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Issue Details: First known date: 2017... 2017 Remapping Capricornia : Xavier Herbert’s Cosmopolitan Imagination
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Since its publication in 1938 critics have generally read Xavier Herbert’s Capricornia as a nationalist novel, even when its nationalism is seen to be structured by contradiction. But little attention has been given to the ways in which Herbert’s complex, multifarious and heteroglossic novel exceeds and challenges the very possibility of coherent national space and a coherent national story. This essay considers moments and spaces in Herbert’s novel where the national is displaced and unravelled. Drawing on Rebecca Walkowitz’s idea of cosmopolitan style and Suvendrini Perera’s work on Australia’s insular imagination I identify a critical cosmopolitanism that inheres in the novel’s geographical imagination and its literary form, particularly the narrative voice which retains a critical distance from the nationalist sensibility of various characters and plot lines, performing a detached and restless homelessness that I identify with the cosmopolitan. Ultimately I ask how the novel’s spatial and environmental imagination displaces its nationalist agenda, making space for a different kind of social imagination—one that does not confine itself to the terms of the nation or organise itself around a central figure for the nation.' (Publication abstract)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Cultural Studies Review Reprise vol. 23 no. 2 2017 13424389 2017 periodical issue

    'This issue includes a special section, guest edited by Liz Conor, that revisits, evaluates and repositions the figure of Xavier Herbert, a controversial Australian novelist and activist.

    'Elsewhere in this issue are two essays focused on question of language and culture. Michael Richardson writes about the complex relationships between political speechwriters and speechmakers, while Prithvi Varatharajan is concerned with the public utterances of contemporary Chinese-Australian poet Ouyang Yu, broadcast on Australian public radio. In a different register, Nicole De Brabandere explores the rich materiality of ordinary domestic figurines and dinnerware, while a contrasting sense of interiority pervades Vahideh Aboukazemi’s history of revolutionary Iran. And, as always, our reviews will repay your attention.' (Introduction)

    pg. 126-140
Last amended 23 Mar 2018 10:08:42
126-140 Remapping Capricornia : Xavier Herbert’s Cosmopolitan Imaginationsmall AustLit logo Cultural Studies Review
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