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Issue Details: First known date: 2019... 2019 Framing the Unutterable: Reading Trauma in Alexis Wright's Short Fiction
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'Alexis Wright's literary works are regularly discussed in relation to the ways in which they bring Indigenous perspectives, experiences, and histories to the foreground. Following Carpentaria's Miles Franklin Award win in 2007, Wright claimed that—writing from her own Indigenous "viewpoint"—she tries "to bring out the way" many Indigenous Australians "think as people," to share what she terms "something of our humanity, something of our character, something of our soul" (O'Brien 217). An awareness of the dynamics underpinning Indigenous exposition and cross-cultural exchange are integral to understanding Wright's oeuvre. Yet while close readings of Wright's literary works need be attuned to the "things" that are being expressively shared (modes of storytelling), I propose that such analyses also need to be conscious of the halts, silences, and gaps in her narratives: the unarticulated spaces that may connote trauma. Drawing on Alison Ravenscroft's approach to reading trauma in "Indigenous-signed texts"—a reading technique that focuses on elements of the unknown, or "nodes of silence"—this essay examines some of the ways in which the unspeakable is conveyed in Wright's short fiction and how the manipulation of oral forms contributes to wider processes of cultural regeneration (Ravenscroft, Postcolonial 16).' (Introduction)


  • Epigraph: We in fact have a saying in our family—Don't tell anybody. So I learnt to imagine the things that were never explained to me—the haunting memories of the impossible and the frightening silence of family members. — Alexis Wright, "Politics of Writing" (10)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Antipodes vol. 33 no. 1 June 2019 20294120 2019 periodical issue

    'This current issue of Antipodes fittingly represents the work of the three editors who have guided the journal's production in the past year or so. Volume 32 (2018), a double issue, marked the official end of Nicholas Birns's eighteen-year tenure as editor of Antipodes, and as that volume came to production, Belinda Wheeler lent a diligent hand and a keen eye to the publication of the double issue. An essay or two approved by Nicholas has made its way into the current issue (33.1), with Belinda acquiring many of the essays in this issue. Belinda also provided the editorial guidance for the special section on the work of Alexis Wright. It is from the capable hands of Nicholas and Belinda that I take the reins of the journal Antipodes, with a well-mapped path behind and an open road ahead.' (Brenda Machosky, Editorial introduction)

    pg. 92-106
Last amended 2 Oct 2020 11:15:32
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