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Issue Details: First known date: 2016... 2016 There Was Nothing, There Was Nowhere to Go : Writing Australian Rural Noir
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'When I embarked on my doctorate in creative writing, I wanted to write about the decline of an alternative community in the 1980s, similar to the one in which I had grown up. A noir novel seemed the perfect vehicle for the dark themes I planned to explore, and promised to be very different from the private eye series I usually wrote. Typically, noir is located in urban environments and many studies of noir fiction and film maintain that an urban setting is integral to the genre, speaking as it does to the anxiety and alienation of modern life, feelings of anonymity and of being the outsider, and the corruption and criminality of the city. Much contemporary noir fiction still takes place in metropolitan areas; however, there is, increasingly, a sub-genre situated in rural locations, as illustrated by the rise of ‘Country’ or ‘Hillbilly Noir’ in the USA. Australian crime fiction has long made use of the bush and outback as a location – usually as a site of conquest where the hero ultimately triumphs over the antagonist; however, noir narratives are different, invariably ending in destruction and defeat. This article will investigate Australian Rural Noir through a comparative textual analysis of Kenneth Cooke’s Wake in Fright, Chris Womersley’s The Low Road and Hannah Kent’s Burial Rites. It will consider the ways in which Australian rural noir uses landscape to subvert the pastoral paradigm and will examine the tensions between the exterior landscape and the interior life of the protagonists, reflecting on the particularly Australian cultural anxieties implicit in these texts. I also discuss my own research-led practice, the challenges involved in being an insider researcher and, finally, consider whether this nexus between the critical and creative helps or hinders the creative writing process.' (Publication abstract)

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Last amended 14 Nov 2016 12:15:39 There Was Nothing, There Was Nowhere to Go : Writing Australian Rural Noirsmall AustLit logo TEXT Special Issue Website Series
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