This article’s purpose is to examine the formative years – culminating with his frontline service – of an Australian First World War veteran. The intention is to reveal how they influenced his subsequent life and helped to re-define his persona as an anti-war pacifist, expatriate scholar and prominent translator. The study uses a life-study or biographical approach drawing from a rich vein of primary and secondary sources – personal correspondence, unpublished and published war records and other contemporary documents. How he came to translate into English Erich Maria Remarque’s significant novel Im Westen nichts Neues to make it a phenomenal commercial success worldwide is explored as the pinnacle of his scholarly life and as a major contribution to the literature of disenchantment with war. [From the journal's webpage]
The naturalisation of the Australian continent and its imaginary closure have long formed an important component of Australia’s culture of nationalism. This spatial dimension has been bound up with, but analytically separable from, figurations of Australian identity which were dependent upon imposing racialised boundaries. The culture of Australian nationalism thus depends in its formation upon exemplary instances of an “island-continental” perspective in some of its most prized narratives. This article turns to a specific moment in the cultural history of Australian nationalism—at the end of the interwar period—to examine some influential narratives that construct such a perspective. It analyses elements in two historical novels, Eleanor Dark’s The Timeless Land and Ernestine Hill’s My Love Must Wait, which appeared in 1941, as war in the Pacific loomed. By addressing Dark and Hill’s parallel projects, it will elaborate on how this nationalist spatial imaginary mediates an Australian national modernity that is also about difference and distinction from its metropolitan models. This is a project of worlding the nation, creating in narrative a meaningful background for spatial politics. These novels show us how Australian modernity finds a point of difference precisely in what Suvendrini Perera refers to as the “massivity” of the island-continent, Australia. [From the journal's website]
In the brief massacre scene at the end of David Malouf’s 1993 novel Remembering Babylon an unusual weapon of frontier murder is introduced to Australian narrative prose: the swinging stirrup iron. In Alex Miller’s 2002 novel, Journey to the Stone Country, the stirrup iron returns to wreak even more murderous havoc. The stirrup iron functions here to provide a symbolic link to the particularities of violence in colonial Queensland, for it specifically connects the iconic national figure of the cattleman/drover with the killing of Aboriginal people on the frontier. This article examines these texts, and, more briefly, other representations of the Australian cattleman in contemporary Queensland fiction, against a backdrop of recent historical research that reconfigures cattle and their human managers as central to the story of frontier murder and the stealing of Aboriginal land that constituted the colonisation of large parts of Australia, especially of Queensland, in the latter half of the nineteenth century.
David Malouf’s Remembering Babylon (1993) chooses an imagery that evokes a Indigenous-inspired way of dealing with historical experience so as to “heal” the nation. Thus, his fictional attempt at the Reconciliation of mainstream and Indigenous Australia partakes in the official revision of contact history which recognises Indigenous claims upon a de-Aboriginalised past from which an Anglo-Celtic national identity has been constructed. Yet, Malouf’s revision of Australianness is as troubling as the official Reconciliation process proved to be. Malouf’s romantic adaptation of the life of the historic James Murrells—emulating the iconic figure of the white man gone native—replicates the tense 1990s debate on Reconciliation and Apology but takes it out of its political context. Unlike his real-life model, the cultural hybrid Gemmy Fairley is consistently infantilised and feminised at his return to white civilisation, which undercuts his possibilities for agency and takes the reader back to the very tensions in race and gender the narrative underplays but cannot overcome. Whereas Malouf’s subscription to a romantic literary project aims to bring the nation into contact with itself through a healing re-Dreaming of history, this produces a f(r)iction in which re-imagination and distortion of the past uncannily circle through each other, unsettling the political correctness the tale aims to forward. This postcolonial uncanny ambiguity, the result of competing histories and world views, is in tune with the open-endedness of Malouf’s novel: as a postmodern Australian explorer narrative, rather than offering a notion of resolution, its longing for a repaired or “full” Australian identity remains trapped in nostalgia. [From the journal's webpage]
This article deals with two travel narratives written in the mid-nineteenth century by genteel English women and explores issues of nation, empire and gender. These travel accounts record journeys to two different areas of the globe, namely Hungary and New South Wales, and a close reading of these texts reveals a great deal of similarity in terms of their subject matter and writing strategies. The authors were unusual young women who transgressed gender demarcations by bringing out their own publications, intruding into the public domain of men. I will argue that these travel writings, irrespective of their travel destinations, reflected a common cultural and social background that stemmed from English genteel ideals.
This new scholarly edition by Professor Paul Eggert of Henry Lawson’s most famous collection of short stories While the Billy Boils, originally published by Angus and Robertson in 1896, is supplemented by a monographic companion study, Biography of a Book, in which Eggert investigates the phases of production, distribution and reception of the book and meticulously traces the editorial and critical fortunes of the stories and sketches included in the collection, from their earliest single appearance in local colonial newspapers and magazines since the late 1880s, to the several 20th-century editions and selections, until the latest commercial printings in the first decade of the present century. [From the journal's webpage]
In 1989, the Sir Robert Menzies Centre in London sent out a circular letter inviting European Australianists to express their interest in the creation of a „European Association for Studies on Australia.“ The response was largely positive, and in March of that year eight Professors of Australian Studies from eight countries met there to create EASA. Mirko Jurak, Professor of English at the University of Ljubljana, was one of them. The University of Klagenfurt was also presented.
Mirko Jurak studied English and German at the University of Ljubljana, where he took his first degree and his Ph.D. He then went on to do post-doc research at the University of Sussex, where his investigations into Modern English literature were supervised by David Daitches. Returning to Ljubljana, he was soon appointed Full Professor. In his long career, he was also Head of the English department, Dean and Deputy Dean of the Philosophical Faculty and Deputy Vice Chancellor of his university. He was the first instructor of his department to teach all of his classes in English and he became a mentor to generations of Slovenian, but also some American and Austrian students. [From the journal's webpage]