AustLit logo
image of person or book cover 1382989054164276396.jpg
y separately published work icon Joseph Furphy selected work   novel   poetry   short story   correspondence  
Alternative title: Joseph Furphy: Such is Life, Stories, Verse, Essays and Letters; The Portable Joseph Furphy
Is part of Portable Australian Authors series - publisher UQP Australian Authors series - publisher
Issue Details: First known date: 1981... 1981 Joseph Furphy
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.

Notes

  • The book is divided into the following sections: Introduction (by John Barnes); (1) Such Is Life; (2) Minor Novels; (3) Short Stories and Verse; (4) Journalism; (5) Letters. Each section is introduced by Editor's notes.

Contents

* Contents derived from the St Lucia, Indooroopilly - St Lucia area, Brisbane - North West, Brisbane, Queensland,:University of Queensland Press , 1981 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
Introduction, John Barnes , 1981 single work criticism (p. xi-xxv)
Such Is Life : Being Certain Extracts from the Diary of Tom Collins, Tom Collins , 1897 single work novel

Such is Life: Being Certain Extracts from the Diary of Tom Collins. Joseph Furphy's title gives an indication of the complexity of the narrative that will unravel before a persistent reader. In chapter one, the narrator, Tom Collins, joins a group of bullockies to camp for the night a few miles from Runnymede Station. Their conversations reveal many of the issues that arise throughout the rest of the novel: the ownership of, or control of access to, pasture; ideas of providence, fate and superstition; and a concern for federation that flows into descriptions of the coming Australian in later chapters. Each of the characters provides a portrait of bush types that Furphy uses to measure the qualities of squatters and others against popular ideas of the 'gentleman'. Furphy's choice of a narrative structure to create a 'loosely federated' series of yarns is itself a critique of popular narratives populated by stock characters who are driven by action that leads to predictable and uncomplicated conclusions. Tom Collins, the unreliable narrator, adds further complications by claiming to 'read men like signboards' while all the time being unknowingly contradicted by circumstances that become obvious to the reader.

In each subsequent chapter Tom Collins leads the reader through a series of experiences chosen from his diaries. In chapter two, Collins meets the boundary rider Rory O'Halloran and his daughter, Mary, a symbol of the coming Australian whose devotion to her father will have tragic consequences in chapter five. There are many links between chapters like this one that remain invisible to Collins, despite his attempts to understand the 'controlling alternatives' that affect our lives. In chapter three Tom loses his clothes crossing the Murray River and spends the night wandering naked until he is able to steal a pair of pants after diverting attention by setting fire to a haystack. In chapter four Collins helps an ailing Warrigal Alf by deceiving several boundary riders who have impounded Alf's bullocks. In chapter five, among other yarns of lost children, Thompson completes the tragic tale of Mary O'Halloran, connecting with the events of chapter two. Chapters six and seven take Tom Collins back to Runnymede Station where he attempts to avoid an unwelcome union with Maud Beaudesart. He also meets the disfigured boundary rider, Nosey Alf, whose life story Furphy has threaded throughout the narrative, signs not perceived by Tom Collins. When Collins returns to Runnymede at the end of the novel, Furphy ties up more loose narrative threads, but Tom Collins, the narrator, remains oblivious to the end.

In short, Such Is Life 'reflects the preoccupations of [the 1890s]: contemporary capitalism, ardent Australian nationalism, the difficulties of pioneering pastoralism, and speculation about a future Australian civilization. It was instantly seen as a major example of the "radical nationalism" of the time and praised for its realistic representation of life on the frontier in the 1880s. But it was forty years before many readers realized that the novel was also a subtle comment on fiction itself and that within it were hidden stories that revealed a world of "romance" within its "realist" representation of life. Such Is Life can be read as the first experimental novel in Australian literature and the first Australian literary expression of a twentieth-century sensibility of the provisionality of life and reality.' (Julian Croft, 'Joseph Furphy.' in Dictionary of Literary Biography Vol. 230.)

(p. 3-311)
Note:

'The text of Such is Life reproduced in this volume is a photo-facsimile of the first edition (Sydney: Bulletin Newspaper Co., 1903) - p. ix.

Includes notes on the text by John Barnes - pp. 298-311..

Lost in the Bush, Joseph Furphy , 1897 extract novel (p. 313-316)
Dixon and the Bible, Joseph Furphy , 1905 extract (p. 319-325)
[Rigby and Thompson on Socialism] from Rigby's Romance, Joseph Furphy , 1905 extract (p. 327-341)
Extract from The Buln-Buln and the Brolga, Joseph Furphy , 1945 extract novella (p. 343-363)
Dad's Artillery, Joseph Furphy , 1904 single work short story (p. 367-369)
High Art, Tom Collins , 1904 single work short story humour (p. 370-376)
A Vignette of Port Phillip, Joseph Furphy , 1906 single work short story (p. 377-385)
The Gum-Sucker's Dirgei"Sing the evil days we see, and the worse that are to be,", Joseph Furphy , 1896 single work poetry (p. 386-387)
Are You the Cove?i"'Are you the Cove?' He spoke the words", Joseph Furphy , 1916 single work poetry (p. 387-388)
The Bullfrog Belli"Now the truce of night brings respite to the sordid care of day,", Joseph Furphy , 1897 single work poetry (p. 388-389)
A Psalm of Fortitudei"Are you, like me, a peevish brat,", Joseph Furphy , 1910 single work poetry (p. 389-390)
The Mythical Sundowner, Warrigal Jack , 1889 single work single work prose (p. 393-396)
The Bible, Tom Collins , 1981 single work essay (p. 397-398)
The Teaching of Christ, Tom Collins , 1894 single work essay (p. 399-400)
Black Australia, Tom Collins , 1902 single work essay (p. 401-404)
Untitled, Joseph Furphy , 1903 single work review
— Review of Such Is Life : Being Certain Extracts from the Diary of Tom Collins Tom Collins , 1897 single work novel ;
(p. 405-407)
Note:

With title: Furphy's Review of Such Is Life

Editor's note: 'Furphy's review of Such is Life was written in response to a request from Stephens for "a brief bright synopsis of Such is Life". It was slightly edited and divided between two advertisements in the Bulletin on the publication of the novel. The text given here follows the version printed by Miles Franklin, with the restoration of two brief passages which she chose not to reproduce' (392).

Letters, Joseph Furphy , 1882 single work correspondence (p. 413-435)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Works about this Work

On an Australian Selection Laurie Hergenhan , 1998 single work criticism biography
— Appears in: UQP : The Writer's Press 1948-1998 1998; (p. 159-170)
The Portable Furphy A. M. Stewart , 1983 single work review
— Appears in: Quadrant , September vol. 27 no. 9 1983; (p. 84-85)

— Review of Joseph Furphy Joseph Furphy , 1981 selected work novel poetry short story correspondence
Available at Last Robin Eaden , 1982 single work review
— Appears in: The CRNLE Reviews Journal , May no. 1 1982; (p. 28-31)

— Review of Joseph Furphy Joseph Furphy , 1981 selected work novel poetry short story correspondence
Yet Another Letter to Joseph Furphy Veronica Brady , 1982 single work review
— Appears in: Westerly , March vol. 27 no. 1 1982; (p. 85-88)

— Review of Joseph Furphy Joseph Furphy , 1981 selected work novel poetry short story correspondence
Untitled Ken A. Stewart , 1982 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Literary Studies , October vol. 10 no. 4 1982; (p. 541-543)

— Review of Barbara Baynton Barbara Baynton , 1980 selected work novel poetry short story criticism correspondence biography ; Henry Kingsley Henry Kingsley , 1982 selected work novel criticism prose ; Joseph Furphy Joseph Furphy , 1981 selected work novel poetry short story correspondence
Untitled Ken A. Stewart , 1982 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Literary Studies , October vol. 10 no. 4 1982; (p. 541-543)

— Review of Barbara Baynton Barbara Baynton , 1980 selected work novel poetry short story criticism correspondence biography ; Henry Kingsley Henry Kingsley , 1982 selected work novel criticism prose ; Joseph Furphy Joseph Furphy , 1981 selected work novel poetry short story correspondence
Yet Another Letter to Joseph Furphy Veronica Brady , 1982 single work review
— Appears in: Westerly , March vol. 27 no. 1 1982; (p. 85-88)

— Review of Joseph Furphy Joseph Furphy , 1981 selected work novel poetry short story correspondence
The Portable Furphy A. M. Stewart , 1983 single work review
— Appears in: Quadrant , September vol. 27 no. 9 1983; (p. 84-85)

— Review of Joseph Furphy Joseph Furphy , 1981 selected work novel poetry short story correspondence
Available at Last Robin Eaden , 1982 single work review
— Appears in: The CRNLE Reviews Journal , May no. 1 1982; (p. 28-31)

— Review of Joseph Furphy Joseph Furphy , 1981 selected work novel poetry short story correspondence
On an Australian Selection Laurie Hergenhan , 1998 single work criticism biography
— Appears in: UQP : The Writer's Press 1948-1998 1998; (p. 159-170)
Last amended 5 Jun 2015 12:37:24
Newspapers:
    Powered by Trove
    X