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y separately published work icon Poppy single work   novel  
Issue Details: First known date: 1990... 1990 Poppy
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

Drusilla Modjeska sets out to collect the evidence of her mother's life. When the facts refuse to give up their secrets, she follows the threads of history and memory into imagination. There she teases out the story of Poppy, who married at twenty and had an apparently happy life until, suddenly one day in 1959, she was taken away to a sanatorium. (Source: Libraries Australia)

Notes

  • A work of biography and fiction: In 'Writing Poppy' published in her Timepieces (Picador, 2002) Modjeska writes, 'Too much of it [Poppy] came from my life to call it fiction, and too much of it was invented to call it biography. As neither term seemed right, I opted for both.' (p. 67)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Ringwood, Ringwood - Croydon - Kilsyth area, Melbourne - East, Melbourne, Victoria,: McPhee Gribble , 1990 .
      image of person or book cover 7061716576447542661.jpg
      Cover image courtesy of publisher.
      Extent: 320p.
      Note/s:
      • Includes bibliographical references (pp. 319-320).
      ISBN: 086914099X
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Serpent's Tail ,
      1991 .
      Extent: 320p.
      Note/s:
      • Bibliography (pp. 319-320).
      ISBN: 1852422440
    • Ringwood, Ringwood - Croydon - Kilsyth area, Melbourne - East, Melbourne, Victoria,: Penguin , 1996 .
      Extent: 320p.
      Note/s:
      • Bibliography (pp. 319-320).
      ISBN: 0140258728

Other Formats

  • Also braille, sound recording.

Works about this Work

'Betwix and Between' : Rereading Poppy as Autofiction Cheryl O'Byrne , 2019 single work criticism
— Appears in: Philament , September no. 25 2019;
'Autofiction has been a buzzword within anglophone literary circles in recent years. Several books published in 2018 stimulated the mainstream conversation, including Rachel Cusk’s Kudos, Sheila Heti’s Motherhood, Olivia Laing’s Crudo, and the final instalment of Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle series. Scholarship on the mode also flourished in 2018: Hywel Dix edited a groundbreaking essay collection called Autofiction in English, and Marjorie Worthington published the first monograph on American autofiction. The concept of autofiction has been part of the French literary lexicon since the late 1970s, introduced by Serge Doubrovsky and developed by theorists [END PAGE 7] such as Vincent Colonna, Philippe Gasparini, Arnaud Genon, Isabelle Grell, and Philippe Vilain; its appearance in English-language conversations, however, is a recent phenomenon.' (Introduction)
Discarding the Disclaimer? Reappraising Fiction as a Mode of Biography James Vicars , 2016 single work criticism
— Appears in: TEXT : Journal of Writing and Writing Courses , April vol. 20 no. 1 2016;
'While the biographical novel has created an openness to representing lives in fiction it is usually expected to provide a disclaimer certifying the work’s unreliability despite its potential for truth-telling and rich tools for writers wishing to tell the stories of real people. Even so, more serious attention to the historical novel since Lukács, the impact of the postmodern novel, plus the variety of published works that have adopted fictional strategies to tell lives over the last half century suggest this perspective is shifting. Using Ina Schabert’s seminal work on fictional biography as a scholarly reference point, this paper explores fiction’s biographical capacity, turning to published works and personal writing practice to try to reappraise the potential of fiction as a mode of biography.' (Publication abstract)
Developing a Connective Feminine Discourse : Drusilla Modjeska on Women’s Lives, Love and Art Ulla Rahbek , 2015 single work criticism
— Appears in: Coolabah , no. 16 2015; (p. 101-111)
'This paper discusses the work of the Australian writer and historian Drusilla Modjeska through a focus on the intersections between women‟s lives, love and art, which constitute the central triptych of Modjeska‟s writing. It argues that Modjeska‟s oeuvre unfolds a connective feminine discourse through a development of what the paper calls hinging tropes, discursive connectors that join life, love and art, such as weaving, folding and talking. That connective feminine discourse is indeed central to Modjeska‟s personal and sometimes idiosyncratic feminism.' (Publication summary)
Giving Solidity to Pure Wind : Temporising as Transformation Julia Prendergast , 2015 single work criticism
— Appears in: TEXT : Journal of Writing and Writing Courses , April vol. 19 no. 1 2015;

'Jared Diamond asked the acclaimed evolutionary biologist Ernst Mayr (1904-2005) why Aristotle didn’t come up with the theory of evolution. Mayr’s answer was ‘Frage stellen’ which Diamond translates as ‘a way of asking questions [sic]’ (Byrne 2013). The idea that a particular way-of-asking might generate a particular way-of-knowing and, indeed, a particular branch-of-knowledge, is utterly intriguing, especially when we frame the practice of creative writing in those terms: as a way of asking questions.

'Drusilla Modjeska unpacks the concept of ‘temporising’ in her article ‘Writing Poppy’ (Modjeska 2002: 75). This discussion invites us to consider the generative capabilities of the temporising space – as an imaginative space for writers, as an alternate way of asking questions … of seeing, being, knowing.

In narrative, the questions that underpin the work do not necessarily appear in the surface-content of the text. In this way, the story is a metaphorical representation of the questions that lie beneath. As Aristotle suggests, metaphor relies on ‘an intuitive perception of the similarity [to homoion theorein] in dissimilars’ (Ricoeur 1977: 23). In narrative we contemplate a question, or an idea, within the context of a metaphorical other. This is a form of temporising: of ‘slip[ping] into other time frames’ as a means of ‘retreat[ing] and consider[ing]’ (Modjeska 2002: 75, 76). In narrative time, we consider one thing through an alternate temporal lens. We prevaricate in otherness.

'Fiction-making represents a very particular way of asking questions. With reference to the process of writing the short story – ‘Everything that matters is silvery white’ – it is clear that ‘making’ narrative is a way of asking questions that is assisted by the transformative temporising space.' (Publication abstract)

Poppy : A Post-“Radical Feminist” Life-writing Jie Huang , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Studies in China : Research on Australia by Chinese Scholars 2014;
'Poppy by Australian writer Drusilla Modjeska is a typical life-writing which is based on the life experiences of an ordinary woman—the author’s own mother. In this work, Modjeska made great efforts to interpret three sets of relationships, i.e., that between “mother” and “daughter”, that between “father tongue” and “mother tongue”, and that between form experiments and feminist political tasks. Through examining these sets of relationships, this essay aims to disclose that this work is actually a serious theoretical revision of radical feminism in an unfavorable social context of Australia in the late 1980s and 1990s.' (Publication abstract)
[Review] : Poppy Terri-Ann White , 1991 single work review
— Appears in: Fremantle Arts Review , December and vol. 6 no. 1 January vol. 5 no. 12 1991; (p. 15)

— Review of Poppy Drusilla Modjeska , 1990 single work novel
Editors Down their Blue Pencils to Show how it's Done Leon Trainor , 1990 single work review
— Appears in: The Australian Magazine , 3-4 November 1990; (p. 7)

— Review of Women and Horses Candida Baker , 1990 single work novel ; Hot Shots Susan Mitchell , 1990 single work novel ; Poppy Drusilla Modjeska , 1990 single work novel
Wild Bunch of Tall Poppies Edmund Campion , 1990 single work review
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 2 October vol. 112 no. 5739 1990; (p. 112)

— Review of Against Time and Place Elizabeth Backhouse , 1990 single work novel ; Miss Gymkhana, R. G. Menzies and Me : Small Town Life in the Fifties Kathy Skelton , 1990 single work autobiography ; Poppy Drusilla Modjeska , 1990 single work novel ; Wild Card : An Autobiography, 1923-1958 Dorothy Hewett , 1990 single work autobiography
Books Noticed Bill Tully , 1990 single work review
— Appears in: Blast , Spring no. 13/14 1990; (p. 32-33)

— Review of Schemetime Sara Dowse , 1990 single work novel ; The Bluebird Cafe Carmel Bird , 1990 single work novel ; The Country Without Music Nicholas Hasluck , 1990 single work novel ; Salt Gabrielle Lord , 1990 single work novel ; The Story of the Year of 1912 in the Village of Elza Darzins : A Novel Thea Welsh , 1990 single work novel ; Poppy Drusilla Modjeska , 1990 single work novel
A Gift of Sorrow: Modjeska's Poppy Stephanie Trigg , 1990 single work review
— Appears in: Scripsi , vol. 6 no. 3 1990; (p. 137-142)

— Review of Poppy Drusilla Modjeska , 1990 single work novel
Through Doors and Windows : In-Between Spaces and the Woman Artist in Drusilla Modjeska's Writings Roberta Buffi , 2002 single work criticism
— Appears in: Between Literature and Painting : Three Australian Women Writers 2002; (p. 129-171, notes 180-181)
Biography, Narrative and 'a Lived Life' : Problematics of Identity in Poppy Debbie Rodan , 2004 single work criticism
— Appears in: Identity and Justice : Conflicts, Contradictions and Contingencies 2004; (p. 69-84)
Lunch with Grace & Stella Lunch with Grace and Stella Angela Bennie , 1999 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 28 August 1999; (p. 9)
Subject Matters Marion Halligan , 1995 single work criticism essay
— Appears in: A Sense of Difference 1995; (p. 15-23)
The author offers comments on the writing process in five Australian novels by women writers. She stresses that her comments are those of a practitioner reflecting on the work of friends.
Tribe Shows the Way Norman Aisbett , 2007 single work column
— Appears in: The West Australian , 2 June 2007; (p. 3)
Discusses Drusilla Modjeska's career as a writer and her 2004 visit to New Guinea to study the traditional art of the Omie tribespeople.
Last amended 6 Sep 2019 14:12:45
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