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Issue Details: First known date: 2021... 2021 On Genre
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Paradoxically, loss is the only unconditional possession possible in elegy. A deep understanding of this phenomenon is to be found in long prose forms and lyricism of contemporary Australian writers. Turning the history of literature – from the Medieval to the contemporary – into a body of work more relevant to our ecological plight, in Kinsella’s corpus genres are consequences of textual events operating within an organic totality. This totality deconstructs the reference point for elegy: loss as the condition of thought and experience. Sidestepping while matrixially reconfiguring traditional and experimental forms of writing, Kinsella’s engagement with genre exemplifies not only the undoing of the codes that constitute all possible readings of a text; it is an implicit critique of speech acts that tend to “fix” life into static nouns, reflecting our culture’s ideology of appropriation of nature. Within a critical counterpoint to appropriation (namely, possession), Australian writing can be read as both urging readers to remain alert to pastoral precedents yet avoid projecting genre onto texts. To some extent, elegy has been decolonised in Australian pastoral.' (Publication abstract)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Angelaki The Kinsellaverse : The Writing World of John Kinsella vol. 26 no. 2 Nicholas Birns (editor), Tony Hughes-d'Aeth (editor), 2021 21492030 2021 periodical issue criticism

    'Criticism on the work of John Kinsella is made particularly lively by the fact that Kinsella himself practices so much criticism, and self-criticism, in his poetry, fiction, and essays. This can make it, though, harder as well as easier for the critic to operate, to gain a foothold or angle of vision, to trace without trying to rival the primary author’s creativity, ingenuity, and verve. Also posing a daunting hurdle is the sheer stamina Kinsella has as an author; that he produces so much in so many different genres that, while always remaining in a coherent field of meaning, is consistently original and diverse.' (Nicholas Birns, A Type of House-Paint for All Weathers, introduction)

    'The extraordinary literary output of John Kinsella has thus far exceeded the capacity of criticism to deal with it. This special issue of Angelaki is an attempt to close the gap, but as the guest editors we are only too aware of how we must still fall short. This issue draws on a range of scholars who have followed Kinsella’s work, often over many years. While John Kinsella was born and grew up in the southwest of Western Australia, his reach has extended globally, particularly through the anglophone centres of Britain and the United States, but increasingly through other parts of the world including continental Europe and China. We will not attempt to catalogue Kinsella’s works here since, with Kinsella, such lists are almost immediately out of date. But more importantly, the totalising gesture of doing so runs against the basic ethos of Kinsella’s project. Despite its epic scale, Kinsella’s work always exists as an intervention and not an edifice. It has a negative capability, akin to the sublime and serial grandeur of paintings of the Last Judgement in Christian eschatology or the sprawling tableaux of medieval tapestry. But if his work is a tapestry, then Kinsella presents his images from the other side, as an assemblage of knots and ends. In this issue, we as critics have occasionally presumed to flip the work around and offer an image in more conventional terms, but readers will know that this procedure is something that must always remain critically contingent. (Tony Hughes-d'Aeth, The KinsellaVerse : The Writing World of John Kinsella, introduction)

    pg. 104-112
Last amended 9 Apr 2021 14:52:59
104-112 On Genresmall AustLit logo Angelaki
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