Issue Details: First known date: 2014... 2014 Closure, Completion and Memory in Harland's Half Acre : Phil's Story
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Most of the excellent critical work on this novel deals with the topic that Malouf has identified as its central issue. Frank Harland’s original plan is to buy back his family’s land, lost through gambling and general carelessness, using the proceeds of the sale of his paintings. His thinking has to be radically altered after the death of his nephew and heir. Possession, he comes to realise, is an imaginative thing rather than a physical thing. This essay does not repeat or summarise previous critical contributions, which trace conceptions of non-Indigenous ownership all the way from terra nullius to the ethical ambitions of whiteness studies. Instead, focusing solely on Phil’s story, it deals with the construction and function of memory in the work and on the building of an emotional climax close to its end. It includes discussion of characters’ particular memories, the creation of verbal memories for the reader, and the use of memory to intensify emotion at strategic points of the novel, especially the climax.' (Publication abstract)


  • Epigraph:

    The rain kept falling loudly in the trees

    And on the ground. The hibernal dark that hung

    In primavera, the shadow of bare rock,

    Becomes the rock of autumn, glittering,

    Ponderable source of each imponderable,

    The weight we lift with the finger of a dream,

    The heaviness we lighten by light will,

    By the hand of desire, faint, sensitive, the soft

    Touch and trouble of the touch of the actual hand.

    –Wallace Stevens, ‘An Ordinary Evening in New Haven’, XV (406)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y JASAL David Malouf vol. 14 no. 2 2014 7668223 2014 periodical issue 2014
Last amended 19 Jun 2017 17:22:47 Closure, Completion and Memory in Harland's Half Acre : Phil's StoryAustLit JASAL
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