The Poetics of Subalternity single work   criticism  
Issue Details: First known date: 2012 2012
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'This essay attempts to assemble a radical critique of contemporary Australian literature, which in its orientation and its networks of power and interest inaugurates itself as a subject in the guise of nationalism while ignoring the divisions of cultural capital and labour. This is an exclusive and essentially White paradigm that articulates difference in Euro-Imperialist terms, elaborating discourses of difference, counter-narratives, multiculturalism, postcolonialism and non-determination while concealing its agency, its neo-colonisation and domination of Otherness. And by "Other" I am referring generally to those marginalised and disempowered by the narratives of Australian literature, history, law, political economy and adopted ideology (of the West, that is) and I am speaking as an Asian Australian writer unfortunately privy to the gatekeepers of Australian literary culture. I'll have to ask you to indulge me in that my essay is an intentionally polemic commentary, embedded in a space I enter as a writer of colour, hybridity and Asian background rather than as Anglo-academic or cultural theorist. And I make this entreaty because in advancing my argument I am aware of causing dichotomies to arise within the trace of this text.' (Author's introduction)


  • Author's note:
    'By invitation this paper was presented at The Political Imagination, a Conference on Poetry held by in April 2012 at Monash and Deakin University co-ordinated by Dr Ali Alizadeh, Dr Ann Vickery and Professor Lyn McCredden. I wanted it to be considered for a journal of literary scholarship and so, after some consideration, I submitted it to an on-line refereed journal. Notwithstanding my independently-situated research the essay was returned to me within four days without readers' reports and with the following comment:

    Thank you for your submission to —-. After an initial read, the editors feel that —- isn't the best match for your submission. Although very interesting and well-written, the piece would be better suited to a cultural studies or postcolonial theory journal. We do hope that you pursue publication with a different journal, one that could offer a better fit for your article. Thank you very much for your interest in contributing to —- .

    This may be fortuitous as Mascara has, I suspect, a wider national readership than the journal in question. I don't think the concerns this essay raises should be quarantined.'

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Last amended 20 Jun 2012