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Issue Details: First known date: 2017... 2017 Like Nothing on This Earth : A Literary History of the Wheatbelt
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'During the twentieth century, the southwestern corner of Australia was cleared for intensive agriculture. In the space of several decades, an arc from Esperance to Geraldton, an area of land larger than England, was cleared of native flora for the farming of grain and livestock. Today, satellite maps show a sharp line ringing Perth. Inside that line, tan-coloured land is the most visible sign from space of human impact on the planet. Where once there was a vast mosaic of scrub and forest, there is now the Western Australian wheatbelt.

'Tony Hughes-d’Aeth examines the creation of the wheatbelt through its creative writing. Some of Australia’s most well-known and significant writers - Albert Facey, Peter Cowan, Dorothy Hewett, Jack Davis, Elizabeth Jolley, and John Kinsella - wrote about their experience of the wheatbelt. Each gives insight into the human and environmental effects of this massive-scale agriculture.

'Albert Facey records the hardship and poverty of small-time selection in Australia. Dorothy Hewett makes the wheatbelt visible as an ecological tragedy. Jack Davis shows us an Aboriginal experience of the wheatbelt. Through examining this writing, Tony Hughes-d’Aeth demonstrates the deep value of literature in understanding the human experience of geographical change.' (Publication summary)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Crawley, Inner Perth, Perth, Western Australia,: UWA Publishing , 2017 .
      image of person or book cover 5894174417238949306.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 520p.
      Description: illus.
      Note/s:
      • Published March 2017
      ISBN: 9781742589244

Works about this Work

Peter Cowan : An Angry Penguin in the West John Barnes , 2020 single work criticism
— Appears in: Antipodes , June vol. 34 no. 1 2020; (p. 22-38)

'The central argument of this essay is that Peter Cowan's modernist experiments in fiction have not received due acknowledgment. A complex and conflicted personality, Cowan emerged in the 1940s as a writer under the sponsorship of the Angry Penguins in Melbourne but has become identified with Western Australia, where he was born and lived almost all his life. This essay, which discusses his love-hate relationship with the place, attempts to counter the limiting view that he is a regional writer. Drawing attention to the extraordinary contrast been his modernist fiction and his old-fashioned historical chronicles of his colonial forbears, it reveals him as a man psychically wounded by his family's past, whose overriding concern in his fiction was to match in words the emotional immediacy that the Angry Penguins achieved in paint.'  (Publication abstract)

Thinking in a Regional Accent : New Ways of Contemplating Australian Writers Tony Hughes-d'Aeth , 2020 single work essay
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , November no. 426 2020; (p. 24-26)

'Who would have guessed that a rejuvenation of regional difference might be triggered by a plague? Cosmopolitan Melbourne became the epicentre of what Prime Minister Scott Morrison has called the ‘Victorian wave’. Borders, the leitmotif of Australian politics since Tampa, suddenly became internal. My own state of Western Australia was sued for breach of the Australian Constitution for maintaining its ‘hard’ internal borders. Wonted barbs flowing between states now felt just a little personal. Interstate rivalry in Australia is not uncommon, with familiar stoushes over GST share, the Murray– Darling Basin, the location of naval shipbuilding, and the hosting of sporting events. But the idea that Australia has internal borders, not just to check fruit but to stop the movement of people, Australian people, is something that has only emerged with Covid-19.' (Introduction)

Tony Hughes-d’Aeth, Like Nothing on This Earth : A Literary History of the Wheatbelt Brigid Magner , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: JASAL , vol. 19 no. 2 2019;

— Review of Like Nothing on This Earth : A Literary History of the Wheatbelt Tony Hughes-d'Aeth , 2017 multi chapter work criticism
'Tony Hughes-d’Aeth’s Like Nothing on this Earth begins by telling of how his interest in the Western Australian wheatbelt grew out of watching weather reports on TV. He became transfixed by the satellite image of the sharp line that rings Perth, to the north and east, stretching roughly from Geraldton to Esperance and marking out an area most Western Australians know as the wheatbelt.' (Introduction)
[Review] Like Nothing on This Earth: A Literary History of the Wheatbelt and Suburban Space, the Novel and Australian Modernity Meg Brayshaw , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Humanities Review , November no. 65 2019;

— Review of Like Nothing on This Earth : A Literary History of the Wheatbelt Tony Hughes-d'Aeth , 2017 multi chapter work criticism ; Suburban Space, the Novel and Australian Modernity Brigid Rooney , 2018 multi chapter work criticism
'In his landmark work of spatial history The Road to Botany Bay (1988), Paul Carter delineates the close relationship between Australian space and language. The modern settler nation was inaugurated not only through the invaders’ physical presence but also their assertion of linguistic control through written documentation. Accordingly, space, place and land often frame investigations of settler Australian literature and culture. Despite this, however, the transnational fervour for place-based literary studies and literary geography has not produced an abundance of site-specific critical monographs on place in Australian literature. In this context, Tony Hughes-d’Aeth’s Like Nothing on This Earth: A Literary History of the Wheatbelt (UWAP, 2017) and Brigid Rooney’s Suburban Space, The Novel and Australian Modernity (Anthem, 2018) are significant recent works of Australian scholarship, offering careful and compelling critical investigations of the complex meaning-making relations of space, place and text.' (Introduction)
Uncertain Seasons in the El Niño Continent : Local and Global Views Libby Robin , 2019 single work criticism
— Appears in: Anglica : An International Journal of English Studies , vol. 28 no. 3 2019; (p. 7-19)

'As global climate change shifts seasonal patterns, local and uncertain seasons of Australia have global relevance. Australia’s literature tracks extreme local weather events, exploring ‘slow catastrophes’ and ‘endurance.’ Humanists can change public policy in times when stress is a state of life, by reflecting on the psyches of individuals, rather than the patterns of the state. ‘Probable’ futures, generated by mathematical models that predict nature and economics, have little to say about living with extreme weather. Hope is not easily modelled. The frameworks that enable hopeful futures are qualitatively different. They can explore the unimaginable by offering an ‘interior apprehension.’' (Publication abstract)

Reaping What Was Sown Susan Lever , 2017 single work review
— Appears in: Inside Story , May 2017;

— Review of Like Nothing on This Earth : A Literary History of the Wheatbelt Tony Hughes-d'Aeth , 2017 multi chapter work criticism
'An unconventional history shows us personal and emotional engagements with the history of the WA wheatbelt' 
Review of Like Nothing on this Earth: A Literary History of the Wheatbelt, by Tony Hughes-d’Aeth Don Graham , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Literary Studies , July vol. 34 no. 1 2019;

— Review of Like Nothing on This Earth : A Literary History of the Wheatbelt Tony Hughes-d'Aeth , 2017 multi chapter work criticism

'In this lengthy and ambitious work, Tony Hughes-d’Aeth employs an ‘event/witness’ model to relate the history of the wheatbelt, a portion of Western Australia consisting of approximately 50 million acres (3). Hughes-d’Aeth has a very keen interest in this region, a gigantic cleared space where all the native bush was cut down in two periods of avid assault on the natural and primordial landscape that had existed for some 40,000 years or more and inhabited by Indigenous people.'

Source: Abstract.

[Review] Like Nothing on This Earth: A Literary History of the Wheatbelt and Suburban Space, the Novel and Australian Modernity Meg Brayshaw , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Humanities Review , November no. 65 2019;

— Review of Like Nothing on This Earth : A Literary History of the Wheatbelt Tony Hughes-d'Aeth , 2017 multi chapter work criticism ; Suburban Space, the Novel and Australian Modernity Brigid Rooney , 2018 multi chapter work criticism
'In his landmark work of spatial history The Road to Botany Bay (1988), Paul Carter delineates the close relationship between Australian space and language. The modern settler nation was inaugurated not only through the invaders’ physical presence but also their assertion of linguistic control through written documentation. Accordingly, space, place and land often frame investigations of settler Australian literature and culture. Despite this, however, the transnational fervour for place-based literary studies and literary geography has not produced an abundance of site-specific critical monographs on place in Australian literature. In this context, Tony Hughes-d’Aeth’s Like Nothing on This Earth: A Literary History of the Wheatbelt (UWAP, 2017) and Brigid Rooney’s Suburban Space, The Novel and Australian Modernity (Anthem, 2018) are significant recent works of Australian scholarship, offering careful and compelling critical investigations of the complex meaning-making relations of space, place and text.' (Introduction)
Tony Hughes-d’Aeth, Like Nothing on This Earth : A Literary History of the Wheatbelt Brigid Magner , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: JASAL , vol. 19 no. 2 2019;

— Review of Like Nothing on This Earth : A Literary History of the Wheatbelt Tony Hughes-d'Aeth , 2017 multi chapter work criticism
'Tony Hughes-d’Aeth’s Like Nothing on this Earth begins by telling of how his interest in the Western Australian wheatbelt grew out of watching weather reports on TV. He became transfixed by the satellite image of the sharp line that rings Perth, to the north and east, stretching roughly from Geraldton to Esperance and marking out an area most Western Australians know as the wheatbelt.' (Introduction)
Siobhan Hodge Reviews Like Nothing on This Earth: A Literary History of the Wheatbelt by Tony Hughes-d’Aeth Siobhan Hodge , 2018 single work review
— Appears in: Plumwood Mountain [Online] , February 2018;

— Review of Like Nothing on This Earth : A Literary History of the Wheatbelt Tony Hughes-d'Aeth , 2017 multi chapter work criticism
'Like Nothing on This Earth : A Literary History of the Wheatbelt' by Tony Hughes-d’Aeth Delys Bird , 2017 single work essay
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , June-July no. 392 2017;
'In his Epilogue to this major study of the West Australian wheatbelt and its writers, Tony Hughes-d’Aeth describes his work. With no ‘exact precedent’ in Australian scholarship, it is ‘best thought of as an amalgam of literary history, literary sociology and literary geography’. To achieve this, Hughes-d’Aeth traces the idea of the wheatbelt through intensive readings of the work of eleven writers. In their writing it is a created place, ‘an entity sustained by human imagination’. The literature captures and records the changes, broadly environmental and social, that have impacted on it.' (Introduction)
The Planet Is Alive: Radical Histories for Uncanny Times Tom Griffiths , 2019 single work essay
— Appears in: Griffith Review , January no. 63 2019; (p. 61-72)

'I want to take you on a journey from the planet to the parish, from the global to the local, from the Earth in space to the earth beneath our feet, from the lonely glowing speck of dust at the edge of the galaxy to the soil that we kneel upon and sift through our fingers and to which we ultimately return, dust to dust. These are contrasting perspectives of our home - one vertiginous, the other intimate; one from the outside in deep space and the other from the inside in deep time - on very different scales but still connected. And we have to see them as connected if we are to live respectfully and sustainably as part of nature.'' (Publication abstract)

Uncertain Seasons in the El Niño Continent : Local and Global Views Libby Robin , 2019 single work criticism
— Appears in: Anglica : An International Journal of English Studies , vol. 28 no. 3 2019; (p. 7-19)

'As global climate change shifts seasonal patterns, local and uncertain seasons of Australia have global relevance. Australia’s literature tracks extreme local weather events, exploring ‘slow catastrophes’ and ‘endurance.’ Humanists can change public policy in times when stress is a state of life, by reflecting on the psyches of individuals, rather than the patterns of the state. ‘Probable’ futures, generated by mathematical models that predict nature and economics, have little to say about living with extreme weather. Hope is not easily modelled. The frameworks that enable hopeful futures are qualitatively different. They can explore the unimaginable by offering an ‘interior apprehension.’' (Publication abstract)

Thinking in a Regional Accent : New Ways of Contemplating Australian Writers Tony Hughes-d'Aeth , 2020 single work essay
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , November no. 426 2020; (p. 24-26)

'Who would have guessed that a rejuvenation of regional difference might be triggered by a plague? Cosmopolitan Melbourne became the epicentre of what Prime Minister Scott Morrison has called the ‘Victorian wave’. Borders, the leitmotif of Australian politics since Tampa, suddenly became internal. My own state of Western Australia was sued for breach of the Australian Constitution for maintaining its ‘hard’ internal borders. Wonted barbs flowing between states now felt just a little personal. Interstate rivalry in Australia is not uncommon, with familiar stoushes over GST share, the Murray– Darling Basin, the location of naval shipbuilding, and the hosting of sporting events. But the idea that Australia has internal borders, not just to check fruit but to stop the movement of people, Australian people, is something that has only emerged with Covid-19.' (Introduction)

Peter Cowan : An Angry Penguin in the West John Barnes , 2020 single work criticism
— Appears in: Antipodes , June vol. 34 no. 1 2020; (p. 22-38)

'The central argument of this essay is that Peter Cowan's modernist experiments in fiction have not received due acknowledgment. A complex and conflicted personality, Cowan emerged in the 1940s as a writer under the sponsorship of the Angry Penguins in Melbourne but has become identified with Western Australia, where he was born and lived almost all his life. This essay, which discusses his love-hate relationship with the place, attempts to counter the limiting view that he is a regional writer. Drawing attention to the extraordinary contrast been his modernist fiction and his old-fashioned historical chronicles of his colonial forbears, it reveals him as a man psychically wounded by his family's past, whose overriding concern in his fiction was to match in words the emotional immediacy that the Angry Penguins achieved in paint.'  (Publication abstract)

Last amended 2 Jul 2019 15:11:31
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