'Official language smitheryed to sanction ignorance and preserve privilege is a suit of armor polished to shocking glitter, a husk from which the knight departed long ago. Yet there it is: dumb, predatory, sentimental. Exciting reverence in schoolchildren, providing shelter for despots, summoning false memories of stability, harmony among the public. (Morrison 1993)
'These lines, drawn from novelist, essayist, and teacher Toni Morrison’s 1993 Nobel lecture, offer a vivid description of the kinds of rhetoric dominating our public, professional, and even our cultural spaces today, although the cracks are beginning to show, and we would be hard pressed to claim that ‘harmony’ prevails.' (Deborah Hunn, Ffion Murphy, Catherine Noske and Anne Surma, Introduction)
Only literary material within AustLit's scope individually indexed. Other material in this issue includes:
Contemplating language as ‘an edge that never arrives’ in Emily Dickinson’s poetry by Mags Webster (Murdoch University)
Narrative inquiry, creative nonfiction and two braided stories of the rehabilitation and release of orang-utans in Sebuyau, Sarawak by Christina YinChristina Amanda Yin (Swinburne University of Technology, Sarawak Campus, University of Nottingham Malaysia)
A common space: translation, transcreation, and drama The case of the English translation of the French play, On Arthur Schopenhauer’s Sledge by Yasmina Reza by Vivienne Glance and Hélène Jaccomard (University of Western Australia
'Entering the digital storyworld of Deakinopolis (a narrative-based world of interrelated settings, characters and situations) is about imaginatively entering an alternative fictional storyworld that largely presents as factual, an experience that mirrors tertiary learners’ realities. Malouf talks of experience of story as ‘… being taken out of ourselves into the skin of another; having adventures there that are both our own and not our own ... Release … into a dimension where reality is not limited’ (2008: 19).
'The digital storyworld of Deakinopolis contains alternative or imagined realities, where learners project their own experience in making this world coherent through their engagement with potentially unsettling perspectives. To encourage agency in active learner exploration, the storyworld is suspended out of time and sequence so that participants can imagine themselves through lapsed borders into that seemingly peripheral world. The learners activate their immersive engagement in this digital storyworld through praxical experience of unsettling perspectives, with potential for disrupting singular perspectives into transformative immersion of imagination as poiesis.' (Publication abstract)
'When addressing the rise of mass media, literary authors of the late twentieth century often expressed an ‘anxiety of obsolescence’ (Fitzpatrick 2006) in their work: an acute awareness of being potentially displaced. This often led them to adopt an attitude of defiance in the face of technological change.
'Many contemporary literary authors adopt a similar oppositional attitude towards the rise and encroachment of networked technology, but retreating to the increasingly peripheral territory of ‘pure’ print-based literature is no longer easy. Digital technology presents not only the possibility of displacement but also that of transformation, with its spread threatening to fundamentally alter the practice of reading and writing.
'Possibly in response to the radical upheavals faced by Australian literary culture due to the rise of electronic publishing since 2012, recent works by three established Australian authors – Amnesia by Peter Carey (2014), the Wisdom Tree novella sequence by Nick Earls (2016), and The Life to Come by Michelle de Kretser (2017) – examine the ways in which networked technologies challenge or complicate the role, identity and practice of the contemporary print-oriented writer. The telling connection is that they present the relationship between print-based writers and networked technology as being transformative rather than simply oppositional, demonstrating the emergence of complex and nuanced responses to the rise of networked technology in Australian literature.' (Publication abstract)