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Issue Details: First known date: 2017... 2017 A Routine Disappearance : Shaun Prescott's The Town
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

It would be almost redundant to note the strangeness of Shaun Prescott's debut full-length novel The Town, with each review of the novel to date—now including this one—emphasising the novel's purported oddity. These observations of eccentricity are not wholly surprising; major elements of the narrative seem purposefully estranged from any semblance of verisimilitude. Certainly the rhetorical positioning of the text encourages this reading, with the rear cover blurb describing the novel as a sequence of consecutive paradoxes: performances, absent audiences, services sans clients, pubs deprived of patrons (though not of beer). Indeed, one of the major plot points has the eponymous town literally disappearing, as it is consumed by inextricable holes that open up the fabric of the text's reality. A deeper consideration, however, reveals the fact that The Town very carefully constructs its inextricability through a fog of banality, shimmering with formal conventionality that undermines its ostensible abnormality. In the great rush to attribute oddity, what has been consistently overlooked is the sheer mundanity of much of the novel, which manifests in an ironic tension that causes The Town to straddle a fine line between gravity and levity.' (Introduction)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Southerly Mixed Messages vol. 77 no. 3 2017 14149814 2017 periodical issue

    'The theme of this issue, Mixed Messages, relates in the main to a thread running through the essays, all of which engage with texts that challenge the limits of genre. These challenges include the status and influence of what might be termed a secondary genre deployed by writers whose renown is based on another form: Brigitta Olubas considers the short fiction of novelist Shirley Hazzard; and Cheryl Taylor introduces the poetry of novelist Thea Astley. Kate Livett delves into the mixed media, specifically music and photography, at the core of Helen Garner’s The Children’s Bach, and Peter Kirkpatrick examines the fusion of Gothic and Romance forms in Chloe Hooper’s The Engagement, and David Brooks thinks through the miscenegy of the human and the non-human in relation to the famous scene of Derrida standing naked before his cat. Another strand in the issue is of comedy and errors and includes fiction by Debra Adelaide, John Kinsella, Mark Macrossan, Sara Bucholz, Nasrin Mahoutchi, Niki Tulk and Scott McCulloch. The poetry spans its usual wide range from the lyric to graphic experimentation and the reviews introduce some of the exciting new work published across creative and critical forms.' (Publication abstract)

    pg. 183-186
Last amended 2 Aug 2018 09:55:29
183-186 A Routine Disappearance : Shaun Prescott's The Townsmall AustLit logo Southerly
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  • The Town Shaun Prescott , 2017 single work novel
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