Issue Details: First known date: 2010 2010
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'This paper focuses 'on how Kim Scott undertakes in his novel Benang (1999) to subvert the simplistic, destructive and ultimately self-defeating doctrine of progress championed by colonists whose eugenicist policies aimed at 'breeding out' the Aboriginal heritage. Scott shows how pioneering megalomania drove those white visionaries of the future of Australian race to aspire to being their own beginning and their own end. To counter this colonial narrative which maps out progress as a process of purification, and posits sameness as the only desirable goal on the national horizon, he deploys a circuitous and ultimately circular exploration of time and space. This narrative is informed both by the memories of his narrator's Aboriginal relatives and by the narrator's imaginative empathy with his ancestors, which eventually enables him to substitute a pattern of return and permanence for the narcissistic and misguided abstraction of linear progress.'' (p 35)

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  • Appears in:
    y Commonwealth Horizons vol. 33 no. 1 Autumn 2010 Z1766398 2010 periodical issue 2010 pg. 35-44
Last amended 17 Nov 2011
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