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y separately published work icon Across the Sea Wall single work   novel  
Issue Details: First known date: 1965... 1965 Across the Sea Wall
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'During the early 1950s, many young Australians made the traditional pilgrimage to Europe by ship. Meanwhile, a wave og post-war European migrants was coming the other way: 'Displaced Persons'; refugees from the havoc of the Second World War.

'Ilsa Kalnins, the Latvian showgirl, is one such refugee. Robert O'Brien is a sheltered young Australian, running away from the tedium and security of a country that is still almost wholly insular and Anglo-Saxon. Ilsa, disturbed and disturbing, exerts a fascination over Robert that changes the voyage and his life. He is never to reach Europe: instead they travel through India together. Ahead is catastrophe, as each seeks in the other answers that cannot be found.' (Publication summary)

Notes

  • Epigraph from 'Old Men Are Facts' by Vivian Smith.
  • Commenting on revisions to the novel in the Author's Note to the 1982 edition, Koch states : 'the cuts and alterations are not fundamental, but they are extensive ... My hope now is that the earlier version of this work will be consigned to oblivion, and that anyone referring to this book, or quoting from it, will go to no other version but this one.'
  • Dedication: To the memory of Kenneth Slessor

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Melbourne, Victoria,: Heinemann ,
      1965 .
      image of person or book cover 3855798513487402325.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 233p.
      Note/s:
      • Printed in Great Britain.
    • Sydney, New South Wales,: Sirius Books , 1982 .
      image of person or book cover 5490652790203959732.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 141p.
      Edition info: Rev.ed.
      Written as: C. J. Koch.
      ISBN: 0207144508 pbk.
      Series: Sirius Books Sirius Quality Paperbacks Angus and Robertson (publisher), series - publisher
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Sydney, New South Wales,: Angus and Robertson ,
      1982 .
      image of person or book cover 2610292274960806733.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 141p.
      Edition info: Rev. ed.
      Written as: C. J. Koch.
      Note/s:
      • Printed in Hong Kong.
      ISBN: 0207144427

Works about this Work

1965 - Putting Asia in Australasia Elaine Minor , 2013 single work criticism
— Appears in: Telling Stories : Australian Life and Literature 1935–2012 2013; (p. 261-266)

A book chapter placing Christopher Koch's novel Across the Sea Wall in the cultural setting of 1965.

Connecting with India Susan Cowan , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: Wanderings in India : Australian Perspectives 2012; (p. 138-148)

'Geographical isolation and innate curiosity have long motivated Australians to leave their shores and travel far and wide to broaden their horizons and experience cultural and social differences with countries established long before explorers began to map Australia. As well as responding to the touristic impulse, there is also the patriotic one of planting Australia’s name abroad, particularly in times of war. This essay looks at the writings of some of the travellers who converged on India, long before the hippy trail of the 1970s, through a historical lens, and compares these writings with a sample of those written later in the 20th century and the shifts in their perceptions and social and cultural awareness which evolved in modern times. India, which had long been purely a brief stopover on the P&O route for Australians, became a desirable place in its own right in the late 20th century, a mysterious subcontinent that signified high adventure and the exoticism of the other.' (Introduction)

Reading Asia : Musings of a Peripatetic Writer Satendra Nandan , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: Transnational Literature , May vol. 4 no. 2 2012;
Notes for a paper delivered at the National Conference of the Australian Association of Teaching English (ATTE) on the theme ‘Finding a Place for Falstaff’, Melbourne Cricket Ground, December 2011
The Long Hand of Murray Bail : Travel and Writing Paul Sharrad , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Journeying and Journalling : Creative and Critical Meditations on Travel Writing 2010; (p. 25-36)
'In this paper Paul Sharrad suggests that Murray Bail 'could not have produced most of his work without journeying abroad, and that his book of travel observations, Longhand, offers insights into one particular kind of 'journeying' as well as his reliance on material picked up along his journeying out from and back to Australia. While he began serious writing around the age of 19 in his native South Australia, and composed some other stories during his years in Melbourne working in advertising, Bail did not really get going as a published writer until he had been overseas for several years, first in India and then England and Europe. His jottings in Longhand: a Writer's Notebook, show on the one hand, how his sense of being a writer affects his recording of the travel experience, and secondly, how much his travels have had an impact on his fiction.'' (25-26)
Reconfiguring 'Asian Australian' Writing : Australia, India and Inez Baranay Paul Sharrad , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Southerly , vol. 70 no. 3 2010; (p. 11-29)
Vision and Revision : The Craft of C.J. Koch Robin Marsden , 1982 single work review
— Appears in: Quadrant , December vol. 26 no. 12 1982; (p. 81-82)

— Review of Across the Sea Wall Christopher Koch , 1965 single work novel
New Novels John McLaren , 1965 single work review
— Appears in: Overland , Spring no. 32 1965; (p. 43-45)

— Review of Harry's Child Suzanne Holly Jones , 1964 single work novel ; Across the Sea Wall Christopher Koch , 1965 single work novel ; Mayor's Nest Tony Morphett , 1964 single work novel ; Wild Cat Falling Colin Johnson , 1965 single work novel
Sour Visions of Life Revisited Veronica Sen , 1990 single work review
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 10 June 1990; (p. 18)

— Review of High Valley Charmian Clift , George Johnston , 1949 single work novel ; The Boys in the Island Christopher Koch , 1958 single work novel ; Across the Sea Wall Christopher Koch , 1965 single work novel ; Play with Knives Jennifer Maiden , 1990 single work novel
Writers for a "No" Generation Neil McPherson , 1966 single work review
— Appears in: Westerly , August no. 1 1966; (p. 59-62)

— Review of The Merry-Go-Round in the Sea Randolph Stow , 1965 single work novel ; Across the Sea Wall Christopher Koch , 1965 single work novel
Groaning on the Groyne A. Roberts , 1965 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , June vol. 4 no. 8 1965; (p. 151)

— Review of Across the Sea Wall Christopher Koch , 1965 single work novel
Les 'Bildungsromane' de Christopher Koch : de la formation a la transformation Jean-François Vernay , 2002 single work criticism
— Appears in: Correspondances Oceaniennes , October vol. 1 no. 2 2002; (p. 26-29)
Investigates some of Koch's novels and characters in terms of the genre 'Bildungsroman'.
y separately published work icon Water from the Moon : Illusion and Reality in the Works of Australian Novelist Christopher Koch Jean-François Vernay , Youngstown : Cambria Press , 2007 Z1337091 2007 multi chapter 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)

Re-Mapping the Australian Psyche : The Asian Novels of C.J. Koch John Thieme , 1987 single work criticism
— Appears in: Southerly , December vol. 47 no. 4 1987; (p. 451-461)
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.
Reconfiguring 'Asian Australian' Writing : Australia, India and Inez Baranay Paul Sharrad , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Southerly , vol. 70 no. 3 2010; (p. 11-29)
Last amended 13 Jan 2020 09:06:48
Subjects:
  • c
    Australia,
    c
  • c
    India,
    c
    South Asia, South and East Asia, Asia,
  • South Asia, South and East Asia, Asia,
Settings:
  • c
    India,
    c
    South Asia, South and East Asia, Asia,
  • South Asia, South and East Asia, Asia,
  • 1950s
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