Issue Details: First known date: 2012 2012
AustLit is a subscription service. The content and services available here are limited because you have not been recognised as a subscriber. Find out how to gain full access to AustLit

AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'What political, cultural and rhetorical changes occurred between the publication of Dorothy Hewett's nostalgic essay on Kylie Tenant in Westerly in late 1960 (Hewett, "How Beautiful Upon the Mountains") and her strikingly negative literary obituary of Katherine Susannah Prichard in Overland in late 1969 (Hewett, "Excess of Love: The Irrecon - cilable in Katherine Susannah Prichard")? The first of these essays offered a forthright series of criticisms about Tenant's interest in stylistic experimentation and the decline of her rather more interesting socialist realism. The second essay delivered an equally forthright assessment of Prichard, Hewett's much-loved fellow West Australian woman writer and Communist, strongly condemning her deforming and persistent allegiance to the Communist Party in Australia and the Soviet Union and the socialist realist aesthetics mandated by them. Separated by only nine years, these two pieces of non-fiction present the contradictory literary and political positions that book-end Hewett's turbulent and productive Cold War 1960s, and indicate the nature and importance of the repudiation of Prichard as a springboard for Hewett's writing in the 1970s. Approached chronologically, Hewett's essays of the 1960s demonstrate the imbrication of politics and literary aesthetics in her work. Initially reproducing the partisan contours of the relationship between politics and literature familiar from the Left cultural debates of the 1930s, Hewett finds increasingly different answers for this debate's foundational questions about the function of art, the role of the socially engaged artist, the importance of realism and what to do or think about modernism.' (Author's abstract)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y Southerly Mid-Century Women Writers vol. 72 no. 1 2012 Z1896404 2012 periodical issue 2012 pg. 36-50
Last amended 24 Oct 2012 10:13:07
X