AustLit logo
Issue Details: First known date: 2016... 2016 “Translating the Short Stories of Alexis Wright” Sylvie Kandé Talks to Demelza Hall about Le Pacte Du Serpent Arc-en-ciel
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.

AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Collapsing the barriers between personal memory and forms of fiction, Alexis Wright’s short stories are frequently framed by what has not been resolved and cannot be recounted. This interview with French translator and postcolonial critic Sylvie Kandé discusses the depiction/translation of trauma in Wright's French short fiction volume, Le Pacte du serpent arc-en-ciel. An awareness of the dynamics underpinning Indigenous exposition and cross-cultural exchange are integral to understanding Alexis Wright’s oeuvre. In this interview, Kandé proposes an analysis of the “writer in the text,” as both a wordsmith and a spokesperson for Indigenous silenced trauma.

'Le Pacte du serpent arc-en-ciel has not been published in English under the same format, this interview also examines the reception of Wright's work both in Australia and overseas. ' (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 11:22:26