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Issue Details: First known date: 2021... 2021 Kim Scott’s Taboo and the Extimacy of Massacre
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Kim Scott’s novel Taboo (2017) centres on the Kukenarup massacre, which followed the fatal spearing of John Dunn in 1880 on the ancestral lands of the Wirlomin Noongar people. Taboo traces the dynamics of silence that run through the lives of Noongar and settler descendants in the wake of massacre. What the novel underscores is that while a massacre may be located at a particular site and commemorated by public gestures (plaques, memorials and ceremonies), its reality cannot ultimately be separated from the inner lives of the survivors and their descendants. This article argues that the terrain of massacre is shown in Scott’s novel to be quintessentially extimate, a word that Jacques Lacan coined to describe the intimate exterior of psychic reality. As a concept, the extimate helps name the space that is routinely excluded by the deployment of public and private domains in the liberal capitalist order, whereby social suffering is consigned to a privatised interior, and private violence is made banal by empty public utterance.' (Publication abstract)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Journal of Australian Studies vol. 45 no. 2 2021 21941411 2021 periodical issue

    'Western Australia has continued to be seen from without as both necessary and as supplemental: its distinctive place within the national economy, history and psyche has continued to drive a specific and contested set of relations with the state that provides a useful lens upon “Australia” and Australian studies in its larger sense. The status of Australian studies has fluctuated over the last decade but continues to thrive, especially internationally. This special issue explores the potential for a Western Australian perspective to engage with a multifaceted Australian studies. Contributors seek to re-evaluate the analytical framework of Australian studies, interrogating influential assumptions about history and culture. Through narratives of deep time, Asian exchange and cosmopolitanism, truth-telling and extra-colonialism, for example, such research reorients our ideas of “Australia” by rupturing the seemingly inevitable contours of the nation and offering means to re-imagine a future shared civic space. A western orientation offers possibilities for spatially and temporally disrupting the Western linearity that has grounded the modern nation-state. Key principles of this approach must include critical interrogation—rather than celebration—of the entity called Australia, the centrality of Aboriginal perspectives and voices, and the opportunities for creativity and innovation offered by interdisciplinarity.' (Jane Lydon, Reorienting Australian Studies? Remaking Australia from the West : Introduction)

    pg. 165-180
Last amended 1 Jun 2021 11:36:11
165-180 Kim Scott’s Taboo and the Extimacy of Massacresmall AustLit logo Journal of Australian Studies