'Bushfire writing has long been a part of Australian literature.
'Tales of heroic rescues and bush Christmases describe a time when the fire season was confined only to summer months and Australia’s battler identity was forged in the flames.' (Introduction)
'In 1982, Michael Symons published One Continuous Picnic: A History of Eating in Australia. The twenty-fifth-anniversary edition extended the subtitle with the addition of the "g" word as a sign of national progress and maturation, so that it read, A Gastronomic History of Australian Eating. The main title, while remaining the same, originally read ironically, like Donald Horne's title for The Lucky Country, suggesting a settler culture lacking in discipline, ambition, or taste—whereas by the time of the anniversary edition, "the continuous picnic" had become a full-blown paradox, conjuring simultaneously both progress and decline. It speaks now of nostalgia for a more innocent time, the naiveté (some would say the perversity) of which lay in its self-satisfaction. So what exactly does the picnic signify in Australian culture? What was its original conception, and how has it evolved as a representative image of the Australian way of life?' (Introduction)
Discusses the representations of the male body and identity in Australian art and literature.