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Issue Details: First known date: 2019... 2019 The Matter of Fact : Science and Identity in Contemporary Australian Literature
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'To pursue ‘knowledge per se’, to unlock ‘the secrets of the organism’ and to act as an explorer ‘not of untrodden lands, perhaps, but of the mysteries of nature’—these are the reasons why the naturalist William Caldwell travels to Australia in Nicholas Drayson’s 2007 novel Love and the Platypus (9, 59, 144). Caldwell’s research is ‘purely platypusical’ (98): he aims to determine whether the platypus really does lay eggs. The ‘spirit of discovery—that was why he was here, was it not?’ (3) The spirit of discovery and the obsessive nature of his scientific enquiry appear to characterise Drayson’s protagonist as a scientist. However, as I hope to show in this paper, the definition of the literary scientist-protagonist—or its stereotype, in the words of Roslynn Haynes—is open for debate when it comes to the practice of science in fiction. To prove my point, I investigate how the practice of science in contemporary Australian fiction intertwines with identity narratives. As shown in the following, these narratives revolve around the reasons and ambitions of fictional protagonists to engage with science.' (Introduction)

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Last amended 9 Dec 2019 11:55:59 The Matter of Fact : Science and Identity in Contemporary Australian Literaturesmall AustLit logo Australian Humanities Review
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