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Issue Details: First known date: 2017... 2017 Gardens and Inscription : Fictions by Tan Twan Eng and Fiona McGregor
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'The "plots" of these novels (the term usefully implies narrative purpose, mapping of a course, a calculation or conspiracy, and a piece of land) move beyond formal Aristotelian structures to chart psychological boundaries and the human investment involved in making a life or a garden in difficult or hostile terrains. Aritomo, the Japanese mastergardener/artist in Tan Twan Eng's The Garden of Evening Mists, teaches his initially reluctant pupil, Yun Ling, a woman who petitions him to create a memorial garden for her dead sister, that despite his craft in simulating a garden's timeless quality, an essential element is change-the idea of static perfection, "a garden where nothing dies or decays, where no-one grows old, and the seasons never change," is an anathema (308). Did he borrow from heaven itself? (27) Yun Ling's escape from the hellish death camp, where prisoners and guards were buried alive in the tunnels of their own making, has horrific significance, as the elderly woman now wears her lover's body tattoo that reproduces the layout, the very plot of the garden, its vectors and schema, potentially locating both the grave of her sister and lost treasure. Home, a substantial Sirius Cove property, is threatened by high-rise development, weeds, debt, prolonged drought, Marie's failure to manage financial affairs, and the avarice of an ex-husband.' (Publication abstract)

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  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Antipodes vol. 31 no. 2 December 2017 15912119 2017 periodical issue 2017 pg. 437-444
Last amended 27 Aug 2020 14:33:06
437-444 Gardens and Inscription : Fictions by Tan Twan Eng and Fiona McGregorsmall AustLit logo Antipodes