Issue Details: First known date: 1990 1990
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Notes

  • Dedication: To all the Aboriginal writers who made this book possible. To all my old students at Murdoch University and the University of Queensland who debated many of the points raised. I hope they learnt as much as I did. To Patrick White for his support in 1988.
  • Epigraph: Ellen sat picking at her fringe of leaves. The corroboree was over, except the embers, the ashes, and the continued exchange of hoarsened voices. Patrick White, A Fringe of Leaves

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Melbourne, Victoria,: Hyland House , 1990 .
      Extent: viii, 207p.p.
      Written as: Mudrooroo Narogin
      Note/s:
      • Includes bibliography and index.
      ISBN: 0947062556
Alternative title: The Indigenous Literature of Australia : Milli Milli Wangka
    • South Melbourne, South Melbourne - Port Melbourne area, Melbourne - Inner South, Melbourne, Victoria,: Hyland House , 1997 .
      Extent: 233p.
      Edition info: Revised edition
      Note/s:
      • Includes bibliography and index.
      ISBN: 1864470143 (pbk)

Works about this Work

Untitled Maggie Nolan , single work review
— Review of Writing from the Fringe : A Study of Modern Aboriginal Literature Mudrooroo 1990 single work criticism
The Study of Contemporary Australian Aboriginal Literature in China Ying Qiong , 2015 single work
— Appears in: Oceanic Literary Studies , no. 2 2015; (p. 236-247)
'Australian Aboriginal literature, a unique genre in Australian Literature, has greatly contributed to its diversity and colorfulness. Its status has improved because of the awaking of Aboriginal people and constant emerging of Aboriginal writers. This paper emphatically probes into three stages, reviews the Australian Aboriginal literature studies in China and discusses some of the major characteristics. Remarkable achievements have been made in the past thirty years, but there still exist some problems, including inadequate sense of Aboriginality, lack of diachronic and holistic study of a writer's thoughts, inadequate research on the works of Aboriginal writers born after the 1960s.' (236-237)
Aboriginal Affair(s): Reflections on the Life of Mudrooroo Eva Rask Knudsen , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: LINQ , December no. 39 2012; (p. 105-115)

'The article reviews the controversial 'Mudrooroo Affair' with reference to unpublished work by Mudrooroo in which he comments on the public debate about his rights to define himself as Aboriginal and, by extension, have his work credited as Aboriginal. Such work makes it pertinent to review Mudrooroo's creative output since 1965 as literary experiments with life writing and to reconsider Mudrooroo's many literary 'performances' from this perspective. They are not only explorations of Aboriginal identity politics over,- the last five decades, but may also be seen as a far more personal investment in exploring Aboriginal identity through a progressively shifting but interrelated series of subjectivities that reflect the writer's own experience and inform his claim to Aboriginality.' (Publication summary)

The Absent-Presence of the Ghosts in Aboriginal Poetry Devaleena Das , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: IJAS , no. 5 2012; (p. 70-83)
Mudrooroo : ‘Waiting to be Surprised’ Adam Shoemaker , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , vol. 11 no. 2 2011;
Magical Realism and Fakery : After Carpentier's 'Marvelous Real' and Mudrooroo's 'Maban Reality' Maria Takolander , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Antipodes , December vol. 24 no. 2 2010; (p. 165-171)
Discusses 'the link between magical realism and fakery in the light of the antipodean nationalist appropriations of magical realism by the Cuban writer Alejo Carpentier in 1949 and by the black Australian writer Mudrooroo in the 1990s.' (p. 165)
Where Campfires Used to Gleam : A Collage of Bipolar Dreaming in Davis’ Aboriginal Theatre Sibendu Chakraborty , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Rupkatha Journal on Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities , vol. 2 no. 2 2010; (p. 136-144)
'Jack Davis' preoccupation with an aboriginal sense of experience as symbolized through uncle Worru's characterization in The Dreamers, is thought to have been sparked off by a mysterious man named Jack Henry, whose nostalgia was embittered and angered by what he considered to be the end of the golden age. Davis' own experience at the Moore River Settlement and his angst at having been forced to overlook the Noongar culture and tradition are snowballed into a representation of wisdom bordered on the edge of eccentricity. Uncle Worru's strong evocation of a poetic, almost archaic, wish-fulfilling past is thus addressed in terms of his dream-time stories. This paper tries to locate the significance of the dream-time stories in consolidating the theme of protest. The question is: how far successful is uncle Worru in acting out the role of Davis' spokesman? Uncle Worru's scheme of looking back at his past endeavors and success needs to be weighed against the younger generation's instinctive habit of dreaming forward into the future. The sense of false securities embodied through uncle Worru's dreaming backward in time necessarily comes in clash with the later generation's habit of dreaming forward. The dilution of the theme of protest thus gets enmeshed in the whirlpool of cultural abnegation. Davis' "syncretic theatre" distils the elixir of dreams polarized on the chronological separation between past and present.' (Author's abstract).
Anti-Nativism in Australian Indigenous Literature Teresa Podemska-Abt , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Kultura Historia Globalizacja , no. 7 2010; (p. 53-64)
'What in today's literary discourse are the reality and the world created by the words: nativism, nativity, the native, native? Why do we still speak and communicate with them and use them in different contexts, even though we know that these words often carry a negative emotional meaning load, taking us to spaces, times, and experiences of colonial suffering, despite their basis in academic arguments. In Australia such issues have been addressed by many Indigenous writers, amongst them — M. Langton, A. Moreton- Robinson, Mudrooroo, C. Watego, T. Birch, F. Bayet — Charlton, to name just a few.' (Author's introduction)
Bats and Crows : Ambiguity as Journey in Mudrooroo/Johnson's Master of the Ghost Dreaming Series Clare Archer-Lean , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Journeying and Journalling : Creative and Critical Meditations on Travel Writing 2010; (p. 175-188)
'Clare Archer-Lean focuses 'on the textual strategies of journey and impermanence. These can be understood through theoretical notions of trickster, a deliberately incoherent and slippery figure/story, alongside the symbolic ramification of water, representing movement and fluidity, to read Johnson's use of the journey motif. The journey motif in these works can be expanded to included the intra-textual journeys Johnson's writing carries out between its own past and present forms and how this self-referentiality constructs a challenge to the notion of a fixed and stable journal and record of any journey.' (175)
'Ein komplexes und wechselhaftes Spiel': Sprachliche Resignifikation in Kanak Sprak und Aboriginal English Steffi Hobuß , 2007 single work criticism
— Appears in: Polyculturalism and Discourse 2007; (p. 31-65)
Can Indigenous Contemporary Literature of Australia Sustain Itself by Becoming International? Teresa Podemska-Abt , 2007 single work criticism 'Nourishing and sustaining cultural diversity in today's constantly changing world, with all its complexities and socio-cultural peculiarities of people and their creations, and at times of an aggressive economic Anglophone globalisation of cultures and literatures, is a task of an imperative formation that needs to be cared for at many levels of the social life and organisation. In Australia, to maintain one's own culture is to be persistently aware of personal heritage and to be able to elaborate traditions. As time passes quickly and we live in a world that praises swiftness and efficiency, money and mass culture, losing the mother tongue and become estranged from our cultural environments occurs frequently. Everyday mainstream cultural reality pushes us to concentrate on our own area of work...'(From author's introduction)
Reciprocal Bonds : Re-Thinking Orality and Literacy in Critical Perspectives on Indigenous Australian Life-Writing Michèle Grossman , 2005 single work essay
— Appears in: Script and Print , vol. 29 no. 1-4 2005; (p. 115-129)
'Why, White Man, Why?' : White Australia as the Addressee of Apostrophe in Contemporary Aboriginal Writing Russell West-Pavlov , 2002 single work criticism
— Appears in: Zeitschrift fur Anglistik und Amerikanistik , vol. 50 no. 2 2002; (p. 166-178) Imaginary Antipodes : Essays on Contemporary Australian Literature and Culture 2011; (p. 23-36)
'Contemporary Australian indigenous literature is characterised by a remarkably prevalent use of apostrophic address directed at the white reader. This mode of direct address in black literary texts draws attention to the political dynamics moulding reader-writer relations in contemporary Australia. The article examines numerous examples of this direct mode of address in prose, poetry and drama, and argues that this direct mode of address is a central element in the message of black writers. The use of apostrophe implies the active 'positioning' of the white reader on the part of the indigenous speaker; only by virtue of this positioning is the reading process made possible. The direct mode of address in these texts thus demands that the reader take up a stance characterised by a readiness to listen attentively to black literary voices.' (Author's abstract)
Performing Indigenous Australian Women Maryrose Casey , 1999 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Women's Book Review , vol. 11 no. 1999; (p. 41-43)
Indigenous Literature in Its Proper Contexts Ralph Elliott , 1998 single work review
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 11 April 1998; (p. 22)

— Review of Writing from the Fringe : A Study of Modern Aboriginal Literature Mudrooroo 1990 single work criticism
Untitled Penny Van Toorn , 1998 single work review
— Appears in: Heat , no. 8 1998; (p. 185-189)

— Review of Writing from the Fringe : A Study of Modern Aboriginal Literature Mudrooroo 1990 single work criticism
Maban Reality Gillian Whitlock , 1998 single work review
— Appears in: Overland , Spring no. 152 1998; (p. 103-105)

— Review of Writing from the Fringe : A Study of Modern Aboriginal Literature Mudrooroo 1990 single work criticism
Questions of Identity Bill Perrett , 1997 single work criticism biography
— Appears in: The Sunday Age , 17 August 1997; (p. 8)
Contested Site Cassandra Pybus , 1997 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , October no. 195 1997; (p. 18-19)

— Review of Writing from the Fringe : A Study of Modern Aboriginal Literature Mudrooroo 1990 single work criticism
'Spanning the Sky with Outstretched Hands': The Making of a Poet David Headon , 1994 single work criticism
— Appears in: Jack Davis : The Maker of History 1994; (p. 79-97)
Aboriginal Encounters Janette Turner Hospital , 1993 single work review
— Appears in: The Times Literary Supplement , 20 August no. 4716 1993; (p. 4-5)

— Review of The Kadaitcha Sung Sam Watson 1990 single work novel ; The Kwinkan Mudrooroo 1993 single work novel ; Paperbark : A Collection of Black Australian Writings 1990 anthology poetry drama short story criticism prose autobiography biography ; Writing from the Fringe : A Study of Modern Aboriginal Literature Mudrooroo 1990 single work criticism
Songliners Peter Stewart , 1991 single work review
— Appears in: Webber's , March no. 3 1991; (p. 84-90)

— Review of Black Words, White Page : Aboriginal Literature 1929-1988 Adam Shoemaker 1989 single work criticism ; The Blackside: People are Legends and Other Poems Kevin Gilbert 1990 selected work poetry ; Writing from the Fringe : A Study of Modern Aboriginal Literature Mudrooroo 1990 single work criticism
On the Threshold of a Renaissance - Recent Aboriginal Writing in Australia Emmanuel S. Nelson , 1990 single work review
— Appears in: Antipodes , Winter vol. 4 no. 2 1990; (p. 131-133)

— Review of Story About Feeling Bill Neidjie 1989 selected work poetry ; Wanamurraganya : The Story of Jack McPhee Sally Morgan 1989 single work biography ; My Place Sally Morgan 1987 single work autobiography ; Writing from the Fringe : A Study of Modern Aboriginal Literature Mudrooroo 1990 single work criticism
Contested Site Cassandra Pybus , 1997 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , October no. 195 1997; (p. 18-19)

— Review of Writing from the Fringe : A Study of Modern Aboriginal Literature Mudrooroo 1990 single work criticism
Indigenous Literature in Its Proper Contexts Ralph Elliott , 1998 single work review
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 11 April 1998; (p. 22)

— Review of Writing from the Fringe : A Study of Modern Aboriginal Literature Mudrooroo 1990 single work criticism
Untitled Penny Van Toorn , 1998 single work review
— Appears in: Heat , no. 8 1998; (p. 185-189)

— Review of Writing from the Fringe : A Study of Modern Aboriginal Literature Mudrooroo 1990 single work criticism
Untitled Maggie Nolan , single work review
— Review of Writing from the Fringe : A Study of Modern Aboriginal Literature Mudrooroo 1990 single work criticism
In Radical Aboriginal Voice: Blacker is Better Adam Shoemaker , 1990 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 28-29 July 1990; (p. rev 9)

— Review of Writing from the Fringe : A Study of Modern Aboriginal Literature Mudrooroo 1990 single work criticism
On the Outskirts of European Literature Veronica Sen , 1990 single work review
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 12 May 1990; (p. B11)

— Review of Writing from the Fringe : A Study of Modern Aboriginal Literature Mudrooroo 1990 single work criticism
Seeking New Form on the Fringe Martin Flanagan , 1990 single work review
— Appears in: The Age , 5 May 1990; (p. 8)

— Review of Writing from the Fringe : A Study of Modern Aboriginal Literature Mudrooroo 1990 single work criticism
Towards an Aboriginal Aesthetic Emmanuel S. Nelson , 1990 single work review
— Appears in: Southerly , December vol. 50 no. 4 1990; (p. 521-523)

— Review of Writing from the Fringe : A Study of Modern Aboriginal Literature Mudrooroo 1990 single work criticism
Worth the Wrestle Duncan Graham , 1990 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Society , June vol. 9 no. 6 1990; (p. 38)

— Review of Writing from the Fringe : A Study of Modern Aboriginal Literature Mudrooroo 1990 single work criticism
Review Bob Hodge , 1990 single work review
— Appears in: Westerly , September vol. 35 no. 3 1990; (p. 91-93)

— Review of Writing from the Fringe : A Study of Modern Aboriginal Literature Mudrooroo 1990 single work criticism
Review Vijay C. Mishra , 1990 single work review
— Appears in: Westerly , September vol. 35 no. 3 1990; (p. 91-93)

— Review of Writing from the Fringe : A Study of Modern Aboriginal Literature Mudrooroo 1990 single work criticism
Maban Reality Gillian Whitlock , 1998 single work review
— Appears in: Overland , Spring no. 152 1998; (p. 103-105)

— Review of Writing from the Fringe : A Study of Modern Aboriginal Literature Mudrooroo 1990 single work criticism
'Why, White Man, Why?' : White Australia as the Addressee of Apostrophe in Contemporary Aboriginal Writing Russell West-Pavlov , 2002 single work criticism
— Appears in: Zeitschrift fur Anglistik und Amerikanistik , vol. 50 no. 2 2002; (p. 166-178) Imaginary Antipodes : Essays on Contemporary Australian Literature and Culture 2011; (p. 23-36)
'Contemporary Australian indigenous literature is characterised by a remarkably prevalent use of apostrophic address directed at the white reader. This mode of direct address in black literary texts draws attention to the political dynamics moulding reader-writer relations in contemporary Australia. The article examines numerous examples of this direct mode of address in prose, poetry and drama, and argues that this direct mode of address is a central element in the message of black writers. The use of apostrophe implies the active 'positioning' of the white reader on the part of the indigenous speaker; only by virtue of this positioning is the reading process made possible. The direct mode of address in these texts thus demands that the reader take up a stance characterised by a readiness to listen attentively to black literary voices.' (Author's abstract)
Reciprocal Bonds : Re-Thinking Orality and Literacy in Critical Perspectives on Indigenous Australian Life-Writing Michèle Grossman , 2005 single work essay
— Appears in: Script and Print , vol. 29 no. 1-4 2005; (p. 115-129)
'Ein komplexes und wechselhaftes Spiel': Sprachliche Resignifikation in Kanak Sprak und Aboriginal English Steffi Hobuß , 2007 single work criticism
— Appears in: Polyculturalism and Discourse 2007; (p. 31-65)
Magical Realism and Fakery : After Carpentier's 'Marvelous Real' and Mudrooroo's 'Maban Reality' Maria Takolander , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Antipodes , December vol. 24 no. 2 2010; (p. 165-171)
Discusses 'the link between magical realism and fakery in the light of the antipodean nationalist appropriations of magical realism by the Cuban writer Alejo Carpentier in 1949 and by the black Australian writer Mudrooroo in the 1990s.' (p. 165)
Where Campfires Used to Gleam : A Collage of Bipolar Dreaming in Davis’ Aboriginal Theatre Sibendu Chakraborty , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Rupkatha Journal on Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities , vol. 2 no. 2 2010; (p. 136-144)
'Jack Davis' preoccupation with an aboriginal sense of experience as symbolized through uncle Worru's characterization in The Dreamers, is thought to have been sparked off by a mysterious man named Jack Henry, whose nostalgia was embittered and angered by what he considered to be the end of the golden age. Davis' own experience at the Moore River Settlement and his angst at having been forced to overlook the Noongar culture and tradition are snowballed into a representation of wisdom bordered on the edge of eccentricity. Uncle Worru's strong evocation of a poetic, almost archaic, wish-fulfilling past is thus addressed in terms of his dream-time stories. This paper tries to locate the significance of the dream-time stories in consolidating the theme of protest. The question is: how far successful is uncle Worru in acting out the role of Davis' spokesman? Uncle Worru's scheme of looking back at his past endeavors and success needs to be weighed against the younger generation's instinctive habit of dreaming forward into the future. The sense of false securities embodied through uncle Worru's dreaming backward in time necessarily comes in clash with the later generation's habit of dreaming forward. The dilution of the theme of protest thus gets enmeshed in the whirlpool of cultural abnegation. Davis' "syncretic theatre" distils the elixir of dreams polarized on the chronological separation between past and present.' (Author's abstract).
Mudrooroo : ‘Waiting to be Surprised’ Adam Shoemaker , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , vol. 11 no. 2 2011;
Anti-Nativism in Australian Indigenous Literature Teresa Podemska-Abt , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Kultura Historia Globalizacja , no. 7 2010; (p. 53-64)
'What in today's literary discourse are the reality and the world created by the words: nativism, nativity, the native, native? Why do we still speak and communicate with them and use them in different contexts, even though we know that these words often carry a negative emotional meaning load, taking us to spaces, times, and experiences of colonial suffering, despite their basis in academic arguments. In Australia such issues have been addressed by many Indigenous writers, amongst them — M. Langton, A. Moreton- Robinson, Mudrooroo, C. Watego, T. Birch, F. Bayet — Charlton, to name just a few.' (Author's introduction)
Can Indigenous Contemporary Literature of Australia Sustain Itself by Becoming International? Teresa Podemska-Abt , 2007 single work criticism 'Nourishing and sustaining cultural diversity in today's constantly changing world, with all its complexities and socio-cultural peculiarities of people and their creations, and at times of an aggressive economic Anglophone globalisation of cultures and literatures, is a task of an imperative formation that needs to be cared for at many levels of the social life and organisation. In Australia, to maintain one's own culture is to be persistently aware of personal heritage and to be able to elaborate traditions. As time passes quickly and we live in a world that praises swiftness and efficiency, money and mass culture, losing the mother tongue and become estranged from our cultural environments occurs frequently. Everyday mainstream cultural reality pushes us to concentrate on our own area of work...'(From author's introduction)
Bats and Crows : Ambiguity as Journey in Mudrooroo/Johnson's Master of the Ghost Dreaming Series Clare Archer-Lean , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Journeying and Journalling : Creative and Critical Meditations on Travel Writing 2010; (p. 175-188)
'Clare Archer-Lean focuses 'on the textual strategies of journey and impermanence. These can be understood through theoretical notions of trickster, a deliberately incoherent and slippery figure/story, alongside the symbolic ramification of water, representing movement and fluidity, to read Johnson's use of the journey motif. The journey motif in these works can be expanded to included the intra-textual journeys Johnson's writing carries out between its own past and present forms and how this self-referentiality constructs a challenge to the notion of a fixed and stable journal and record of any journey.' (175)
Postcoloniality and Mudrooroo Narogin's Ideology of Aboriginality John Fielder , 1991 single work criticism
— Appears in: Span , April no. 32 1991; (p. 43-54)
Questions of Identity Bill Perrett , 1997 single work criticism biography
— Appears in: The Sunday Age , 17 August 1997; (p. 8)
Performing Indigenous Australian Women Maryrose Casey , 1999 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Women's Book Review , vol. 11 no. 1999; (p. 41-43)
Fringe Finds Focus : Developments and Strategies in Aboriginal Writing in English Eva Rask Knudsen , 1991 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Literary Studies , vol. 15 no. 2 1991; (p. 32-44)
The Signifying Writer and the Ghost Reader : Mudrooroo's "Master of the Ghost Dreaming" and "Writing from the Fringe" Margery Fee , 1992 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian & New Zealand Studies in Canada , December no. 8 1992; (p. 18-32)
'Spanning the Sky with Outstretched Hands': The Making of a Poet David Headon , 1994 single work criticism
— Appears in: Jack Davis : The Maker of History 1994; (p. 79-97)
Aboriginal Affair(s): Reflections on the Life of Mudrooroo Eva Rask Knudsen , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: LINQ , December no. 39 2012; (p. 105-115)

'The article reviews the controversial 'Mudrooroo Affair' with reference to unpublished work by Mudrooroo in which he comments on the public debate about his rights to define himself as Aboriginal and, by extension, have his work credited as Aboriginal. Such work makes it pertinent to review Mudrooroo's creative output since 1965 as literary experiments with life writing and to reconsider Mudrooroo's many literary 'performances' from this perspective. They are not only explorations of Aboriginal identity politics over,- the last five decades, but may also be seen as a far more personal investment in exploring Aboriginal identity through a progressively shifting but interrelated series of subjectivities that reflect the writer's own experience and inform his claim to Aboriginality.' (Publication summary)

The Absent-Presence of the Ghosts in Aboriginal Poetry Devaleena Das , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: IJAS , no. 5 2012; (p. 70-83)
The Study of Contemporary Australian Aboriginal Literature in China Ying Qiong , 2015 single work
— Appears in: Oceanic Literary Studies , no. 2 2015; (p. 236-247)
'Australian Aboriginal literature, a unique genre in Australian Literature, has greatly contributed to its diversity and colorfulness. Its status has improved because of the awaking of Aboriginal people and constant emerging of Aboriginal writers. This paper emphatically probes into three stages, reviews the Australian Aboriginal literature studies in China and discusses some of the major characteristics. Remarkable achievements have been made in the past thirty years, but there still exist some problems, including inadequate sense of Aboriginality, lack of diachronic and holistic study of a writer's thoughts, inadequate research on the works of Aboriginal writers born after the 1960s.' (236-237)

Awards

1992 winner Stanner Award
1991 joint winner Western Australian Premier's Book Awards Historical and Critical Studies Award
Last amended 24 Mar 2011 17:33:35
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