June vol. 28 no. 1 2014; (p. 141-154, 254)
'During the Federation era, the isomorphic association of literature, land, and nation found expression through the cartographic imaginary, a term that is meant to focus especially on the role of maps in shaping imagined geographies, but which also includes related media such as topographical engravings and photographic views. Contrary to Paul Giles's implication of an achieved "national period" in American literary history, however, Dixon argues that in Australia during the Federation era, the cartographic imaginary expressed an alignment of literature, land, and nation that was more wished for than achieved. He claims that the literature of the Federation period-in particular, the sketches and stories of Henry Lawson's While the Billy Boils (1896) and Joseph Furphy's novel Such is Life (1903)–reveals the uncertainties and the sense of incompletion that attend the cartographic imaginary.' (Publication abstract)
More ‘Ignorance-Shifting’ : Supplementary Annotations to the Second Annotated Edition of Joseph Furphy’s Such Is Life Peter Hayes , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , vol. 14 no. 3 2014;
Joseph Furphy : The Philosopher at the Foundry John Barnes , 2013 single work biography
— Appears in: JASAL , vol. 13 no. 1 2013;
'Double Line to the Terminus' : Marriage, Sex, Romance and Joseph Furphy Susan Lever , 2013 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , vol. 13 no. 1 2013;
'This article reads Furphy's fiction in the context of his own failed marriage. It notes Furphy's interest in sex and romance, and his insistence on a degree of sexual realism despite the inhibitions of Victorian decorum. Referring to some of the unstated elements in the story of Alf Morris and Molly Cooper and the more ludicrous treatments of sex in Such is Life, and the rape story in Rigby's Romance, the article argues that Furphy contributes to our understanding of sexual behaviour in nineteenth century Australia.' (Author's abstract)
The End of the Road : Joseph Furphy and Tom Collins in Western Australia Delys Bird , 2013 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , vol. 13 no. 1 2013;

'Joseph Furphy spent the last seven years of his life in and around Fremantle and the suburbs of Perth in WA. When he died suddenly, aged 69, his literary reputation was unknown there. In fact, his death went unremarked apart from a mean-spirited paragraph in the Bulletin; his occupation on his death certificate was recorded as ‘Mechanic’, and the only possession of value he left was his typewriter.

'During those WA years Furphy was increasingly isolated from the few literary contacts he had made while Such Is Life was being published, and even his correspondence with Kate Baker dwindled. Increasingly frustrated with the little time he had for writing, he described his harsh and often unrewarding daily life in a letter to his mother (August 1906): ‘I have deteriorated. The change in conditions of life, with irregular hours, have broken me off literary work; and I have become a grafter, pure and simple’. (364 Barnes)

'Yet decades after his almost anonymous death Joseph Furphy’s reputation was recovered in the name of Tom Collins in the West, where it is of lasting influence. I want to trace that history, together with some illustrations of Tom Collins House as it is known, which has been preserved as the home of the West Australian branch of the Fellowship of Australian Writers since 1949, and of the valuable collection of Australian paintings which make up part of the Tom Collins Bequest to the University of Western Australia.' (Author's abstract)

Furphy as (Metafictive) Aboriginal Ethnographer Frances Devlin-Glass , 2013 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , vol. 13 no. 1 2013;
'This paper investigates Furphy’s ethnographical writings on Aborigines in the short essays and paragraphs he wrote for the Bulletin and in one of his short stories. It also examines his representation of Toby, a part Aboriginal stockman in Such is Life, and concludes by examining one of the most difficult passages in a colonial era novel, his account of a Palmer River Aboriginal attack, cannibalism, and settler murder in The Buln-buln and the Brolga. These Aboriginal-focussed narratives are told as part of a suite of realistic tales by Barefooted Bob and Tom Collins, by way of counter-narrative to Fred Falkland Pritchard’s fantastical romance/action tales which belong to the ripping yarns/Boy’s Own tradition. The paper argues that, although the narrative method, in its refusal to editorialise, is uncharacteristically and unnervingly oblique, there is more than a little of Lilian Pritchard, the Lady Novelist, in Furphy himself and that the questions he puts into the mouth of the Lady Journalist about Aboriginal culture are probing and pungent.' (Author's abstract)
Reading the Three as One : Such is Life in 1897 Julian Croft , 2013 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , vol. 13 no. 1 2013;
'This paper is an attempt to read the original 1897 Such is Life from what remains in accessible printed form. It is argued that the 1897 version differs markedly from the 1903 version in three ways: location, argument, and the character of Tom Collins. The conclusion is that it was neither a ‘bush epic’ nor a ‘proto-modernist text’, but closer to a nineteenth-century urban comedy of manners.' (Author's abstract)
‘Making the Archives Talk' : Towards an Electronic Edition of Joseph Furphy’s Such is Life Roger Osborne , 2013 single work
— Appears in: JASAL , vol. 13 no. 1 2013;
'The first edition of Such is Life, published in 1903 by the Bulletin Publishing Company, was the last step in a protracted period of composition, revision, and correction that produced several legitimate versions that are visible among the fragments of extant manuscripts and typescripts. When Furphy died on 13 September 1912, the possibility of any further authorial changes to his published and unpublished work died with him. His death did not stop publishing initiatives abridging his works by commissioning editors to do the job, and it did not stop the loss of other unpublished material as family members dealt with the author’s papers in the best way they could. As recent theory has demonstrated, the compilation and interpretation of the archive is unavoidably subjective, and so the contingencies of historical and critical interpretation form a very unstable view of the past. It is the job of a scholarly editor to confront this instability and provide a representation of the work that is useful to future enquiry. In this article I describe one approach, among several legitimate options, that I believe is the best way to represent, for current and future readers of Australian literature, the complicated and fragmented condition of the work we know as Such is Life. Informed by recent arguments in editorial theory and inspired by the possibilities of delivery in digital formats, an electronic edition of Joseph Furphy’s Such is Life will provide greater access to the major elements of extant archival record, and provide an environment where readers can contribute to the edition with annotations and commentary. Unlike the closed format of print-based alternatives, the electronic edition will remain open to critique, correction and debate, providing an environment that better accommodates the contingencies of archival preservation and historical interpretation.' (Author's abstract)
One Week in Each Opening' : Furphy and the Use of the Diary Form Susan K. Martin , 2013 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , vol. 13 no. 1 2013;

'This paper discusses the uses and implications of the diary form in Such is Life considering the historical development of the diary across the nineteenth century, with particular reference to the Letts company. It considers the gender and imperial associations of the nineteenth-century diary and the temporal and spatial constraints imposed by the diary form and potentially used and parodied by Furphy in his selection of this format for the novel.' (Author's abstract)

Interspecies Mateship : Tom Collins and Pup Damien Barlow , 2013 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , vol. 13 no. 1 2013;

'This essay examines the representation of dogs, especially Pup in the novels of Joseph Furphy.' (Author's abstract)

'Riverina Rasped the Scales From My Eyes’ : Riverina Politics in Furphy’s Such is Life Susan Lever , 2013 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , vol. 13 no. 1 2013;
'Joseph Furphy admitted that his politics changed radically after ‘the usages of Riverina rasped the scales from my eyes’. This article argues that the political importance of Such is Life is its observation of the conditions in the Riverina that led to Furphy’s political shift; it is based on practical experience rather than the more theoretical politics of Rigby’s Romance. The novel is set in the years before the 1884 Land Act divided Riverina squatting runs in half, and a series of droughts and depressions ended the Golden Age of Squatting. The main political issue in Such is Life—the alienation of the land by a privileged few—reflects the concerns of European migrants who saw land as the source of individual wealth and equality but Furphy’s treatment of the various squatters in the novel, and his sympathy for some of them, suggests that their individual morality can do little to change an unjust system. The paper argues that Such is Life marks a political transition not only for Furphy, but for Australian democrats, from the liberal belief that small landholdings under individual ownership would be the source of justice to a more socialist commitment to communal action.'
‘The Secret of England’s Greatness’ : A Note on the Anti-Imperialism of Such is Life John Barnes , 2013 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , vol. 13 no. 1 2013;

'The article traces the phrase 'Secret of England's Greatness' through its currency in nineteenth-century British culture, including the title of the painting of Queen Victoria by Thomas Jones Barker (1863), and other references, to argue that it was a commonplace in Joseph Furphy's time. The paper traces Furphy's critique of British imperialism in the novel.' (Author's abstract)

Finding Furphy Country: Such Is Life and Literary Tourism Brigid Magner , 2013 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , vol. 13 no. 1 2013;

'Joseph Furphy, considered to be "the father of the Australian novel" is best known for Such is Life which remains a classic that “nobody reads and even fewer comprehend”. In recent times, there has been a resurgence of interest in Furphy, as evidenced by the range of celebratory activities now associated with him. Fans may visit both “real” and “imaginary” geographies in their search for connection with Furphy’s legend. This paper will consider a range of sites within the nascent Furphy heritage industry, arguing that they offer tourists opportunities to emotionally re-engage with Australia’s frontier past.' (Author's abstract)

Centaurs, Bushmen and Fictitious Regnal Years : Serendipity in Annotating Furphy Frances Devlin-Glass , 2013 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , vol. 13 no. 1 2013;
Excavating the Borders of Literary Anglo-Saxonism in Nineteenth-Century Britain and Australia Chris Jones , Louise D'Arcens , 2013 single work criticism
— Appears in: Representations , Winter vol. 121 no. 1 2013; (p. 85-106)

'Comparing nineteenth-century British and Australian Anglo-Saxonist literature enables a “decentered” exploration of Anglo-Saxonism’s intersections with national, imperial, and colonial discourses, challenging assumptions that this discourse was an uncritical vehicle of English nationalism and British manifest destiny. Far from reflecting a stable imperial center, evocations of “ancient Englishness” in British literature were polyvalent and self-contesting, while in Australian literature they offered a response to colonization and emerging knowledge about the vast age of Indigenous Australian cultures.' (Authors abstract)

When Earth Cries Out : Telling Workers' Struggles Stephen Knight , 2013 single work criticism
— Appears in: Telling Stories : Australian Life and Literature 1935–2012 2013; (p. 133-138)
In Furphy's Footsteps Susan Lever , 2012 single work column
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 21 April 2012; (p. 23)
Such is Life in Beijing Peter Mares , 2012 single work diary
— Appears in: Griffith Review , Winter no. 36 2012; (p. 203-216)
Untitled 1918 single work review
— Appears in: Birth : A Little Journal of Australian Poetry , April 1918; (p. 3)

— Review of Such Is Life : Being Certain Extracts from the Diary of Tom Collins Tom Collins 1897 single work novel
The review praises Palmer's introduction to Such Is Life.
Untitled 1937 single work review
— Appears in: The Times Literary Supplement , 24 April 1937; (p. 306)

— Review of Such Is Life : Being Certain Extracts from the Diary of Tom Collins Tom Collins 1897 single work novel
'Such Is Life' Nettie Palmer , 1928 single work review
— Appears in: The Brisbane Courier , 7 July 1928; (p. 23)

— Review of Such Is Life : Being Certain Extracts from the Diary of Tom Collins Tom Collins 1897 single work novel
Twelve Australian Books That Should Be in Every Australian Home Mary Gilmore , George Mackaness , Frederick T. Macartney , 1937 single work review
— Appears in: All About Books , 10 November vol. 9 no. 11 1937; (p. 172)

— Review of The Singing Gold Dorothy Cottrell 1927 single work novel ; Landtakers : The Story of an Epoch Brian Penton 1934 single work novel ; Confessions of a Beachcomber E. J. Banfield 1908 extract autobiography ; The Sentimental Bloke : The Play C. J. Dennis 1914 single work poetry ; Songs of a Campaign Leon Gellert 1917 selected work poetry ; Heart of Spring John Shaw Neilson 1919 selected work poetry ; Satyrs and Sunlight : Being the Collected Poetry of Hugh McCrae Hugh McCrae 1928 selected work poetry ; His Natural Life Marcus Clarke 1870-1872 single work novel ; The Pearl and the Octopus, and Other Exercises in Prose and Verse Alfred George Stephens 1911 selected work short story poetry ; Such Is Life : Being Certain Extracts from the Diary of Tom Collins Tom Collins 1897 single work novel ; Flynn of the Inland Ion L. Idriess 1932 single work biography ; The Fortunes of Richard Mahony Henry Handel Richardson 1917 single work novel ; Man-Shy Frank Dalby Davison 1934 extract novel ; We of the Never-Never Mrs Aeneas Gunn 1908 single work novel ; Speaking Personally Walter Murdoch 1930 selected work essay ; Best Australian One-Act Plays 1937 anthology drama ; The Wide Brown Land : A New Anthology of Australian Verse 1934 anthology poetry ; The Magic Pudding Second Slice : Being the Adventures of Bunyip Bluegum and His Friends Bill Barnacle and Sam Sawnoff Norman Lindsay 1971 extract children's fiction ; Separate Lives Vance Palmer 1931 selected work short story ; Modern Australian Literature, 1900-1923 Nettie Palmer 1924 single work criticism
Untitled 1936 single work review
— Appears in: The North Queensland Register , 7 November 1936; (p. 97)

— Review of Such Is Life : Being Certain Extracts from the Diary of Tom Collins Tom Collins 1897 single work novel
Tom Collins' Such Is Life 1937 single work review
— Appears in: All About Books , 15 July vol. 9 no. 7 1937; (p. 108-109)

— Review of Such Is Life : Being Certain Extracts from the Diary of Tom Collins Tom Collins 1897 single work novel
Joseph Furphy Again Frederick T. Macartney , 1918 single work review
— Appears in: Fellowship , January vol. 4 no. 4 1918; (p. 76-77)

— Review of Such Is Life : Being Certain Extracts from the Diary of Tom Collins Tom Collins 1897 single work novel
Untitled Vance Palmer , 1957 single work review
— Appears in: Meanjin , Autumn vol. 16 no. 1 1957; (p. 90-91)

— Review of My Crowded Solitude Jack McLaren 1926 single work autobiography ; Coonardoo : The Well in the Shadow Katharine Susannah Prichard 1928 single work novel ; Working Bullocks Katharine Susannah Prichard 1926 single work novel ; Capricornia : A Novel Xavier Herbert 1938 single work novel ; Such Is Life : Being Certain Extracts from the Diary of Tom Collins Tom Collins 1897 single work novel
Untitled Julian Croft , 1992 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Literary Studies , May vol. 15 no. 3 1992; (p. 235-238)

— Review of Kenneth Slessor : A Biography Geoffrey Dutton 1991 single work biography ; Such Is Life : Being Certain Extracts from the Diary of Tom Collins Tom Collins 1897 single work novel
New Novels 1903 single work review
— Appears in: The Australasian , 29 August vol. 75 no. 1952 1903;

— Review of Such Is Life : Being Certain Extracts from the Diary of Tom Collins Tom Collins 1897 single work novel
Bookfellows Mixture Alfred George Stephens , 1903 single work review
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 9 July vol. 24 no. 1221 1903; (p. 2)

— Review of Such Is Life : Being Certain Extracts from the Diary of Tom Collins Tom Collins 1897 single work novel
Untitled 1903 single work review
— Appears in: The Evening News , 8 August 1903;

— Review of Such Is Life : Being Certain Extracts from the Diary of Tom Collins Tom Collins 1897 single work novel
Untitled 1903 single work review
— Appears in: Manchester Guardian , 29 October 1903;

— Review of Such Is Life : Being Certain Extracts from the Diary of Tom Collins Tom Collins 1897 single work novel
Untitled 1903 single work review
— Appears in: The Argus , 26 August 1903;

— Review of Such Is Life : Being Certain Extracts from the Diary of Tom Collins Tom Collins 1897 single work novel
Untitled 1903 single work review
— Appears in: Shepparton Advertiser , 18 August 1903;

— Review of Such Is Life : Being Certain Extracts from the Diary of Tom Collins Tom Collins 1897 single work novel
Untitled 1903 single work review
— Appears in: Shepparton News , 21 August 1903;

— Review of Such Is Life : Being Certain Extracts from the Diary of Tom Collins Tom Collins 1897 single work novel
Untitled 1903 single work review
— Appears in: The Worker [Sydney] , 24 October 1903;

— Review of Such Is Life : Being Certain Extracts from the Diary of Tom Collins Tom Collins 1897 single work novel
Untitled 1903 single work review
— Appears in: The Capricornian , 29 August 1903; (p. 14)

— Review of Such Is Life : Being Certain Extracts from the Diary of Tom Collins Tom Collins 1897 single work novel
Untitled 1903 single work review
— Appears in: The Leader , 22 August 1903;

— Review of Such Is Life : Being Certain Extracts from the Diary of Tom Collins Tom Collins 1897 single work novel
Untitled 1903 single work review
— Appears in: The Melbourne Herald , 21 October 1903;

— Review of Such Is Life : Being Certain Extracts from the Diary of Tom Collins Tom Collins 1897 single work novel
Naked Truths and "Long Involved Lies" : Nationality and Belonging in Such Is Life Stephen Cowden , 1999 single work criticism
— Appears in: A Fringe of Papers : Offshore Perspectives on Australian History and Literature 1999; (p. 63-72)
"This essay considers whether Homi Bhaba's notion of 'Mimicry' sheds any light on the discourse of Nation in Furphy's Such Is Life, or on what postcoloniality might mean in an Australian context" (63).
New Issues, Old Issues : The Australian Tradition Revisited John McLaren , 2003 single work criticism
— Appears in: Overland , Autumn no. 170 2003; (p. 49-56)

McLaren discusses a number of Australian novels (all recently re-issued) which have been central to developing the way in which Australians and foreigners think about white society in this continent. He distinguishes several trends and traditions in describing and characterising Australia's social and political system. Whereas Clarke and Richardson present Australia as a prison, Palmer and Waten present it as a land offering the promise of freedom. Furphy, on the other hand, is seen as a writer 'who shows us a country seeming to offer plentitude but finally withholding its promise' (54).

McLaren concludes that the 'past expressed in these fictions variously produced values of solidarity, egalitarianism, harmony with the land, but their values remain circumscribed by fear of the powerless and the dispossessed, by the arrogance of the powerful, and by distrust of the outsider. Our future will be secure only as we accept continuity with the past, enter into dialogue with the differences of the present, and accept a common responsibility towards the land that supports us' (56).

Of Bullocks and Bulldust John Sendy , 2003 single work criticism
— Appears in: Eureka Street , July-August vol. 13 no. 6 2003; (p. 50-52)
Celebrating the Original Larrikin Michael McGirr , 2003 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 26-27 July 2003; (p. 6) The Age , 26 July 2003; (p. 2)
McGirr reassesses Joseph Furphy's Such is Life in the centenary year of its publication.
Un/making Sexuality: Such Is Life and the Observant Queer Reader Damien Barlow , 2003 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Literary Studies , October vol. 21 no. 2 2003; (p. 166-177)

'I want to propose that the incertitudes of Furphy's magnum opus provide the observant queer reader with an arousing focus on the late-nineteenth-century making of "sexuality" as a new regulatory system of sexual organisation. In advocating an engagement between Such is Life and queer theory, I want to ask, how does Furphy represent sexuality in Such is Life? and what is the analytical purchase provided by a queer reading of the text?'

Colonialism, Nationalism, Modernism Stephen Cowden , 2003 single work criticism
— Appears in: Kunapipi , vol. 25 no. 2 2003; (p. 144-158)
Instead of seeing Such is Life in the traditional terms of a celebratory nationalist narrative, Stephen Cowden seeks to locate it within the historical social conflicts of its time. As these issues are still very much alive today, he believes that a re-reading of the novel in this sense assist a greater understanding of the social contours through which Australian identity has been developed.
Untitled Vance Palmer , 1918 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 28 February vol. 39 no. 1985 1918; (p. 2)

Palmer replies to criticism of his preface to Such is Life. The preface had been criticised in a review in The Bulletin, 31 January 1918.

One of the Free Spirits : Joseph Furphy, his Life and Work Justina Williams , 1973 single work criticism
— Appears in: Tom Collins and His House 1973; (p. 15-36)
Untitled E. C. Davidson , 1922 single work correspondence
— Appears in: Corroboree : The Journal of the Australian Literature Society , February vol. 1 no. 5 1922; (p. 4)
'The Slaughterman of Wagga Wagga' : Imposture, National Identity, and the Tichborne Affair Carrie Dawson , 2004 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Literary Studies , October vol. 21 no. 4 2004; (p. 1-13)
'Half Bushman - Half Bookworm' - Furphy, Collins and Literary Culture in Victoria Ken A. Stewart , Julian Croft , 1988 single work criticism
— Appears in: Notes & Furphies , April no. 20 1988; (p. 1-2)
New Generation Finds Joseph Furphy is More Than a Simple Spinner of Bush Yarns Jane Sullivan , 2005 single work column
— Appears in: The Age , 12 March 2005; (p. 11)
ReturnFrom Enchantment: A Plea For the Blue Bird on Our Door Step Victor Kennedy , 1939 single work criticism
— Appears in: Venture: Jindyworobak Quarterly Pamphlet , July vol. 1 no. 2 1939; (p. 4-6)
Kennedy cautions against building a national literature on escapism.
The Henry Lawson Memorial and Literary Society of Footscray [Meeting Report] J. C. Davies , 1931 single work column
— Appears in: All About Books , 13 October vol. 3 no. 10 1931; (p. 206)
U.S.A. Reading Australians C. Hartley Grattan , 1947 single work extract
— Appears in: The Australasian Book News and Literary Journal , August vol. 2 no. 2 1947; (p. 71)
y Australia: Human & Economic A. W. Jose , London Bombay Sydney : Harrap , 1932 Z1291638 1932 single work criticism
Twelve Australian Books That Should Be in Every Home Charles R. Long , 1938 single work criticism
— Appears in: All About Books , 15 January vol. 10 no. 1 1938; (p. 9)
The books on Long's list are 'selected mainly with an eye to their educational value'.
My Life as a Book Robert Holden , 2005 single work criticism
— Appears in: Crackpots, Ratbags and Rebels : A Swag of Aussie Eccentrics 2005; (p. 195-209)
Holden looks at a selection of Australian eccentrics who have inspired literary characterisation.
'Us Circling Round and Round' : The Track of Narrative and the Ghosts of Lost Children in Such is Life Susan K. Martin , 2007 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , Special Issue 2007; (p. 77-93)
Martin argues that: 'Central to any understanding of the [Such Is Life] narrative is the sequence of lost child stories told in chapter five. These stories not only relate multi-level tales of tracking lost children, but also trace a plot and follow a narrative trail that emphasises the method of reading and hearing; of how meaning is made and recognised and delivered; of reader and writer following the same trail. The three tales rehearse the frustrations and failures of both narrative and tracking. They play with the possible sequences of romantic and realist narrative, and something else. They also function as a kind of map of the novel as a whole.' (p.79)
'Such is Life, My Fellow Mummers' : The Seditious Joseph Furphy Veronica Brady , 2006 single work criticism
— Appears in: Southerly , vol. 66 no. 3 2006; (p. 27-36)
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