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Issue Details: First known date: 2019... 2019 Expanded Reality : Alexis Wright's Revitalisation of Dreamtime Narratives
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'Indigenous Australian Alexis Wright's fiction demonstrates how Lawrence Buell's concept of the "environmental unconscious" is a relative term) The collective ideologies and social experiences that shape an individual's perception of the environment vary between people of different societies and cultures. The environmental unconscious, therefore, is a heterogeneous phenomenon rather than a singular, homogeneous one. And, of course, the environment itself — with the definite article — is a relative term, dependent upon the actual geographical locality. Wright's fiction is largely set in Northern Australia, where populations are sparse, and where arid or semi-arid landscapes meet tropical seas. In particular, the backdrop within much of her three novels to date is the Gulf of Carpentaria, from where her family originates, and which is the home of the Waanyi nation. Moreover, Wright imbues her fiction with the Indigenous Australian Dreamtime, a philosophy and spiritual framework that is inextricably connected to the Australian landscape, but which is substantially different from Western philosophies, even ecological ones. In other words, Wright's books are notable for being unlike European or North American fiction in both the geographical environment of their settings and the world view that underpins the narratives.' (Introduction) 

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Climate and Crises : Magical Realism as Environmental Discourse Ben Holgate , London : Routledge , 2019 19774938 2019 multi chapter work criticism

    'Climate and Crises: Magical Realism as Environmental Discourse makes a dual intervention in both world literature and ecocriticism by examining magical realism as an international style of writing that has long-standing links with environmental literature. The book argues that, in the era of climate change when humans are facing the prospect of species extinction, new ideas and new forms of expression are required to address what the novelist Amitav Gosh calls a "crisis of imagination." Magical realism enables writers to portray alternative intellectual paradigms, ontologies and epistemologies that typically contest the scientific rationalism derived from the European Enlightenment, and the exploitation of natural resources associated with both capitalism and imperialism. Climate and Crises explores the overlaps between magical realism and environmental literature, including their respective transgressive natures that dismantle binaries (such as human and non-human), a shared biocentric perspective that focuses on the inter-connectedness of all things in the universe, and, frequently, a critique of postcolonial legacies in formerly colonised territories. The book also challenges conventional conceptions of magical realism, arguing they are often influenced by a geographic bias in the construction of the orthodox global canon, and instead examines contemporary fiction from Asia (including China) and Australasia, two regions that have been largely neglected by scholarship of the narrative mode. As a result, the monograph modifies and expands our ideas of what magical realist fiction is.' (Publication summary)

    London : Routledge , 2019
    pg. 42-72
Last amended 30 Jul 2020 11:10:27
42-72 Expanded Reality : Alexis Wright's Revitalisation of Dreamtime Narrativessmall AustLit logo
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