AustLit logo
image of person or book cover 4211644402040751541.jpg
Image courtesy of publisher's website.
y separately published work icon Christos Tsiolkas : The Utopian Vision multi chapter work   criticism  
Issue Details: First known date: 2017... 2017 Christos Tsiolkas : The Utopian Vision
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

'More than two decades ago, Christos Tsiolkas’s his first novel Loaded was published and he had achieved a cult following in the short-lived grunge fiction scene of Australian writing. The novel was quickly adapted as the film Head On (1998), directed by Ana Kokkinos, and starring popular young Greek actor, Alex Dimitriades; like the novel, it was well-received by critics, if not by mainstream literary and cinematic culture. For the next few years, Tsiolkas worked on Jump Cuts, an experimental collaborative autobiography, with Sasha Soldatow (1996), as well as a number of theatre productions – Who’s Afraid of the Working Class? (1999, co-written with Andrew Bovell, Melissa Reeves and Patricia Cornelius, and adapted to film as Blessed, also directed by Kokkinos [2009]), Thug (1998, written with Spiro Economopolous), and Elektra AD (1999) – but when The Jesus Man (1999) was published, its violent depiction of depression and suicide received critical attention as offensive and unnecessary. Partly because of the reception of The Jesus Man, and partly because of the density of its subject matter, his next novel, Dead Europe (2005) took six years to write. In the interim, he published a critical study of the film The Devil’s Playground (2002), and several more plays and screenplays: Viewing Blue Poles (2000), Saturn’s Return (2000), Fever (2002, co-written with Bovell, Reeves and Cornelius), Dead Caucasians (2002), Non Parlo di Salo (2005, written with Economopoulous), and The Hit (2006, written with Netta Yashin). Dead Europe was a triumphant return: it won the Age Book of the Year and the Melbourne Best Writing Award in 2006.'  (Publication summary)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Amherst, New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Cambria Press ,
      2017 .
      image of person or book cover 4211644402040751541.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 208p.
      Note/s:
      • Publication Date July 12, 2017

      ISBN: 9781604979787
      Series: y separately published work icon Cambria Australian Literature Series Susan Lever (editor), Cambria Press (publisher), Amherst : Cambria Press , 2008- Z1869108 2008 series - publisher criticism

      The Cambria Australian Literature Series focuses on critical studies of writing by Australians, with a particular emphasis on contemporary Australian fiction. In recent decades Australian fiction publishing has outstripped critical study, with the work of many important writers receiving little more critical attention than newspaper and journal reviews, with occasional articles in scholarly journals or collections by diverse critics. This series gives an opportunity for sustained consideration of a writer’s full career. In each book, an individual critic engages with the work of a writer, assisting other scholars, students and general readers in understanding its complexities. Each book seeks to find an appropriate, original and lively approach to the writer in question. In particular, the series places the writing not only within Australian culture but also in the context of international developments in the novel.

      Source: Publisher's website.

Works about this Work

Jessica Gildersleeve, Christos Tsiolkas : The Utopian Vision Hannah Stark , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: JASAL , vol. 19 no. 2 2019;

— Review of Christos Tsiolkas : The Utopian Vision Jessica Gildersleeve , 2017 multi chapter work criticism
'I have always read Christos Tsiolkas as a writer whose grand vision is of the failure of all political utopias. In particular, I have considered Tsiolkas in relation to the anti-social strand of queer theory and the perceived failure of queer politics. However, in Jessica Gildersleeve’s Christos Tsiolkas: The Utopian Vision, she positions his body of work as offering a politics of hope through negative affect. In this way, her focus is not descriptive but is engaged with asking larger political questions about writers, readers and reading. Gildersleeve uses deconstructive and psychoanalytic strategies to reveal the ethical and affective capacities of Tsiolkas’s work. She reads Tsiolkas in relation to the social and ethical capacity of literature to produce a reader who is a ‘responsible, ethical, affective, and effective citizen’ (4). Using Sara Ahmed’s critique of happiness as an emotion that is used to cover over oppression, Gildersleeve positions negative affect as a form of resistance to normativity and positions it as a textual strategy that can elicit political change. This is particularly pertinent in relation to migrant or refugee narratives, like the ones that appear throughout Tsiolkas’s work, where there is a perceived duty of happiness and gratitude. It is also central to Tsiolkas’s positioning as an Australian writer and his unrelenting critique of the ‘lucky country.’ (Introduction)
[Review] Christos Tsiolkas : A Utopian Vision Penelope Stavrou , 2018 single work review
— Appears in: Southerly , vol. 78 no. 2 2018; (p. 222-225)

— Review of Christos Tsiolkas : The Utopian Vision Jessica Gildersleeve , 2017 multi chapter work criticism
Review of Christos Tsiolkas : The Utopian Vision, by Jessica Gildersleeve Andrew McCann , 2017 single work essay
— Appears in: Australian Literary Studies , September vol. 32 no. 2 2017;

'I still come across people who find Christos Tsiolkas’s work creepy or off-putting. Usually these people have had a brush with Dead Europe and decided that it is too bleak, too violent, too sexually explicit, or perhaps too explicitly political. They haven’t read on. It strikes me as an odd reaction, or at least one that is trapped in a particular moment, and hence overlooks the trajectory Tsiolkas’s career has taken since the publication of The Slap in 2008. As Jessica Gildersleeve tells us in the acknowledgements to Christos Tsiolkas: The Utopian Vision, she in fact first read The Slap with her mother’s book club. I’m sure the experience isn’t unusual. I’m sometimes in a similar situation: my parents and their reading group friends are very eager to talk to me about Tsiolkas, the television adaptations of his work and the sense of controversy that lingers over him. They might find aspects of the writing creepy or off-putting as well, but they’ve embraced these responses and are eager to understand them. These contexts – domestic, familial, intergenerational – tell us a great deal about the sort of writer Tsiolkas has become, and about his centrality to public discussion. And yet there is still the shadow of the other Tsiolkas: the Tsiolkas whose work haunts and unsettles in ways that don’t quite lend themselves to the reading group format, the family dinner table or chats with Mum.' (Introduction)

[Review] Christos Tsiolkas : A Utopian Vision Penelope Stavrou , 2018 single work review
— Appears in: Southerly , vol. 78 no. 2 2018; (p. 222-225)

— Review of Christos Tsiolkas : The Utopian Vision Jessica Gildersleeve , 2017 multi chapter work criticism
Jessica Gildersleeve, Christos Tsiolkas : The Utopian Vision Hannah Stark , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: JASAL , vol. 19 no. 2 2019;

— Review of Christos Tsiolkas : The Utopian Vision Jessica Gildersleeve , 2017 multi chapter work criticism
'I have always read Christos Tsiolkas as a writer whose grand vision is of the failure of all political utopias. In particular, I have considered Tsiolkas in relation to the anti-social strand of queer theory and the perceived failure of queer politics. However, in Jessica Gildersleeve’s Christos Tsiolkas: The Utopian Vision, she positions his body of work as offering a politics of hope through negative affect. In this way, her focus is not descriptive but is engaged with asking larger political questions about writers, readers and reading. Gildersleeve uses deconstructive and psychoanalytic strategies to reveal the ethical and affective capacities of Tsiolkas’s work. She reads Tsiolkas in relation to the social and ethical capacity of literature to produce a reader who is a ‘responsible, ethical, affective, and effective citizen’ (4). Using Sara Ahmed’s critique of happiness as an emotion that is used to cover over oppression, Gildersleeve positions negative affect as a form of resistance to normativity and positions it as a textual strategy that can elicit political change. This is particularly pertinent in relation to migrant or refugee narratives, like the ones that appear throughout Tsiolkas’s work, where there is a perceived duty of happiness and gratitude. It is also central to Tsiolkas’s positioning as an Australian writer and his unrelenting critique of the ‘lucky country.’ (Introduction)
Review of Christos Tsiolkas : The Utopian Vision, by Jessica Gildersleeve Andrew McCann , 2017 single work essay
— Appears in: Australian Literary Studies , September vol. 32 no. 2 2017;

'I still come across people who find Christos Tsiolkas’s work creepy or off-putting. Usually these people have had a brush with Dead Europe and decided that it is too bleak, too violent, too sexually explicit, or perhaps too explicitly political. They haven’t read on. It strikes me as an odd reaction, or at least one that is trapped in a particular moment, and hence overlooks the trajectory Tsiolkas’s career has taken since the publication of The Slap in 2008. As Jessica Gildersleeve tells us in the acknowledgements to Christos Tsiolkas: The Utopian Vision, she in fact first read The Slap with her mother’s book club. I’m sure the experience isn’t unusual. I’m sometimes in a similar situation: my parents and their reading group friends are very eager to talk to me about Tsiolkas, the television adaptations of his work and the sense of controversy that lingers over him. They might find aspects of the writing creepy or off-putting as well, but they’ve embraced these responses and are eager to understand them. These contexts – domestic, familial, intergenerational – tell us a great deal about the sort of writer Tsiolkas has become, and about his centrality to public discussion. And yet there is still the shadow of the other Tsiolkas: the Tsiolkas whose work haunts and unsettles in ways that don’t quite lend themselves to the reading group format, the family dinner table or chats with Mum.' (Introduction)

Last amended 27 May 2019 09:36:24
X