y Landscape of Farewell single work   novel  
Issue Details: First known date: 2007 2007
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Landscape of Farewell ... is the story of Max Otto, an elderly German academic. After the death of his much-loved wife and his recognition that he will never write the great study of history that was to be his life's crowning work, Max believes his life is all but over. Everything changes, though, when his valedictory lecture is challenged by Professor Vita McLelland, a feisty young Australian Aboriginal academic visiting Germany. Their meeting and growing friendship sets Max on a journey that would have seemed unthinkable just a few short weeks earlier.

'When, at Vita's invitation, Max travels to Australia, he forms a deep friendship with her uncle, Aboriginal elder Dougald Gnapun. It is a friendship that not only gives new meaning and purpose to Max, but which teaches him the profound importance of truth-telling in reconciliation with his own and his country's past.' (Publisher's blurb)

Notes

  • Dedication: For Stephanie & for my friend Frank Budby, elder of the Barada.
  • Epigraph: From where rises the high tide of desire, of expectation, of an obsession with sheer being defiant of pain, of the treadmill of enslavement and injustice, of the massacres that are history? - George Steiner.
  • According to Corrie Perkin (Weekend Australian, 16-17 February 2008) the character of Professor Vita McLelland is based on Dr Anita Heiss (q.v.) whom Miller met in Hamburg during a conference on Indigenous literature.
  • Other formats: Also sound recording; braille

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Crows Nest, North Sydney - Lane Cove area, Sydney Northern Suburbs, Sydney, New South Wales,: Allen and Unwin , 2007 .
      Extent: 279p.
      Note/s:
      • Includes Acknowledgments p.276-279.
      ISBN: 9781741750898 (pbk.), 9781741753752 (hbk)
Alternative title: Bie le, na dao feng jing
Language: Chinese

Works about this Work

Narrating Historical Massacre : Alex Miller’s 'Landscape of Farewell' Maggie Nolan , 2016 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , vol. 16 no. 1 2016;

'This article scrutinises Alex Miller’s Landscape of Farewell (2007) through the lens of massacre. It explores the troubling implications of the novel’s sustained analogy between the generational effects for Indigenous Australian perpetrators of a massacre and the children of Nazis, and questions the novel’s capacity to contribute to reconciliation, in spite of drawing upon many of reconciliation’s key tropes. Drawing on the insights of comparative Holocaust studies, this article unpacks the novel’s representation of massacre and genocide, and the subtle comparison between Indigenous belonging to country and Nazi attachment to national space. Finally, through the work of Dominick LaCapra, it scrutinises the obfuscatory representation of the perpetrator, and the novel’s seeming projection of a form of perpetrator guilt onto the Indigenous subject.' (Publication abstract)

y White Apology and Apologia : Australian Novels of Reconciliation Liliana Zavaglia , Amherst : Cambria Press , 2016 10291354 2016 multi chapter work criticism

'This book takes as its subject a body of recent fiction by white liberal writers produced in the wake of the profound cultural, political and legal transformations that have taken place in the field of Indigenous rights since the 1990s. Two milestones of this period are the High Court of Australia’s Mabo ruling on June 3, 1992, and the Rudd Labor Government’s national Apology to Australia’s Indigenous Peoples on February 13, 2008. The novels explored in this study are Alex Miller’s Journey to the Stone Country (2002) and Landscape of Farewell (2007), Andrew McGahan’s The White Earth (2004), Kate Grenville’s The Secret River (2005) and Gail Jones’ Sorry (2007). Each of these novels was written in the period between 2002 and 2007. These were the years when the Indigenous rights and reconciliation movements had all but disappeared from the national political agenda through the interventions of the Howard Liberal Government. These works attempted to counter these silences as acts of literary activism, which strived to reignite the politically stalled processes of reconciliation. Through the medium of fiction, they kept Indigenous justice issues before the reading public, provoking discussion and stirring debate.

'White Apology and Apologia engages in close readings of the Mabo ruling, the national Apology and this body of fiction as a form of cultural history, which reflects important aspects of black/white relations in the past twenty-five years. Together, these legal, political and literary texts reveal a tension that arguably came to define this period. This tension fluctuates between a reconciliatory impulse of sorrow for Indigenous loss and the defensive desire to offer exits for white culture from the ongoing demands of a violent settlement history. Taking shape as twinned register of white longing, this conflicted cultural drive is the focus of this study.

'Each of these novels has had a significant reception and impact. All were shortlisted by the Miles Franklin Award with two taking out the coveted prize. While much critical attention has been given to their fictional explorations of reconciliation and the colonial past, this is the first study to focus on the novels as a collection of cultural artefacts from a brief but remarkable time in Australia’s recent history. In their attempts to explore Indigenous loss and dispossession, the novels can be seen as complex literary engagements with issues of the greatest moment in the contemporary public sphere. Together, they provide a significant snapshot of an ambivalent postcolonial culture in flux.

'Through an exploration of these important documents and texts of reconciliation, this study is able to offer symptomatic close readings of Australian liberal whiteness in the process of coming to terms with its troubling history. Providing new insights into how legal, historical, political, and literary discourses can influence each other in the quest for justice, White Apology and Apologia attempts to understand the relation between Australian literature and the culture that produced it. In the process it reveals the riven state of Australian postcolonial whiteness itself, which has been transformed by the legal, political and cultural shifts of the 1990s, yet which paradoxically resists its own deconstructions even as it longs for the dismantling of its own hegemony. The double movement of apology and apologia explored in this timely and important study is a startling reminder of the unresolved nature of the traumatized colonial legacy bequeathed to Australian settler culture by its history, and which continues to accompany white liberal discourse in its quest to heal its relations with the other.

'White Apology and Apologia is an important book for Australian literary and cultural studies collections.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

Listening to Alex Miller's Soundscapes Joseph Cummins , 2013 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , vol. 13 no. 2 2013;
'Australian novelist Alex Miller’s two novels, Journey to the Stone Country (2002) and Landscape of Farewell (2007), present journeys into a web of interconnected northern Queensland landscapes. Sound is a vital aspect of these landscapes. Listening to the sounds and silences of these novels opens up imaginative, post-colonial geographies, Australian landscapes that exceed the horizons of colonial vision. This paper deploys a critical listening practice that seeks to listen to how Miller’s soundscapes construct the relations that resonate between his characters, and between the characters and the sonic landscape. Listening to the central relationships of the two novels, I argue that these relationships unfold within the resonance of the sounds and silences of Miller’s landscapes. His characters are located in a soundscape that extends the dimensions of the visual landscape: through sound and listening the human/human and human/landscape relations in the novels exceed the spatiality and temporality that has traditionally, silently, produced the self/other structure of colonial mastery.' (Author's abstract)
Disestablished Worlds : An Introduction to the Novels of Alex Miller Robert Dixon , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Novels of Alex Miller : An Introduction 2012; (p. 1-28)
The Mask of Fiction : A Memoir Alex Miller , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Novels of Alex Miller : An Introduction 2012; (p. 29-41)
'I've been asked for a memoir for this occasion yet I am uncomfortable writing directly about myself. I prefer the mask of fiction. In this preference it is self-deception I fear most, for who but the self-deceived would claim to be able to write with moral detachment about themselves? I am also cautious of the fate of WB Yeats, the poet, of whom Richard Ellmann wrote, 'The autobiographical muse enticed him only to betray him, abandoning him to ultimate perplexity as to the meaning of his experiences' (Yeats, 2). Memoir does not offer us a sure means for contacting the deeper dualities of the self. For his journey to the heart of darkness, fiction is a more certain, if more oblique , way.' (Author's introduction)
Alex Miller and Leo Tolstoy : Australian Storytelling in a European Tradition Brenda Walker , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Novels of Alex Miller : An Introduction 2012; (p. 42-54)
'Alex Miller may be Australia's greatest living writer. I certainly believe this to be the case. I base my view on the depth and range of his narrative preoccupations. He writes about love but his lovers often come from very different cultural backgrounds, and this illuminates what is foundational in love while respecting diversity in the most intimate of human connections. He writes with scrupulousness about the human complications of invasion, massacre and armed conflict. The American novelist Philip Roth writes that art is concerned with nuance, and politics cannot afford nuance (I Married a Communist, 223). Nuance is the most welcome and apparent characteristic of Miller understanding of the politics of territorial dispossession. He writes, also, about art and literature as cultural forces and as imperatives within the lives of individuals. In all his fiction, he is both a great writer and a great thinker. This chapter offers a much more brief appreciation of his work and thought then I would wish, more brief than it deserves. In it, I plan to consider Alex Miller and Tolstoy: both great writers, both great thinkers, especially on matters of love and war.' (Author's introduction 42)
The Presence of Absence in The Sitters Ronald A. Sharp , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Novels of Alex Miller : An Introduction 2012; (p. 78-88)
'In the second paragraph of Alex Miller's The Sitters (1995) the narrator informs us that his memory of Jessica Keal allows him 'to approach the last enigma of my life - my family and my childhood. That cold legacy of silence and absence' (2). Bernadette Brennan's fine essay on The Sitters, in the context of Maurice Blanchot's meditations on death, notes that the narrator never explains 'why his experience with Jessica has given him the energy to begin painting...his childhood' (104). That it does so is indisputable, and Peter Pierce points us in the right direction, in his article on 'The Solitariness of Alex Miller', when he observes that Jessica functions as 'a Wordsworthian trigger to recover past 'spots of time'' (305). The connection between the frame of the entire narrative - and I use the word 'frame' not only to indicate a narrative frame but also in the sense of a picture frame, since this is a novel that foregrounds the connections between literary and visual art, between a novelist creating a character and a painter creating a portrait.' (Author's introduction 78)
Continental Heartlands and Alex Miller’s Geosophical Imaginary Elizabeth McMahon , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Novels of Alex Miller : An Introduction 2012; (p. 125-138)
This chapter examines 'how the alignment between geography and subjectivity operates in four of Miller's novels to identify his refiguration of the inherited map of modern identities.' (125)
McMahon focuses on The Ancestor Game (1992), Conditions of Faith (2000), Journey to the Stone Country (2002) and Landscape of Farewell (2007).
The Frontier Wars : History and Fiction in Journey to the Stone Country and Landscape of Farewell Shirley Walker , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Novels of Alex Miller : An Introduction 2012; (p. 156-169)
'There are some stories that must be told lest 'none be left to think of them and shed a tear' (Miller, Landscape, 12). The stories Alex Miller is concerned with in Journey to the Stone Country (2002) and Landscape of Farewell (2007) are those of the Aboriginal massacres which accompanied the invasion of Australia. But he also remind us, in Landscape of Farewell, of all such episodes of mass murder, including the Holocaust, but going back through history to the Trojan Wars and beyond. (Author's introduction 156)
Dougald's Goat : Alex Miller and the Species Barrier David Brooks , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Novels of Alex Miller : An Introduction 2012; (p. 187-200)
'I would like to open with a proposition, a theory if you like, that, in a great many narratives , there is a place, a site, where they confess, or at least pay some acknowledgement to, the stories they have not followed in order to follow the story that they have. Their roadkil, one might facetiously term it, their rejectamenta, their abject. And it is not just stories, it is concepts as well, even or perhaps especially ethical positions: places, sites, where they acknowledge all that has had to be set aside in order for those stories, concepts and ethical positions to come to be. I do not say that they in any way specify or itemise them, or that this acknowledgement is anything but the vaguest symbolisation - indeed, it is so much a matter of the subconscious that it is hard to see how it could be - although in some cases they can take a pronounced and almost indisputable form. In one of the bold philosophical projects of which I sometimes dream, I would in fact go further and attempt to demonstrate a collateral premise that much of our human ethics are based upon a separation from and rejection - abjection is a better term, since this is a matter of our identity and what we do to shore it - of the animal, and that the animal therefore always haunts, unacknowledged, our ethical reflections. Miller's texts, I suggest, are ethical reflections, and so are haunted in this way.' (Author's introduction 187)
The Ruin of Time and the Temporality of Belonging : Journey to the Stone Country and Landscape of Farewell Brigid Rooney , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Novels of Alex Miller : An Introduction 2012; (p. 201-216)
'At first glance, Landscape of Farewell (2007) appears a simpler, more streamlined story than its predecessor, Journey to the Stone Country (2002). In the first person, Max Otto, a widowed German professor specialising in the history of massacres, tells of his journey to Mount Nebo in Central Queensland, a journey precipitated by his encounter with visiting Aboriginal Australian academic Vita McLelland. His journey is conducted in the context of his not yet assuaged grief for his wife, and of his haunted suspicions about his father's complicity in the horrors of wartime Germany. Peter Pierce (2004) has identified some of Miller's enduring preoccupations: 'solitariness', 'artful evocations of the visceral', tensions between ancestry, freedom and exile, and the indeterminacy of memory. While many of these recur in Landscape, I focus in this paper on how the theme of time is exercised in this novel, with its spare but concentrated prose and apparently straightforward narration. How does Landscape of Farewell draw us inwards as well as onwards, into an intricately nested set of temporalities that speak to selfhood, truth and reparation, to cross-cultural translation, to mortality and relinquishment, and to the intractable terrain of moral debate about the past? What does Miller's mode of narration bring to familiar questions, in Australian culture, of place and belonging?' (Source: http://sydney.edu.au/arts/australian_literature/images/content/conferences/miller_abstracts2.pdf)
Trusting the Words : Reflections on Landscape of Farewell Raimond Gaita , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Novels of Alex Miller : An Introduction 2012; (p. 217-230)
'I'm not a literary critic so I won't comment in any detail on what strikes me as very fine writing - some of Miller's best, perhaps. I will discuss instead what I believe to be his great moral achievement in Landscape: to have brought together in the one book dramatic, fictional, meditation on an aboriginal massacre of whites and aspects of the Holocaust, each illuminating the other, but without doing anything that could properly be called 'comparing' them, or 'weighing the gravity' of one against the other. To do that requires, of course, great moral tact, but also much more.' (Source: http://sydney.edu.au/arts/australian_literature/images/content/conferences/miller_abstracts2.pdf)
Australian Transnation Bill Ashcroft , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Southerly , vol. 71 no. 1 2011; (p. 18-40)
'The world is more mobile than it has ever been and in many different fields, most notably literary studies, it has led to a growing, and now well established interest in cultural and ethnic mobility, diaspora, transnational and cosmopolitan interactions. This rise in global mobility at the same time as state borders have become more hysterically protected, has interested post-colonial cultural critics for some time. The concept of the nation, or at least the nation state, has often been robustly critiqued because the post-colonial nation is marked by disappointment, instituted on the boundaries of the colonial state and doomed to continue its oppressive functions. Almost universally the nation is contrasted with "the transnational" and the global movement of peoples. It is held to be a fixed entity, a pole of attraction or repulsion orienting transnational relationships at state level. But if we distinguish the nation from the state we discover that mobility and border crossing are already features of the phenomenon we call nation.' (Author's introduction)
y Literary Migrations : White, English-Speaking Migrant Writers in Australia Ingeborg van Teeseling , Wollongong : 2011 Z1860612 2011 single work thesis 'In this thesis, I am arguing that [a] false core/periphery binary has made a particular group of migrants ,-those who are white and have migrated from English-speaking countries - invisible - invisible as migrants, that is. For the writers within this group, this leads to a critical blindness in relation to their work and place within Australian national literature. As a critic, however, I look at the work of Ruth Park, Alex Miller and John Mateer and see it is profoundly influenced by their migrant experience. More often than not they write about themes that are typical of migrant writing: alienation, identity, belonging, home, being in-between cultures, history. For a more appropriate, complete appreciation of their work, this thesis argues that it is imperative to go back to the beginning and return the 'default setting' of migrant to its literal meaning.' [From the author's abstract]
y Literary Migrations : White, English-Speaking Migrant Writers in Australia Ingeborg van Teeseling , Wollongong : 2011 Z1860612 2011 single work thesis 'In this thesis, I am arguing that [a] false core/periphery binary has made a particular group of migrants ,-those who are white and have migrated from English-speaking countries - invisible - invisible as migrants, that is. For the writers within this group, this leads to a critical blindness in relation to their work and place within Australian national literature. As a critic, however, I look at the work of Ruth Park, Alex Miller and John Mateer and see it is profoundly influenced by their migrant experience. More often than not they write about themes that are typical of migrant writing: alienation, identity, belonging, home, being in-between cultures, history. For a more appropriate, complete appreciation of their work, this thesis argues that it is imperative to go back to the beginning and return the 'default setting' of migrant to its literal meaning.' [From the author's abstract]
'I Dreamed of Snow Today' : Impediments to Settler Belonging in Northern Queensland as Depicted in a Selection of Recent Fiction Jacqueline Stockdale , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Etropic : Electronic Journal of Studies in the Tropics , no. 9 2010;
'In 2001, Geoffrey Blainey argued that "a high proportion" of non-Indigenous Australians have developed a sense of place, "of feeling at home" in their country, that "has in part been created or manufactured". Though historians have contributed to this, he says, "Painters and writers have done most to create it" as "They tried to provide a sense of belonging, and a sense of continuity and history" (Boyer Lecture n. pag.). Several recent Australian novels - each with some historical basis - are set in Queensland's north and offer contemporary perceptions of the area's history from settlement to the end of the twentieth century. Published the year after the Mabo Decision, and Prime Minister Paul Keating's "Redfern Speech", David Malouf's 1993 novel, Remembering Babylon, is a fitting point to commence exploring depictions of settler society's relations to northern Queensland. Three other novels included in this study are Alex Miller's Journey to the Stone Country (2003), and Landscape of Farewell (2007), along with Gordon Smith's Dalrymple (2006). In these stories northern settlers struggle to cope - physically, psychologically and emotionally. The difficulties for settlers in developing an attachment to north Queensland, and their sometimes extreme responses, illustrate the powerful interaction between place, belonging and identity. '
Journey of Self-Salvation of Soul : Interpretation of Alex Miller's 'Landscape of Farewell' Yun-qiu Liu , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Journal of Xihua University , October vol. 29 no. 5 2010; (p. 115-119)

'In the context of postcolonialism, this paper applies neo-historicism to interpret the human spiritual salvation and introspection beyond "the landscape of massacre.'

Source: Abstract translated into English.

Frontier Violence and the Power of the 'Sacred' : Alex Miller's Journey to the Stone Country and Landscape of Farewell Rebecca Dorgelo , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Frontier Skirmishes : Literary and Cultural Debates in Australia after 1992 2010; (p. 129-140)
y Witnessing Australian Stories : History, Testimony and Memory in Contemporary Culture Kelly Jean Butler , Melbourne : 2010 6037495 2010 single work thesis

'This book is about how Australians have responded to stories about suffering and injustice in Australia, presented in a range of public media, including literature, history, films, and television. Those who have responded are both ordinary and prominent Australians–politicians, writers, and scholars. All have sought to come to terms with Australia's history by responding empathetically to stories of its marginalized citizens.

'Drawing upon international scholarship on collective memory, public history, testimony, and witnessing, this book represents a cultural history of contemporary Australia. It examines the forms of witnessing that dominated Australian public culture at the turn of the millennium. Since the late 1980s, witnessing has developed in Australia in response to the increasingly audible voices of indigenous peoples, migrants, and more recently, asylum seekers. As these voices became public, they posed a challenge not only to scholars and politicians, but also, most importantly, to ordinary citizens.

'When former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd delivered his historic apology to Australia's indigenous peoples in February 2008, he performed an act of collective witnessing that affirmed the testimony and experiences of Aboriginal Australians. The phenomenon of witnessing became crucial, not only to the recognition and reparation of past injustices, but to efforts to create a more cosmopolitan Australia in the present. This is a vital addition to Transactions critically acclaimed Memory and Narrative series.' (Publisher's blurb)

Chinese Honour for Aussie Writer 2009 single work column
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 17 - 18 January 2009; (p. 34)
Untitled Graeme Moore , 2007 single work review
— Appears in: Bookseller + Publisher Magazine , September vol. 87 no. 3 2007; (p. 37)

— Review of Landscape of Farewell Alex Miller 2007 single work novel
Twilight Zones Don Anderson , 2007 single work review
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 6 November vol. 125 no. 6594 2007; (p. 62)

— Review of The Memory Room Christopher Koch 2007 single work novel ; Landscape of Farewell Alex Miller 2007 single work novel
Lessons from the Past Katharine England , 2007 single work review
— Appears in: The Advertiser , 3 November 2007; (p. 12)

— Review of Landscape of Farewell Alex Miller 2007 single work novel
Shadows That Cross Our Souls Hilary McPhee , 2007 single work review
— Appears in: The Australian Literary Review , November vol. 2 no. 10 2007; (p. 5, 7)

— Review of Landscape of Farewell Alex Miller 2007 single work novel
In the Company of Ghosts Lisa Gorton , 2007 single work review
— Appears in: The Age , 10 November 2007; (p. 23)

— Review of Landscape of Farewell Alex Miller 2007 single work novel
Agamemnon's Edict Shirley Walker , 2007 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , November no. 296 2007; (p. 43-44)

— Review of Landscape of Farewell Alex Miller 2007 single work novel
Grief, Guilt and the Landscape of Truth Sue Bond , 2007 single work review
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 10 - 11 November 2007; (p. 35)

— Review of Landscape of Farewell Alex Miller 2007 single work novel
The Dirt That Lies Within Our Blood Angela Bennie , 2007 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 17-18 November 2007; (p. 32-33)

— Review of Landscape of Farewell Alex Miller 2007 single work novel
Journey into the Past, Via Killing Fields Jack Hibberd , 2007 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 24-25 November 2007; (p. 10-11)

— Review of Landscape of Farewell Alex Miller 2007 single work novel
Rich Past Phil Brown , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: Brisbane News , 16 - 22 January no. 668 2008; (p. 12-13)

— Review of Landscape of Farewell Alex Miller 2007 single work novel
Out of the Outback Tom Aitken , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: The Times Literary Supplement , 18 January no. 5468 2008; (p. 21)

— Review of Landscape of Farewell Alex Miller 2007 single work novel
Untitled Robert Lumsden , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: The Adelaide Review , 18 - 31 January no. 333 2008; (p. 30)

— Review of Landscape of Farewell Alex Miller 2007 single work novel
The Year's Work in Fiction : 2007-2008 Roger Bourke , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: Westerly , November vol. 53 no. 2008; (p. 50-58)

— Review of From : The Time We Have Taken Steven Carroll 2007 extract novel ; Prime Cuts Angus Gaunt 2008 selected work short story ; The Best Australian Stories 2007 2007 anthology short story extract autobiography ; The Trout Opera Matthew Condon 2007 single work novel ; Fear of Tennis David Cohen 2007 single work novel ; The Complete Stories David Malouf 2007 selected work short story ; Redfin Anthony Lynch 2007 selected work short story ; Rohypnol Andrew Hutchinson 2006 single work novel ; Breath Tim Winton 2008 single work novel ; The Last Sky Alice Nelson 2008 single work novel ; Landscape of Farewell Alex Miller 2007 single work novel ; A History of the Beanbag : And Other Stories Susan Midalia 2007 selected work short story ; Dead Birds Trevor Shearston 2007 single work novel ; Secrets of the Sea Nicholas Shakespeare 2007 single work novel ; Other Country Stephen Scourfield 2007 single work novel ; The Low Road Chris Womersley 2007 single work novel ; Lilia's Secret Erina Reddan 2007 single work novel
No Retreat From the Past Malcolm Tattersall , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: LiNQ , December vol. 35 no. 2008; (p. 136-138)

— Review of Landscape of Farewell Alex Miller 2007 single work novel
Journey into the Heart of a Massacre Corrie Perkin , 2008 single work column
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 16-17 February 2008; (p. 14-15)
WA Writer Has Eyes on Franklin for Third Time Rod Moran , 2008 single work column
— Appears in: The West Australian , 18 April 2008; (p. 7)
Names West Australian authors shortlisted for 2008 Miles Franklin Literary Award.
Prize Writers Jane Sullivan , 2008 single work column
— Appears in: The Age , 14 June 2008; (p. 28-29)
'Jane Sullivan assesses the field in Australia's most significant literary award.' (Editor's abstract)
Chinese Honour for Aussie Writer 2009 single work column
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 17 - 18 January 2009; (p. 34)
More Than Just Mates Ronald A. Sharp , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Australian Literary Review , July vol. 4 no. 6 2009; (p. 18-20)

'Arthur Miller's novels exhibit a nuanced and subtle understanding of the forces, from the erotic to the platonic, that drive humans to connect with each other and in the process confront our shared mortality.' (Editor's abstract)

In this article, Ronald A. Sharp focuses 'on explaining and illuminating [Landscape of Farewell's] profound view of friendship and on celebrating the radiant artistic achievement of representing and embodying that vision in fiction.'

'I Dreamed of Snow Today' : Impediments to Settler Belonging in Northern Queensland as Depicted in a Selection of Recent Fiction Jacqueline Stockdale , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Etropic : Electronic Journal of Studies in the Tropics , no. 9 2010;
'In 2001, Geoffrey Blainey argued that "a high proportion" of non-Indigenous Australians have developed a sense of place, "of feeling at home" in their country, that "has in part been created or manufactured". Though historians have contributed to this, he says, "Painters and writers have done most to create it" as "They tried to provide a sense of belonging, and a sense of continuity and history" (Boyer Lecture n. pag.). Several recent Australian novels - each with some historical basis - are set in Queensland's north and offer contemporary perceptions of the area's history from settlement to the end of the twentieth century. Published the year after the Mabo Decision, and Prime Minister Paul Keating's "Redfern Speech", David Malouf's 1993 novel, Remembering Babylon, is a fitting point to commence exploring depictions of settler society's relations to northern Queensland. Three other novels included in this study are Alex Miller's Journey to the Stone Country (2003), and Landscape of Farewell (2007), along with Gordon Smith's Dalrymple (2006). In these stories northern settlers struggle to cope - physically, psychologically and emotionally. The difficulties for settlers in developing an attachment to north Queensland, and their sometimes extreme responses, illustrate the powerful interaction between place, belonging and identity. '
Journey of Self-Salvation of Soul : Interpretation of Alex Miller's 'Landscape of Farewell' Yun-qiu Liu , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Journal of Xihua University , October vol. 29 no. 5 2010; (p. 115-119)

'In the context of postcolonialism, this paper applies neo-historicism to interpret the human spiritual salvation and introspection beyond "the landscape of massacre.'

Source: Abstract translated into English.

Frontier Violence and the Power of the 'Sacred' : Alex Miller's Journey to the Stone Country and Landscape of Farewell Rebecca Dorgelo , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Frontier Skirmishes : Literary and Cultural Debates in Australia after 1992 2010; (p. 129-140)
Australian Transnation Bill Ashcroft , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Southerly , vol. 71 no. 1 2011; (p. 18-40)
'The world is more mobile than it has ever been and in many different fields, most notably literary studies, it has led to a growing, and now well established interest in cultural and ethnic mobility, diaspora, transnational and cosmopolitan interactions. This rise in global mobility at the same time as state borders have become more hysterically protected, has interested post-colonial cultural critics for some time. The concept of the nation, or at least the nation state, has often been robustly critiqued because the post-colonial nation is marked by disappointment, instituted on the boundaries of the colonial state and doomed to continue its oppressive functions. Almost universally the nation is contrasted with "the transnational" and the global movement of peoples. It is held to be a fixed entity, a pole of attraction or repulsion orienting transnational relationships at state level. But if we distinguish the nation from the state we discover that mobility and border crossing are already features of the phenomenon we call nation.' (Author's introduction)
y Literary Migrations : White, English-Speaking Migrant Writers in Australia Ingeborg van Teeseling , Wollongong : 2011 Z1860612 2011 single work thesis 'In this thesis, I am arguing that [a] false core/periphery binary has made a particular group of migrants ,-those who are white and have migrated from English-speaking countries - invisible - invisible as migrants, that is. For the writers within this group, this leads to a critical blindness in relation to their work and place within Australian national literature. As a critic, however, I look at the work of Ruth Park, Alex Miller and John Mateer and see it is profoundly influenced by their migrant experience. More often than not they write about themes that are typical of migrant writing: alienation, identity, belonging, home, being in-between cultures, history. For a more appropriate, complete appreciation of their work, this thesis argues that it is imperative to go back to the beginning and return the 'default setting' of migrant to its literal meaning.' [From the author's abstract]
y Literary Migrations : White, English-Speaking Migrant Writers in Australia Ingeborg van Teeseling , Wollongong : 2011 Z1860612 2011 single work thesis 'In this thesis, I am arguing that [a] false core/periphery binary has made a particular group of migrants ,-those who are white and have migrated from English-speaking countries - invisible - invisible as migrants, that is. For the writers within this group, this leads to a critical blindness in relation to their work and place within Australian national literature. As a critic, however, I look at the work of Ruth Park, Alex Miller and John Mateer and see it is profoundly influenced by their migrant experience. More often than not they write about themes that are typical of migrant writing: alienation, identity, belonging, home, being in-between cultures, history. For a more appropriate, complete appreciation of their work, this thesis argues that it is imperative to go back to the beginning and return the 'default setting' of migrant to its literal meaning.' [From the author's abstract]
Disestablished Worlds : An Introduction to the Novels of Alex Miller Robert Dixon , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Novels of Alex Miller : An Introduction 2012; (p. 1-28)
The Mask of Fiction : A Memoir Alex Miller , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Novels of Alex Miller : An Introduction 2012; (p. 29-41)
'I've been asked for a memoir for this occasion yet I am uncomfortable writing directly about myself. I prefer the mask of fiction. In this preference it is self-deception I fear most, for who but the self-deceived would claim to be able to write with moral detachment about themselves? I am also cautious of the fate of WB Yeats, the poet, of whom Richard Ellmann wrote, 'The autobiographical muse enticed him only to betray him, abandoning him to ultimate perplexity as to the meaning of his experiences' (Yeats, 2). Memoir does not offer us a sure means for contacting the deeper dualities of the self. For his journey to the heart of darkness, fiction is a more certain, if more oblique , way.' (Author's introduction)
Alex Miller and Leo Tolstoy : Australian Storytelling in a European Tradition Brenda Walker , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Novels of Alex Miller : An Introduction 2012; (p. 42-54)
'Alex Miller may be Australia's greatest living writer. I certainly believe this to be the case. I base my view on the depth and range of his narrative preoccupations. He writes about love but his lovers often come from very different cultural backgrounds, and this illuminates what is foundational in love while respecting diversity in the most intimate of human connections. He writes with scrupulousness about the human complications of invasion, massacre and armed conflict. The American novelist Philip Roth writes that art is concerned with nuance, and politics cannot afford nuance (I Married a Communist, 223). Nuance is the most welcome and apparent characteristic of Miller understanding of the politics of territorial dispossession. He writes, also, about art and literature as cultural forces and as imperatives within the lives of individuals. In all his fiction, he is both a great writer and a great thinker. This chapter offers a much more brief appreciation of his work and thought then I would wish, more brief than it deserves. In it, I plan to consider Alex Miller and Tolstoy: both great writers, both great thinkers, especially on matters of love and war.' (Author's introduction 42)
The Presence of Absence in The Sitters Ronald A. Sharp , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Novels of Alex Miller : An Introduction 2012; (p. 78-88)
'In the second paragraph of Alex Miller's The Sitters (1995) the narrator informs us that his memory of Jessica Keal allows him 'to approach the last enigma of my life - my family and my childhood. That cold legacy of silence and absence' (2). Bernadette Brennan's fine essay on The Sitters, in the context of Maurice Blanchot's meditations on death, notes that the narrator never explains 'why his experience with Jessica has given him the energy to begin painting...his childhood' (104). That it does so is indisputable, and Peter Pierce points us in the right direction, in his article on 'The Solitariness of Alex Miller', when he observes that Jessica functions as 'a Wordsworthian trigger to recover past 'spots of time'' (305). The connection between the frame of the entire narrative - and I use the word 'frame' not only to indicate a narrative frame but also in the sense of a picture frame, since this is a novel that foregrounds the connections between literary and visual art, between a novelist creating a character and a painter creating a portrait.' (Author's introduction 78)
Continental Heartlands and Alex Miller’s Geosophical Imaginary Elizabeth McMahon , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Novels of Alex Miller : An Introduction 2012; (p. 125-138)
This chapter examines 'how the alignment between geography and subjectivity operates in four of Miller's novels to identify his refiguration of the inherited map of modern identities.' (125)
McMahon focuses on The Ancestor Game (1992), Conditions of Faith (2000), Journey to the Stone Country (2002) and Landscape of Farewell (2007).
The Frontier Wars : History and Fiction in Journey to the Stone Country and Landscape of Farewell Shirley Walker , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Novels of Alex Miller : An Introduction 2012; (p. 156-169)
'There are some stories that must be told lest 'none be left to think of them and shed a tear' (Miller, Landscape, 12). The stories Alex Miller is concerned with in Journey to the Stone Country (2002) and Landscape of Farewell (2007) are those of the Aboriginal massacres which accompanied the invasion of Australia. But he also remind us, in Landscape of Farewell, of all such episodes of mass murder, including the Holocaust, but going back through history to the Trojan Wars and beyond. (Author's introduction 156)
Dougald's Goat : Alex Miller and the Species Barrier David Brooks , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Novels of Alex Miller : An Introduction 2012; (p. 187-200)
'I would like to open with a proposition, a theory if you like, that, in a great many narratives , there is a place, a site, where they confess, or at least pay some acknowledgement to, the stories they have not followed in order to follow the story that they have. Their roadkil, one might facetiously term it, their rejectamenta, their abject. And it is not just stories, it is concepts as well, even or perhaps especially ethical positions: places, sites, where they acknowledge all that has had to be set aside in order for those stories, concepts and ethical positions to come to be. I do not say that they in any way specify or itemise them, or that this acknowledgement is anything but the vaguest symbolisation - indeed, it is so much a matter of the subconscious that it is hard to see how it could be - although in some cases they can take a pronounced and almost indisputable form. In one of the bold philosophical projects of which I sometimes dream, I would in fact go further and attempt to demonstrate a collateral premise that much of our human ethics are based upon a separation from and rejection - abjection is a better term, since this is a matter of our identity and what we do to shore it - of the animal, and that the animal therefore always haunts, unacknowledged, our ethical reflections. Miller's texts, I suggest, are ethical reflections, and so are haunted in this way.' (Author's introduction 187)
The Ruin of Time and the Temporality of Belonging : Journey to the Stone Country and Landscape of Farewell Brigid Rooney , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Novels of Alex Miller : An Introduction 2012; (p. 201-216)
'At first glance, Landscape of Farewell (2007) appears a simpler, more streamlined story than its predecessor, Journey to the Stone Country (2002). In the first person, Max Otto, a widowed German professor specialising in the history of massacres, tells of his journey to Mount Nebo in Central Queensland, a journey precipitated by his encounter with visiting Aboriginal Australian academic Vita McLelland. His journey is conducted in the context of his not yet assuaged grief for his wife, and of his haunted suspicions about his father's complicity in the horrors of wartime Germany. Peter Pierce (2004) has identified some of Miller's enduring preoccupations: 'solitariness', 'artful evocations of the visceral', tensions between ancestry, freedom and exile, and the indeterminacy of memory. While many of these recur in Landscape, I focus in this paper on how the theme of time is exercised in this novel, with its spare but concentrated prose and apparently straightforward narration. How does Landscape of Farewell draw us inwards as well as onwards, into an intricately nested set of temporalities that speak to selfhood, truth and reparation, to cross-cultural translation, to mortality and relinquishment, and to the intractable terrain of moral debate about the past? What does Miller's mode of narration bring to familiar questions, in Australian culture, of place and belonging?' (Source: http://sydney.edu.au/arts/australian_literature/images/content/conferences/miller_abstracts2.pdf)
Trusting the Words : Reflections on Landscape of Farewell Raimond Gaita , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Novels of Alex Miller : An Introduction 2012; (p. 217-230)
'I'm not a literary critic so I won't comment in any detail on what strikes me as very fine writing - some of Miller's best, perhaps. I will discuss instead what I believe to be his great moral achievement in Landscape: to have brought together in the one book dramatic, fictional, meditation on an aboriginal massacre of whites and aspects of the Holocaust, each illuminating the other, but without doing anything that could properly be called 'comparing' them, or 'weighing the gravity' of one against the other. To do that requires, of course, great moral tact, but also much more.' (Source: http://sydney.edu.au/arts/australian_literature/images/content/conferences/miller_abstracts2.pdf)
Last amended 20 Aug 2014 14:25:51
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