3554217195498419344.jpg
This image has been sourced from online.
y Highways to a War single work   novel  
Is part of Beware of the Past Christopher Koch 1995 series - author novel
Issue Details: First known date: 1995... 1995 Highways to a War
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'When Mike Langford, a war photographer with a reputation for unusual risk-taking, disappears inside Cambodia, he becomes a mythic figure in the minds of his friends. The search for him which is at the heart of this novel explores the personal highways that led him to war, and to his ultimate fate.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

Notes

  • Companion novel to Out of Ireland. In the author note to the 1999 edition of Highways to a War, Koch describes the two novels as a dyptich entitled Beware of the Past, the first line of a poem by James McAuley used as an epigraph to the later novel.
  • Study guides available.
  • Dedication: For Cynthia Blanche, who believed in it./ For Carl and Kim Robinson and James Gerrand, who took me to the War./ And in memory of my friend Bill Pinwill, who did not go gentle into that good night.
  • Epigraph: Beware of the past;/ Within it lie/ Dark haunted pools/ That lure the eye/ To drown in grief or madness./ Things that are gone,/ Or never were,/ The adversary/ Weaves to a snare,/ The mystery of sadness. ('Warning' by James McAuley)
  • Other formats: Also sound recording.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Viking ,
      1995 .
      3554217195498419344.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 469p.
      ISBN: 0670861553 (alk. paper), 0855616423
    • Port Melbourne, South Melbourne - Port Melbourne area, Melbourne - Inner South, Melbourne, Victoria,: Heinemann Australia , 1995 .
      Extent: ix,450p.p.
      Written as: Christopher J. Koch.
      ISBN: 0855616423
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Heinemann ,
      1995 .
      Extent: 450p.
      ISBN: 0434001996
    • Port Melbourne, South Melbourne - Port Melbourne area, Melbourne - Inner South, Melbourne, Victoria,: Minerva , 1996 .
      Extent: 450p.
      ISBN: 1863305246 (pbk)
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Penguin ,
      1996 .
      8977981112620518485.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: xv, 469 p.p.
      ISBN: 0140247572 (pbk.)
    • Milsons Point, North Sydney - Lane Cove area, Sydney Northern Suburbs, Sydney,: London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Vintage ,
      1999 .
      5584298304970595721.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 450p.
      Reprinted: 2003
      Note/s:
      • On title page: Volume One of Beware of the Past.
      ISBN: 1863305246
Alternative title: Das Verschwinden des Michael Langford : Roman
Language: German
    • Frankfurt am Main,
      c
      Germany,
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      S. Fischer ,
      1997 .
      8518272211587623596.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 525p.
      Reprinted: 1999
      ISBN: 3100402138

Works about this Work

A Century of Oz Lit in China : A Critical Overview (1906-2008) Yu Ouyang , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Antipodes , June vol. 25 no. 1 2011; (p. 65-71)
‘This paper seeks to examine the dissemination, reception and perception of Australian literature in China from 1906 to 2008 by providng a historical background for its first arrival in China as a literature undistinguished from English or American literature, then as part of a ruoxiao minzu wenxue (weak and small nation literature) in the early 1930s, its rise as interest grew in Communist and proletarian writings in the 1950s and 1960s, and its spread and growth from the end of the cultural revolution in 1976 across all genres, culminating in its present unprecedented flourishing.’ (Introduction, p. 65)
Elvis Down Under : Simulations of a US Pop Icon in Australian Fiction Paul Genoni , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Reading Across the Pacific : Australia-United States Intellectual Histories 2010; (p. 177-193)
'This paper will examine a selection of Australian fiction which features Elvis Presley, or a Presley manqué, as a character. This will include novels and short fiction by Debra Adelaide (A Household Guide to Dying), Julie Capaldo (Weather), Nick Cave (And the Ass Saw the Angel), Gail Jones ('Heartbreak Hotel') and Dorian Mode (A Cafe in Venice). The paper will investigate the capacity of a ubiquitous pop icon such as Presley to absorb and reflect socio-cultural meanings that transcend national boundaries while at the same time affirming elements of national character. In doing so it will consider the meaning and function of trans-national celebrity in a globalised world, and explore why it is that Australian authors—and readers—find a resonance in the figure of Elvis Presley that is seemingly missing from the pop-iconography of their own country.' (Author's abstract)
Christopher Koch : Crossing Sea Walls Chad Habel , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Something Rich and Strange : Sea Changes, Beaches and the Littoral in the Antipodes 2009; (p. 224-231)
Discusses some of Koch's novels with focus on the notion of crossing boundaries and entering new spaces, where transformation of identities is possible. Using sea travel and the sea wall as a boundary which serves to prevent a crossing, the novels focus on liminal spaces, but the transformative potential of such liminal spaces is rarely fulfilled. The notion of 'crossing over' 'serves to help understand Koch's fiction as a unified body of work' (231), representing a coherent vision despite shifts in focus and emphasis.
Memory, Imagination, and Identity in Secret Intelligence : Christopher Koch's The Memory Room Bruce Bennett , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Antipodes , December vol. 23 no. 2 2009; (p. 109-113)
'Sometimes a novel emerges in a culture that touches the nerve of its times even though it is set a generation or so earlier. Dickens's Bleak House is a novel of this kind. The institutions of law remain forever colored by Dickens's satiric observations in this novel. Christopher Koch is not a satirist, but his novel Highways to a War (1995) remains the most memorable of the spate of novels that explored Australia's military involvement in the wars in Vietnam and Cambodia in the 1960s and 70s. Koch's latest novel, The Memory Room (2007), set in China and Australia in the early 1980s, has a similar impact and again recalls events some twenty-five years earlier, with a focus on the profession of secret intelligence.' (p. 109)
Christopher Koch : Drawn to Comics Elaine Minor , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , Special Issue 2009;
In debates about appreciation and interpretation of Literature, Christopher Koch is an outspoken, and often controversial, figure. He deplores what he terms the postmodern approach to critical analysis, questioning why children are 'studying films, comic strips and hopelessly bad contemporary novels with social messages, rather than major works that have stood the test of time'. It is somewhat surprising then, to study Koch's novels and uncover how frequently his work is informed by childhood influences and his love of comic books. This essay considers whether unwittingly Koch, as an author, is an instrument of social forces.
Swept So Far Away Frank Devine , 1999 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 2-3 October 1999; (p. 14)

— Review of Out of Ireland Christopher Koch 1999 single work novel ; Highways to a War Christopher Koch 1995 single work novel
Some Local Dantes Judith Armstrong , 1997 single work review
— Appears in: Overland , Winter no. 147 1997; (p. 83-85)

— Review of The Conversations at Curlow Creek David Malouf 1996 single work novel ; Highways to a War Christopher Koch 1995 single work novel ; Keep It Simple, Stupid Peter Goldsworthy 1996 single work novel ; The Island in the Mind Rodney Hall 1996 selected work novel ; The Drowner Robert Drewe 1996 single work novel ; Oyster Janette Turner Hospital 1996 single work novel
Innocence Betrayed in Killing Fields Megan Gressor , 1995 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 1 July 1995; (p. 10A)

— Review of Highways to a War Christopher Koch 1995 single work novel
Highway to an Asian Hell A. P. Riemer , 1995 single work review
— Appears in: The Independent Monthly , July vol. 7 no. 1 1995; (p. 102)

— Review of Highways to a War Christopher Koch 1995 single work novel
Pictures of War John Hanrahan , 1995 single work review
— Appears in: The Age , 8 July 1995; (p. 8)

— Review of Highways to a War Christopher Koch 1995 single work novel
Christopher Koch, Out of Ireland : No More 'Hiding the Stain' Chad Habel , 2001 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Literary Studies in the 21st Century 2001; (p. [128]-134)
Habel discusses the significance of ancestry for Koch's characters with focus on Langford in Highways to War and Devereaux in Out of Ireland.
'Antipodes' Interviews Christopher J. Koch 1995 single work criticism biography interview
— Appears in: Antipodes , December vol. 9 no. 2 1995; (p. 144-145)
y Water from the Moon : Illusion and Reality in the Works of Australian Novelist Christopher Koch Jean-François Vernay , Youngstown : Cambria Press , 2007 Z1337091 2007 single work criticism

'Author of six novels, Christopher John Koch (born in 1932) is one of Australia’s leading novelists who enjoys worldwide recognition. Koch’s writing has its finger on the pulse of today’s changing society. Not only does his work fall within a universal stream but it also stands out as a production of its own, built like a puzzle with distinct pieces. Through fiction, Koch explores other genres – the fairy tale, drama, poetry – to the point of producing multi-faceted works which challenge classification. In spite of the constant renewal of his settings for action, one notices the presence of a main thread which runs through Koch’s fiction: the antipodean and ambiguous relationship between illusion and reality.

'This theoretically informed monograph provides a book-by-book analysis of the novelist’s œuvre and gives a full picture of his Weltanschauung. It is valuable reference for scholars in Australian Studies, as well as those researching postcolonial, psychoanalytic and literary theories.

'This book is winner of the Excellence Award 2009 by the THESE-PAC jury (le prix THESE-PAC, Prix Jean-Pierre Piérard) in the South Pacific-Australasia category.'

(Publication summary)

A Wilderness of Mirrors: Perspectives on 'the Spying Game' in Australian Literature Bruce Bennett , 2007-2008 single work criticism
— Appears in: Zeitschrift fur Australienstudien , no. 21-22 2007-2008; (p. 10-21)
'The principal focus of this paper is on four novels by Australians published from the 1990s which engage significantly with 'the spying game': Ric Throssells' In a Wilderness of Mirrors (1992), Frank Moorhouse's Grand Days (1993), Christopher Koch's Highways to a War (1996) and Janette Turner Hosptial's Due Preparations for the Plague (2003). Each of these novels throws light ... on the profession of espionage and its impact on individuals. A picture emerges of mobile, trans-national individiuals engaged in clandestine activity which tests their intelligence, commitment and conscience and brings into question the causes they support.' (p.10)
Christopher Koch : Drawn to Comics Elaine Minor , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , Special Issue 2009;
In debates about appreciation and interpretation of Literature, Christopher Koch is an outspoken, and often controversial, figure. He deplores what he terms the postmodern approach to critical analysis, questioning why children are 'studying films, comic strips and hopelessly bad contemporary novels with social messages, rather than major works that have stood the test of time'. It is somewhat surprising then, to study Koch's novels and uncover how frequently his work is informed by childhood influences and his love of comic books. This essay considers whether unwittingly Koch, as an author, is an instrument of social forces.
Last amended 14 Nov 2017 10:07:50
Subjects:
  • c
    Cambodia,
    c
    Southeast Asia, South and East Asia, Asia,
  • c
    Vietnam,
    c
    Southeast Asia, South and East Asia, Asia,
Settings:
  • c
    Cambodia,
    c
    Southeast Asia, South and East Asia, Asia,
  • c
    Vietnam,
    c
    Southeast Asia, South and East Asia, Asia,
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