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y separately published work icon Visitants single work   novel  
Issue Details: First known date: 1979... 1979 Visitants
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

Set in 1959 in the Trobriand Islands off the east coast of Papua, Visitants depicts a colonial outpost a few years away from independence, in which the white characters occupy a position of uneasy authority over the indigenous Islanders. The novel exposes the failures of communication between the two cultures, heightened by the inclusion of the well-documented sightings of four human figures in a disc-shaped craft in the sky above Boianai in June 1959. The narrative documents the psychic disintegration of another visitant, the white Patrol Officer Alistair Cawdor, who loses his ability to relate to other human beings, dreaming instead of contact with the star-people in the Boianai flying saucer. The parallel story of the islanders traces an adroit political coup against the ageing Paramount Chief, carried out under the cover of a cargo cult uprising.' Anthony J. Hassall 'Foreword ' (October 2002): x., Visitants (2003).

Notes

  • Epigraph: 'Tispela buk mi laik salim long wantok bilong mi.' - T.A.G. Hungerford
  • Epigraph: 'be not afeard; the isle is full of noises... The Tempest.
  • Epigraph: 'Oh, my lords, I but deceived your eyes with antic gesture, When one news staright came huddling on another, Of death, and death. Still I danced forward; But it struck home, and here, and in an instant. .... They are the silent griefs which cut the heart-strings...' - John Ford, The Broken Heart.
  • Author's note: The incident described in the prologue is not fictitious, but was widely reported in the press in 1959. It is discussed by Jacques Vallee in his Anatomy of a Phenomenon (New York: Henry Regnery, 1965; London: Neville Spearman, 1966). As I was then out of any sort of contact witth the world beyond my own sub-district, I was in no position to connect that phenomenon with the one described to me at the time by the inhabitants of the island of Kitava, now with the disappearance, a few weeks earlier, of three men from the island of Tuma. Both incidents are incorporated in the novel without comment. Like William of Newburgh, recording a strange aerial apparition over Dunstable in 1189, "I design to be the simple narrator, not the prophetic interpreter; for what the Divinity wished to signify by this I do not know." ... R. S. (At end of novel).
  • Other formats: Also braille.

Contents

* Contents derived from the Melbourne, Victoria,:Text Publishing , 2015 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
Introduction, Drusilla Modjeska , 2015 single work criticism

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Alternative title: Besokare
Language: Swedish
    • Boras,
      c
      Sweden,
      c
      Scandinavia, Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Forum ,
      1983 .
      Extent: 233p.
      ISBN: 9137083597

Works about this Work

Well Read Katharine England , 2015 single work review
— Appears in: The Advertiser , 19 September 2015; (p. 28)

— Review of To the Islands Randolph Stow , 1958 single work novel ; The Girl Green as Elderflower Randolph Stow , 1980 single work novel ; Visitants Randolph Stow , 1979 single work novel ; The Suburbs of Hell : A Novel Randolph Stow , 1984 single work novel ; Tourmaline Randolph Stow , 1963 single work novel
Gold, but Not Water Nicolas Rothwell , 2015 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 22-23 August 2015; (p. 16-17)

— Review of The Girl Green as Elderflower Randolph Stow , 1980 single work novel ; The Suburbs of Hell : A Novel Randolph Stow , 1984 single work novel ; To the Islands Randolph Stow , 1958 single work novel ; Tourmaline Randolph Stow , 1963 single work novel ; Visitants Randolph Stow , 1979 single work novel
They Bring Their Somethings Drusilla Modjeska , 2015 single work review
— Appears in: Sydney Review of Books , August 2015;

— Review of Visitants Randolph Stow , 1979 single work novel
Introduction Drusilla Modjeska , 2015 single work criticism
— Appears in: Visitants 2015;
Sound and Music in the Works of Randolph Stow Fiona Richards , 2013 single work criticism
— Appears in: Antipodes , December vol. 27 no. 2 2013; (p. 177-183)
'Music resonates through the works of Randolph Stow (1935-2010), with landscape, sounds, and words entwined across his elegant and lyrical output. Just as the author describes Shakespeare as having words for every emotion, so has Stow a song for every situation, with specific pieces of music used to locate fiction in time and place. Here, Richards talks about the sound and music in the works of Randolph Stow. Music in performance has a strong presence in his writings, from domestic gatherings to country music, Christian worship and indigenous rituals.' (Publication abstract)
Stow's Flow Through Colour and Conflict Stephen Saunders , 2006 single work review
— Appears in: The Sunday Age , 4 June 2006; (p. 14)

— Review of Visitants Randolph Stow , 1979 single work novel
[Review] Visitants Elizabeth Riddell , 1980 single work review
— Appears in: 24 Hours , January vol. 4 no. 12 1980; (p. 67)

— Review of Visitants Randolph Stow , 1979 single work novel
New Paperbacks Robin Lucas , 1991 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 14 December 1991; (p. 40)

— Review of Selected Stories Hal Porter , 1971 selected work short story ; Visitants Randolph Stow , 1979 single work novel ; Women and Horses Candida Baker , 1990 single work novel
[Review] The Girl Green as Elderflower [and] Visitants Bruce A. Clunies Ross , 1980 single work review
— Appears in: Kunapipi , vol. 2 no. 1 1980; (p. 184-185)

— Review of The Girl Green as Elderflower Randolph Stow , 1980 single work novel ; Visitants Randolph Stow , 1979 single work novel
[Review] Visitants Francis King , 1979 single work review
— Appears in: The Spectator , 1 December 1979; (p. 29)

— Review of Visitants Randolph Stow , 1979 single work novel
Culture and Identity : Politics and Writing in Some Recent Post-Colonial Texts Gareth Griffiths , 1992 single work criticism
— Appears in: From Commonwealth to Post-Colonial 1992; (p. 436-443)
Messiahs and Millennia in Randolph Stow's Novels Robyn Wallace , 1981 single work criticism
— Appears in: Kunapipi , vol. 3 no. 2 1981; (p. 56-72)

'The novels I shall concentrate on in discussing messiahs and millennia in Stow's work are To the Islands, Tourmaline, Visitants, and The Girl Green as Elderflower. Tourmaline and Visitants are the two which most clearly relate to millenarian themes. Tourmaline records the growth, and collapse, of a millenarian cult centred on the messianic or would-be messianic figure of the diviner Michael Random. Visitants is a structurally more complex exploration of three millenarian visions and their communal and personal repercussions, although the connotations of the title are not restricted to cargo or flying saucer cults.' (Publication abstract)

Nationalism and Imperialism : Australia's Ambivalent Relationship to Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands John McLaren , 2003 single work criticism
— Appears in: Complicities : Connections and Divisions : Perspectives on Literatures and Cultures of the Asia-Pacific Region 2003; (p. 53-63)
Visitants : Randolph Stow (1935- ) Jane Gleeson-White , 2007 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Classics : Fifty Great Writers and Their Celebrated Works 2007; (p. 260-264)
The Mansren Myth in Randolph Stow's Visitants Derek Wright , 1986 single work criticism
— Appears in: The International Fiction Review , vol. 13 no. 2 1986; (p. 82-86)
Last amended 28 Jul 2015 08:41:39
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    Papua New Guinea,
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    Pacific Region,
  • 1950s
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