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Issue Details: First known date: 2016... 2016 Reading Kim Scott’s That Deadman Dance : Book Clubs and Postcolonial Literary Theory
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'This paper explores different readings of Kim Scott’s Miles Franklin award-winning novel That Deadman Dance, which offers a complex portrayal of cross-cultural contact on the so-called ‘Friendly Frontier’ of the southern coast of Western Australia in the early to mid-nineteenth century. This article contrasts academic responses to the novel with those of one of the most significant contemporary literary networks: book club readers. It draws upon Derek Attridge’s distinction between literal and allegorical readings, and Diana Fuss’s work on identification, to explore the extent to which different readers respond to the novel as an unfamiliar literary work in the context of literary sociability. I suggest that book club readings, in their tentative and open-ended uncertainty, pose a challenge to the orthodoxies of academic literary studies.' (Publication abstract)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    JASAL World Readers : The Transnational Locations of Australian Literature vol. 16 no. 2 2016 periodical issue

    'This issue opens with an important collection of writings on acclaimed novelist Alexis Wright. In ‘The Unjusticeable and the Imaginable’ Philip Mead aims to provide a deep context for Wright’s most recent work in terms of her engagement with questions of sovereignty. Mead takes up Wright’s claim that ‘The art of storytelling […] is a form of activism that allows us to work with our ideas through our imagination’ and through this lens tracks the conceptual paths through which Aboriginal sovereignty becomes imaginable. In ‘Orality and Narrative Invention in Alexis Wright’s Carpentaria,’ Geoff Rodoreda argues that the novel’s ‘narrative framework may well be a unique novelistic invention.’ Focusing on Wright’s use of voice in the novel, Rodoreda proposes that ‘Carpentaria … flatly rejects this paradigm of the inevitable demise of the oral upon contact with the written. What Alexis Wright does in her text is to take orality by the scruff of the neck, as it were, shake it free of all of its pejoratives and sneering deprecations, and boldly insert it back into the text, empowered.’ For Rodoreda, orality enables Wright to challenge the predominant role of written narrative in postcolonial settings, and ‘to portray a sovereign Aboriginal mindset in an authentically Indigenous storytelling mode.’' (Publication abstract)

Last amended 19 Jan 2017 11:18:00 Reading Kim Scott’s That Deadman Dance : Book Clubs and Postcolonial Literary Theorysmall AustLit logo JASAL