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Brigitta Olubas Brigitta Olubas i(A35058 works by)
Gender: Female
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1 “Where We Are Is Too Hard” : Refugee Writing and the Australian Border as Literary Interface Dorothy Green Memorial Lecture Brigitta Olubas , 2019 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , vol. 19 no. 2 2019;

'Over the past decade Australia’s policies on border protection have achieved a certain dark notoriety, in their often-vexed (although perhaps not vexed enough) reception both at home and abroad. While there has been extensive, if not necessarily efficacious, public debate about the legal and political dimensions of these policies, together with some coverage of their human, most often medical, consequences for refugees and asylum-seekers, there has been less opportunity for us to attend more closely to the statements and self-expression of those who have been caught up most directly and intensely in those policies.

'Testimonial accounts by detainees from Australian offshore centres are now beginning to be published and made available to the wider Australian public, as in the 2017 publication, They Cannot Take the Sky: Stories From Detention, (ed Michael Green, André Dao et al) along with manifestos, such as that by Behrouz Boochani, a Kurdish journalist, currently held on Manus, who has been detained since 2013. In addition to these, in 2017, Island magazine published “Chanting of Crickets, Ceremonies of Cruelty: A Mythic Topography of Manus Prison,” an extract from Boochani’s forthcoming book, No Friend But The Mountains: Writing From Manus Prison, described by the publishers as “a lyric first-hand account” of his experiences.

'These works – testimonials, manifesto, poetic novel/memoir – don’t simply provide an account of the lives and experiences of the refugees and asylum seekers; they also delineate a relationship with the Australian public. They imagine or posit a dialogue with us. In this paper, I want to propose that we approach the dialogue being proposed by the asylum-seeker writings as a mode of literary engagement. To put this another way, I’m proposing that these works demand attentive reading from us, not only in our responsibilities as citizens but also and most particularly as literary readers or scholars. In thinking about literary reading as a point of necessary public interface, I am responding to line of thought proposed by Boochani in his resonant account of the task of writing the truth of refugee detainment in his essay in They Cannot Take the Sky, where he argues that literary language is fundamental to the expression of difficult truths: “I publish a lot of stories in the newspapers and in the media about Manus, but people, really, they cannot understand our condition, not in journalistic language. Where we are is too hard. I think only in literary language can people understand our life and our condition.”' (Publication abstract)

1 'The Chinese Translation and Reception of Elizabeth Harrower's' The Watch Tower Xinpei Yu , Brigitta Olubas , 2018 single work essay
— Appears in: Southerly , December vol. 78 no. 3 2018; (p. 206-221)

'The larger history of Australia's relationship with China over the past century includes a substantial story of cultural relations and understandings between the two countries. And central to this story is another, of scholarly exchange around literature, conducted through the medium of translation, with all the extentuation, complication and delay that attends the freighting of words, phrases and expressions across the bounds of different languages. This essay considers the development of Australian literary studies in China, as it grew from a condition of estrangement to one of comprehensive interconnectivity in this period, through the story of the translation of one book: Elizabeth Harrower's 'The Watch Tower' (1966). (Publication abstract)

1 [Review] Towards Light and Other Poems Brigitta Olubas , 2018 single work review
— Appears in: Southerly , vol. 78 no. 2 2018; (p. 216-221)

— Review of Towards Light and Other Poems Sarah Day , 2018 selected work poetry
1 Conjuring Brigitta Olubas , 2018 single work essay
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , May no. 401 2018; (p. 51)

'Almost twelve years after her death, Bronwyn Oliver (1959–2006) remains one of Australia’s best-known sculptors; her artistic legacy supported by the prolific outputs of an intense and high-profile studio practice across three decades, by public, private, and corporate commissions, and by a string of prizes, awards, and fellowships. She is admired now, as she was throughout her career, as an artist of signal intellectual depth and aesthetic complexity, her work carrying appeal across a broad public.' (Introduction)

1 Networks and Genealogies : Tracing Connections, Inventions, and Reflections across Australian Writing Brigitta Olubas , Antonio Jose Simoes Da Silva , 2018 single work essay
— Appears in: JASAL , vol. 17 no. 2 2018;

'This issue opens with JASAL’s second commissioned essay for the Copyright Agency’s Reading Australia project, aimed at producing scholarly essays around key works of Australian Literature for use by tertiary students and teachers. A.J. Carruthers has approached the selected text, Out of the Box: Contemporary Gay and Lesbian Poets, edited by Michael Farrell and Jill Jones, through a broad consideration of a range of anthologies of Australian poetry, and an examination of the nature and function of the poetry anthology more broadly. The essay conceives the project in formal and conceptual terms, while at the same time attending to the demands of particular poems and poets, producing a provocative essay that foregrounds the roles played by ‘inventive poetics . . . in the broader institution of poetry and its multiply-linked communities.’ It concludes speculatively with a sense of a poetic anthology informed by ‘material poetics,’ which might provide the capacity to ‘more deeply theorise shifting historical and formal tendencies in Australian poetry and poetics rather than being burdened with the task of representing a national literature.’ The issue also features the 2015 A.D. Hope prize-winning essay by Shaun Bell. The A.D. Hope judges’ citation commends Bell for bringing fresh attention to the oeuvre of Sumner Locke Elliot, through his innovative re-reading of the primal scene of an emergent writing self in Elliott’s fiction. Working from Lee Edelman’s concept of homographesis, Bell attends to Elliott’s various recastings and reconfigurations of this signature scene, both autobiographical and fictional, real and imagined. Bell argues that Elliott’s fiction rightly belongs neither to any narrowly conceived nationalist literary paradigm nor to the category of the middlebrow to which it is often consigned. Rather he wants us to see that its significance arises from Elliott’s homographetic negotiation of the writing self, and from his vivid illumination of a queer writer’s trials and tribulations in Sydney during the interwar years.' (Introduction)

1 Addiction, Fire and the Face in The Catherine Wheel Brigitta Olubas , 2017 single work criticism
— Appears in: Elizabeth Harrower : Critical Essays 2017; (p. 101-111)
1 The Short Fiction of Shirley Hazzard Brigitta Olubas , 2017 single work essay
— Appears in: Southerly , vol. 77 no. 3 2017; (p. 20-25)

'Over a publishing career spanning a half-century from the early 1960s. Shirley Hazzard published four acclaimed novels: The Evening of the Holiday (1961), The Bay of Noon (1970), The Transit of Venus (1980) and The Great Fire (2003). These novels focus on the intertwined matter of low and loss: they rake her readers into complex moral territory, with the certainties and compulsions of sexual and romantic love tested throughout by individual vulnerability. At the same time, and much in the manner of novels written a century earlier, they take up what Harvard referred to as "public themes," that is, the substantial human matter of political and social life, played out against the backdrop of the globalising world of the second half of the twentieth century.' (Introduction)

1 2 y separately published work icon Elizabeth Harrower : Critical Essays Elizabeth McMahon (editor), Brigitta Olubas (editor), Sydney : Sydney University Press , 2017 12996118 2017 anthology criticism

'In 2014, four decades after it was written, Elizabeth Harrower's novel In Certain Circles was published to much anticipation. In 1971, it had been withdrawn by the author shortly before its planned publication. The novel's rediscovery sparked a revival of international interest in Harrower's work, with the republication of her previous novels and, in 2015, the appearance of her first new work in nearly four decades.

'Elizabeth Harrower: Critical Essays is the first collection of critical writing on Harrower's fiction. It includes eloquent tributes by two acclaimed contemporary novelists, Michelle de Kretser and Fiona McFarlane, and essays by leading critics of Australian literature. They consider Harrower's treatment of time and place; her depiction of women, men, and their interactions in the mid twentieth century; her engagement with world history; and her nimble, complex, profoundly modern approach to plot, character and genre. Together they offer new insights into a writer at the crossroads of modernism and postmodernism, and invite readers to read and re-read Harrower's work in a new light.' (Publication summary) 

1 4 y separately published work icon We Need Silence to Find Out What We Think : Selected Essays Shirley Hazzard , Brigitta Olubas (editor), New York (City) : Columbia University Press , 2016 9357161 2016 selected work essay

'These nonfiction works span from the 1960s to the 2000s and were produced by one of the great fiction writers of the period. They add critical depth to Shirley Hazzard's creative world and encapsulate her extensive and informed thinking on global politics, international relations, the history and fraught present of Western literary culture, and postwar life in Europe and Asia. They also offer greater access to her brilliant craftsmanship and the multiple registers in which her writings operate. Hazzard writes about the manifold failings of the United Nations, where she worked in the early 1950s. She shares her personal experience with the aftermath of the Hiroshima bombings and the nature of life in late-1940s Hong Kong. She presents her thoughts on the decline of the hero as a public figure in Western literature. These works contribute to a keener understanding of postwar letters, thought, and politics, supported by an introduction that situates Hazzard's writing within its historical context and emphasizes her influence on world literature. This collection confirms Hazzard's place within a network of writers, artists, and intellectuals who believe in the ongoing power of literature to console, inspire, and direct human life, despite - or maybe because of - the world's disheartening realities.' (Publication summary)

1 I Think You’re My Wife’ : Translation, Marriage, and the Literary Lives of Shirley Hazzard and Francis Steegmuller Brigitta Olubas , 2016 single work criticism
— Appears in: Southerly , vol. 75 no. 2 2016; (p. 73-87)
'The focus of this essay is the literary lives and afterlives of author Shirley Hazzard and her husband of 30 years, the late literary translator, biographer and Flaubert scholar Francis Steegmuller.' (73)
1 The Event of Hiroshima in Australian Literature Brigitta Olubas , 2016 single work criticism
— Appears in: Antipodes , December vol. 30 no. 2 2016; (p. 256-270)

'This essay examines two very different Australian literary representations of the event and the site of Hiroshima Nam Les short story "Hiroshima" presents the time leading up to the American bombing of Hiroshima through the unknowing eyes of a child , who will witness the event in the final moments of the narrative. By contrast, Shirley Hazzard, in her fiction and her public writing, represents the period after the bombing through the eyes of Europeans—that is to say, Britons and Australian—visiting the ruined city, basing these observations on her oval experience of visiting the site in 1947. My interest in this essay is with the tensions between these two literary events, separated in time and cohering around a bleariest event that happens outside the frame of the narrative in both cases, and the ways they highlight some of the complications of national literary forms and representations. This point is compounded by the divergences between the two earth , both acclaimed in Australia and internationally. Nam Le arrived in Australia with his family as a child, a refugee, while Hazzard left at age sixteen and insists that she has no obvious or literal homeland. The work of both authors is characterised by global topographies and imaginings; however, Le tells us that the diverse locations of his fiction are based in research, while Hazzard's narratives are demonstrably based on her own experiences.' (Introduction)

1 Literature, Literary Ethics, and the Global Contexts of Australian Literature : Teaching Nam Le’s The Boat Brigitta Olubas , 2016 single work criticism
— Appears in: Teaching Australian and New Zealand Literature 2016; (p. 190-198)

‘This essay takes up the question of literary ethics as a mode of pedagogy and considers the way the contexts of writing and reading bear on the larger and historical and conceptual resonances of literary texts. Nam Le's collection of short stories, The Boat (2008), is an exemplary Australian text that speaks to its global and Asian-Pacific contexts, prompting students to engage with their contemporary world first through specific locations and then through the paradigm of what we call "the literary" or "literature," by which I mean an appreciation of the ways that literature and literary reading persist today despite the extraordinary shifts that we have witnessed in media and cultural literacy. I focus on the opening story of the collection, "Love and Honour and Pity and Pride and Compassion and Sacrifice," because it explicitly addresses the question of literary ethics - that is, what writing and reading mean in the early twenty-first century—first through the protagonist,  a young Vietnamese Australian writer who shares his name with the author, and second through his experience of hearing and reworking a first-person story of trauma told to him by his father. That "Love and Honour" is rich with intertextual associations—notably with the writing of James Joyce, William Faulkner, and Kurt Vonnegut — gives students the opportunity to connect and reconnect with well-known works and to extend their sense of the terrain of the literary.’ (Introduction)

1 Remembering Shirley Hazzard : ‘Art Is the Only Afterlife of Which We Have Evidence’ Brigitta Olubas , 2016 single work obituary (for Shirley Hazzard )
— Appears in: The Conversation , 16 December 2016;
1 Introduction : Australian Literature / World Literature : Borders, Skins, Mappings Brigid Rooney , Brigitta Olubas , 2015 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , vol. 15 no. 3 2015;

The essays in this issue of JASAL were developed from selected papers presented at the 2014 annual ASAL conference ‘Worlds Within’ held at the University of Sydney.

1 Romulus, My Father and the Australian Literary Imaginary Brigitta Olubas , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: A Sense for Humanity : The Ethical Thought of Raimond Gaita 2014;
1 “The Illusion of Old Solitude” : Shirley Hazzard's Capri Brigitta Olubas , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: Journal of Australian Studies , September vol. 38 no. 3 2014; (p. 281-291)
'Shirley Hazzard'sGreene on Capriprovides an account of a Capri habitation that extended, not uninterrupted, but at frequent and regular intervals, from the postwar years until the end of the century through the lens of the longstanding friendship between herself, her husband (literary translator and biographer Francis Steegmuller), author Graham Greene, and a number of Greene's other friends. The focus of Hazzard's memoir is thus on a literary world characterised by a privileged cosmopolitanism and an autodidactic erudition that are now past; the memoir is marked by her sense of this loss as much as it is marked by the loss of her friend and her husband. Her own position, moreover, is marked unmistakably by her sense of the gendered nature of the literary world she inhabited. This essay examines the ways Hazzard's elegiac account of the passing of a particular kind of literary sensibility draws from both the traditions of representing Capri itself but also from a broader tradition of writing and thinking about islands and their place in a rootless, Anglophone cosmopolitanism. (Publication abstract)
1 5 y separately published work icon Shirley Hazzard : New Critical Essays Brigitta Olubas (editor), Sydney : University of Sydney , 2014 7920567 2014 anthology criticism

'Shirley Hazzard: New Critical Essays is the first collection of scholarly essays on the work of the acclaimed Australian-born, New York-based author. In the course of the last half century, Hazzard's writing has crossed and re-crossed the terrain of love, war, beauty, politics and ethics.

'Hazzard's oeuvre effortlessly reflects and represents the author's life and times, encapsulating the prominent feelings, anxieties and questions of the second half of the 20th century. It is these qualities, along with Hazzard's lyrical style that place her among the most noteworthy Australian writers of the 20th century.

'Hazzard's work has been duly praised and admired by many including the critic Bryan Appleyard who describes her as 'the greatest living writer on goodness and love'. In 2011, novelist Richard Ford observed: 'If there has to be one best writer working in English today it's Shirley Hazzard.'

'Shirley Hazzard received the US National Book Award in 2003 for The Great Fire, which also won the William Dean Howells Medal in the US and the Miles Franklin Award in Australia. In 1980 she won the National Book Critics Circle Award for The Transit of Venus, and in 1977 the O. Henry Short Story Award, and she has been shortlisted for the Orange Prize and the Man Booker Prize. She is a fellow of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters and the British Royal Society of Literature, and an Honorary Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities' (Publication summary)

1 Introduction : 'Country: "It’s Earth"' Special Issue Brigitta Olubas , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , vol. 14 no. 3 2014;

'In the Museo Carlo Bilotti, at the Villa Borghese in Rome, through the second half of this year (4 July–2 November 2014), there is an exhibition entitled ‘Dreamings: Aboriginal Australian Art meets de Chirico,’ curated by Ian McLean and Erica Izett from the Sordello Missana collection of recent paintings from the Western and Central Desert regions of Australia, housed alongside the Museo’s permanent collection of work by the Italian metaphysical painter Giorgio de Chirico. The exhibition brings together works representing the mysteries and intensities of space, place and location from (at least) two profoundly different aesthetic, spiritual, cultural and curatorial traditions. All the paintings in the exhibition are compelling in themselves, but as a collection or exhibition they bear a further point of interest in the ways they suggest a connection between the physical worlds in which they were produced and those where they rest and from whence they have been drawn for this exhibition. I want to draw on a number of claims made about this exhibition by curator Ian McLean.' (Introduction)

1 Cultural Shifts Brigitta Olubas , 2014 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , September no. 364 2014; (p. 39)

— Review of Australian Literary Studies vol. 28 no. 1/2 2013 periodical issue
1 'The Last Curve of the Globe' : Deep Time and Scenes of Reading in Shirley Hazzard's 'The Great Fire' Brigitta Olubas , 2013 single work criticism
— Appears in: Scenes of Reading : Is Australian Literature a World Literature? 2013; (p. 127-136)
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