Issue Details: First known date: 2012 2012
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'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)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y The Novels of Alex Miller : An Introduction Robert Dixon , Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2012 Z1856233 2012 anthology criticism 'One of Australia's most respected novelists, Alex Miller's writing is both popular and critically well-received. He is twice winner of Australia's premier literary prize, the Miles Franklin Award. He has said that writing is his way of 'locating connections' and his work is known for its deeply empathic engagement with relationships and cultures.

    This collection explores his early and later works, including Miller's best-known novels, The Ancestor Game, Journey to the Stone Country, Lovesong and Autumn Laing. Contributors examine his intricately constructed plots, his interest in the nature of home and migration, the representation in his work of Australian history and culture, and key recurring themes including art and Aboriginal issues. Also included is a memoir, illustrated by photographs from his personal collection, in which Alex Miller reflects on his writing life.

    With contributions from leading critics including Raimond Gaita, Peter Pierce, Ronald A. Sharp, Brenda Walker, Elizabeth Webby and Geordie Williamson, this collection is the first substantial critical analysis of Alex Miller's work. It is an invaluable resource for anyone teaching and studying contemporary Australian literature.' (Publisher's blurb)
    Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2012
    pg. 187-200
Last amended 11 Jul 2012