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Issue Details: First known date: 2014... 2014 “Violent” Aboriginals and “Benign” White Men : White’s Alternative Representation of the Encounter in Voss
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'White published his fifth novel, Voss, in 1957, a time when the White Australia Policy was being relaxed ahead of its eventual abolition in 1966. It was a significant historical moment for the novel to make an appearance because it historicized the encounter between whites and aboriginals. The clash between European explorers and the aboriginal people of Australia must properly be viewed as a form of early exploratory diplomacy between colonialists who aimed to “discover” an imagined homeland, on the one hand, and the pre-existing nations of the indigenous people, on the other. As Johann Ulrich Voss, the protagonist in the novel Voss, sets out to “explore” the continent in 1845, his contact with aboriginal communities constitutes a form of informal diplomacy, or unofficial amateur diplomacy—i.e. the diplomacy conducted by ordinary people. By contrast, formal diplomacy is conducted by countries, as understood in Diplomatic History and International Relations History. There is rich historical literature on informal diplomacy and early contacts between white settlers and aboriginals, both in North America and Australia, many of which resulted in the signing of treaties and informal pacts (Ford 2010, Berman and Johnson 1977, Forslund 2002, and Beisner 1975). '

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Patrick White Centenary : The Legacy of a Prodigal Son Cynthia Van Den Driesen (editor), Bill Ashcroft (editor), Newcastle upon Tyne : Cambridge Scholars Press , 2014 7902410 2014 anthology criticism

    'This volume marks the birth centenary of a giant amongst contemporary writers: the Australian Nobel prize-winning novelist, Patrick White (1912–1990). It proffers an invaluable insight into the current state of White studies through commentaries drawn from an international galaxy of eminent critics, as well as from newer talents. The book proves that interest in White’s work continues to grow and diversify.

    'Every essay offers a new insight: some are re-evaluations by seasoned critics who revise earlier positions significantly; others admit new light onto what has seemed like well-trodden terrain or focus on works perhaps undervalued in the past—his poetry, an early short story or novel—which are now subjected to fresh attention. His posthumous work has also won attention from prominent critics. New comparisons with other international writers have been drawn in terms of subject matter, themes and philosophy.

    'The expansion of critical attention into fields like photography and film opens new possibilities for enhancing further appreciation of his work. White’s interest in public issues such as the treatment of Australia’s Indigenous peoples, human rights and Australian nationalism is refracted through the inclusion of relevant commentaries from notable contributors.

    'For the first time in Australian literary history, Indigenous scholars have participated in a celebration of the work of a white Australian writer. All of this highlights a new direction in White studies – the appreciation of his stature as a public intellectual. The book demonstrates that White’s legacy has limitless possibilities for further growth.' (Publisher's abstract)

    Newcastle upon Tyne : Cambridge Scholars Press , 2014
    pg. 241-256
Last amended 7 Jun 2017 12:18:31
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