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Issue Details: First known date: 2015... 2015 Refiguring the Silence of Australian Landscapes
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'This paper explores the way silence has been defined and redefined as a means of describing the Australian landscape. Since the first stages of European colonisation in Australia, “silence” has been a common trope used to describe the Australian landscape. While many parts of the country, especially the interior, are indeed audibly silent, other “noisier” regions were also described as such. This silence has been identified as being based in a problem of description and an ‘ontological uncertainty’, which was in turn effaced through the rhetorical construction of silence as implying an absence or lack of meaning in the landscape prior to the arrival of European settlers. Judith Wright’s poetry interrogates this silence in these terms, demonstrating that it may not be a signifier of emptiness, but rather of signs or aspects of phenomena that escapes conceptual grasp. Taking a poststructuralist-informed, ecocritical approach to Wright’s poetry, I argue that Wright refigures the perceived silence of the Australian landscape in such a way that it comes to signify the presence of other-than-human configurations of landscape, without venturing to define them explicitly.' (Publication abstract)

Affiliation Notes

  • Writing Disability in Australia:

    This work has been affiliated because it takes Judith Wright's deafness into account when analysing the use of silence in her work.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon JASAL Critical Soundings : Voice, Space and Sound in Australian Literature vol. 15 no. 1 2015 8859932 2015 periodical issue 2015
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