AustLit logo
y separately published work icon Portal periodical issue   peer reviewed assertion
Alternative title: Australians Abroad
Issue Details: First known date: 2013... vol. 10 no. 1 2013 of Portal est. 2004- Portal
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

'Although commonly characterized as an immigrant nation, Australia has been shaped just as importantly by the overseas journeys of its people, and the liminal experiences thus provided have not only been self-defining and defining of the other, but at times nation-defining. This special issue proposes a multidisciplinary analysis of Australian travellers and expatriates past and present: the reasons for and destinations of their travel, its impact on their identity, the roles they play, their writings and reflections, their linguistic and intercultural competence.

'Clusters of travellers to particular destinations give rise to narrative patterns which solidify into templates, the narrative equivalent of the beaten track. The essays that follow highlight both discursive grooves and off-piste accounts that challenge the patterns. In both cases, the emphasis in the essays is on the travellers’ active engagement in the experience and on their negotiation of existing discourses. For even those who follow the trail invest it with personal meanings.'

Source: Introduction.

Notes

  • Contents indexed selectively. This issue also contains work that falls outside AustLit's scope.

Contents

* Contents derived from the 2013 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
Australians Abroad : Narrative Paths and Divagations, Juliana De Nooy , single work criticism

'Although commonly characterized as an immigrant nation, Australia has been shaped just as importantly by the overseas journeys of its people, and the liminal experiences thus provided have not only been self-defining and defining of the other, but at times nation-defining. This special issue proposes a multidisciplinary analysis of Australian travellers and expatriates past and present: the reasons for and destinations of their travel, its impact on their identity, the roles they play, their writings and reflections, their linguistic and intercultural competence.

'Clusters of travellers to particular destinations give rise to narrative patterns which solidify into templates, the narrative equivalent of the beaten track. The essays that follow highlight both discursive grooves and off-piste accounts that challenge the patterns. In both cases, the emphasis in the essays is on the travellers’ active engagement in the experience and on their negotiation of existing discourses. For even those who follow the trail invest it with personal meanings.'

Source: Abstract.

Time Travel : Australian Tourists and Britain's Past, Richard White , single work criticism

'Across the twentieth century, Britain drew more Australian tourists for longer and more intense experiences than anywhere else, though as early as the 1970s Asia was attracting more Australians than Europe. They found much to admire and to deprecate in Britain but above all they were seduced by Britain’s past, or what they imagined it to be. This paper examines the Australian experience of history in Britain, their admiration for notions of tradition, for an unchanging village life, for fading imperial glory, for sheer antiquity. Some looked for their own ancestors and family but most were satisfied to have their school lessons and imaginative reading validated by being there. The response they had to British history was an intensely emotional one: this article argues that it was a result not of imperial sentiment but of a desire for a deep and meaningful past.'

Source: Abstract.

'The Sweet Uses of London' : The Careers 'Abroad' of Louise Mack (1870-1935) and Arthur Maquarie (1874–1955), Meg Tasker , single work criticism

'This paper examines the careers of two Australian writers who left Sydney for London at the end of the nineteenth century to explore questions of cultural, as well as literary, identity and affiliation.

'Louise Mack, as a poet, novelist, writer of romances, journalist and war correspondent, combined a fluid sense of national identity with a flexibility in writing across genres and readerships that makes her hard to categorise. Arthur Maquarie’s career as an Australian poet aspiring to fit into an essentially ‘English’ cultural niche provides a model of Anglo-Australianness that appears to fit a conservative model, called somewhat imprecisely from an Australian perspective, expatration - but which nonetheless retains layers of identity and experience which made complete assimilation virtually impossible.

'At a time when there was no clear or inevitable choice between being British or Australian, it is apparent that these writers never fully renounced (indeed, could not completely lose) either their British heritage or their colonial identity, whether working in commercial or literary milieux. Living and working in London, they were not simply expatriates or exiles, but carriers of complex and often shifting roles and identities that insisted on hybridity. Despite this theoretical hybridity being inevitable to some extent, it is still possible to distinguish between them. The colonial transnational writer’s position is differently inflected from the expatriate’s, as it entails the carrying of several layers of identity without an ideologically driven impulse to assert, renounce or choose between them.

By comparison with Maquarie, Louise Mack appears to be far less troubled by notions of cultural identity, whether political or more broadly literary. Her greater mobility between genres, and her lack of any fixed status or position in social or institutional settings of the kind that Maquarie adhered to, correspond to a greater flexibility in her cultural affiliations, and produced a more fluid form of ‘colonial transnational’ identity.'

Source: Abstract.

A Gum-Tree Exile : Randolph Bedford in Italy, Lucy Sussex , single work criticism

'Randolph Bedford (1868–1941) was an Australian journalist, politician and novelist, a lifelong socialist despite making a small fortune from mining. He was among the ‘brain drain’ of Australians at the turn of last century, who hoped to emulate Melba’s success in England. Many of his contemporaries, such as Henry Lawson, experienced disillusion and poverty, and returned home. Bedford differed in his versatility, and also his profound rejection of the British Empire. He could not sell his novels initially, nor his speculations to British investors, but was able to put his mining experience to use in Italy. There he became one of the first Australians to fall in love with the country.

'His attraction to Italy was partly aesthetic, its artistic glories, but also because it reinforced his sentimental Australian nationalism. He saw similarities in landscape, and also in climate. He wrote despatches back to the Bulletin called ‘Explorations in Civilization’, which became a book in 1916. The subtitle was ‘An Australian in Exile’, reversing the ‘Exiles We’, of the first settlers, with their nostalgia for Britain. In contrast, Bedford saw nothing good in London and the Empire. He disliked it upon first sight, and his irreverence and socialist sympathies had no place in the conservative British investment milieu.

'Bedford would sell two novels in Britain, via Henry Lawson (whom he helped in London) and his literary agent J. B. Pinker. But he returned home, certain expatriate life was not for him, and devoted his energies to Australia. His real success was in Explorations in Civilization, superb travel-writing, perhaps his best work. It shows his love for his country being reinforced through the perceived similarities between it and Italy, a second homeland for him. He even paid its people his highest compliment: that they were his preferred settlers for Australia.'

Source: Abstract.

Mary Poppins and the Soviet Pilgrimage : P.L.Travers's Moscow Excursion (1934), John McNair , single work criticism

'Like the journey it chronicles, Moscow Excursion, P.L.Travers’s account of her 1932 visit to Russia, was in part inspired by the genre it effectively parodies: the ‘Soviet pilgrimage’ ‘truth about Russia’ narrative characteristic of the Stalin decades and exemplified (in the Australian context) by Katharine Susannah Prichard’s The Real Russia, also published in 1934. The paper examines the ways in which Travers’s book is written against this genre to produce an avowedly ‘un-political’ record whose narrator rejects the restrictions of organized travel, and whose idiosyncratic and critical observations on Soviet reality contrast with the admiration of her more orthodox fellow-travellers for the usual showcase institutions on the official itinerary. At the same time, it is argued that in its blend of self-deprecating irony, whimsy and disillusioned idealism Moscow Excursion suggests parallels with Travers’s personal quest for ‘the truth’ and even with Mary Poppins, published only two months later.'

Source: Abstract.

I, Migrant?, Amelia Walker , sequence poetry

'‘I, Migrant?’ is a narrative poetry sequence that explores themes of language, culture, identity and belonging through the eyes of an Australian living in Den Haag, The Netherlands. The speaker in the poems faces challenges such as seeking work and making friends in a context where she does not speak the dominant language, Dutch. This proves far from easy, destabilising her sense of identity. She questions where and how she can belong. Reluctant to join what she considers “the white ghetto of Den Haag,” the speaker initially attempts to assimilate herself into Dutch culture, but later finds solace in a community of other expats. Within this community, national identities become exaggerated and people morph into stereotypes. The speaker increasingly defines herself as “Australian,” performing this identity both publicly and in private. Beneath the surface there bubbles, however, an awareness that she is acting out a myth. A more genuine sense of belonging emerges, unexpectedly, in an Asian food court, where she converses in Dutch with staff who also speak it as their second language. The speaker concludes that identity is located in language. It is therefore neither fixed nor singular, but multiple and forever changing.'

Source: Abstract.

Vreemdelingen (Strangers) / We Are Themi"Who are we?", Amelia Walker , single work poetry
Hello! Pleased Your Meeting to Make!i"I am three weeks in this country.", Amelia Walker , single work poetry
Out of the Skyi"You fall out of the sky and into the twilight", Amelia Walker , single work poetry
Woorden en Worden (Words and Becoming)i"The Dutch word horen means both 'to hear'", Amelia Walker , single work poetry
Deniali"I am not going to become one of those 'Engelse mensen'", Amelia Walker , single work poetry
Okayi"Okay. So I'm paler than a dead albino axolotl under ten feet of snow.", Amelia Walker , single work poetry
The Guy Slash Woman Slash Couplei"I am constantly hearing stories", Amelia Walker , single work poetry
Salvation Now Comes in a Tubei"Nobody liked it, the first time", Amelia Walker , single work poetry
It Figuresi"I never topped my class in maths.", Amelia Walker , single work poetry
Codai"Late morning, Den Haag.", Amelia Walker , single work poetry

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Last amended 11 May 2017 09:34:36
X