'The Australian Novelist Patrick White (1912-1990) is celebrated for the breadth and profundity of his vision of man and for the epic implications of his thematic concerns: the award of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1973 was one reflection of these directions in critical interest. At the same time, consideration of White's work has frequently been characterized by a "schizophrenic" attitude (overt or subliminal) towards those aspects of his art by which he himself laid greatest store: the mode of storytelling. White is too often held to be a "mannered" and "idiosyncratic" writer, a pretentious and even clumsy stylist with a predilection for authorial intrusiveness. In this study, original techniques of linguistic and narrative analysis are brought to bear on White's remarkable style, in order to call such judgements into question. White's readers and critics, it is argued, are often the victims of their own projections and misplaced assumptions about the nature of narrative process. Attention is also devoted to questions of 'twice-telling" and intertextuality, and a new, "indexical" procedure is suggested for coping with White's techniques of figuration. White's affinities with such writers as Dostoevsky, James and Faulkner are examined contrastively, with a view to classifying him as preeminently a novelist of consciousness, rather than of "character" and "morality". One central novel, The Solid Mandala, is submitted to full-scale analysis: also extensively discussed are The Tree of Man, Riders in the Chariot, and The Twyborn Affair.' (Publication summary)Amsterdam : Rodopi , 1992
'First, in response to the often-asked question: Why is a British-born Canadian interviewing Australian poets? Three experiences have led to the emergence of this book of interviews. The first relates to my own early childhood. Born and raised in England, I have had a fascination from as long as I can remember with the land that was initially described to me as being the spot on the globe at which you would arrive, if you could go through the earth and come out at exactly the opposite place, on 'the other side.' Australia was our Antipodes, and vice versa.' (Introduction)Amsterdam : Rodopi , 1998
Analyses women's spirituality in the larger context of Australian Desert Spirituality, concluding that women have been developing their own forms of religious expression. General chapters examine'malestream' spirituality, on the one hand, and explore the way 'real' women express their religious and spiritual experiences in non-fiction; the next three chapters offer a close investigation of the fictions of Thea Astley, Elizabeth Jolley and Barbara Hanrahan.Amsterdam : Rodopi , 2000
From publisher's blurb: 'In Aboriginal and Maori literature, the circle and the spiral are the symbolic metaphors for a never-ending journey of discovery and rediscovery. The journey itself, with its indigenous perspectives and sense of orientation, is the most significant act of cultural recuperation. The present study outlines the fields of indigenous writing in Australia and New Zealand in the crucial period between the mid-1980s and the early 1990s - particularly eventful years in which postcolonial theaory attempted to "centre the margins" and indigenous writers were keen to escape the particular centering offered in seach of other positions more in tune with their creative sensibilities. Indigenous writing relinquished its narrative preference for social realism in favour of traversing old territory in new spiritual ways; roots converted to routes.' ... The Circle and the Spiral looks for 'locally and culturally specific tracks and traces that lead in other directions than those catalogued by postcolonial convention. This agenda is pursued by means of searching enquiries into the historical, anthropological, political and cultural determinants of the present state of Aboriginal and Maori writing (principally fiction).'Amsterdam New York (City) : Rodopi , 2004
'The time for new approaches to White's work is overdue. Central to the present study are Edward Said's ideas about the role of the intellectual (and the writer) - of speaking "truth to power," and also the importance of tracing the "affiliations" of a text and its embeddedness in the world. This approach is not incompatible with Jung's theory of the 'great' artist and his capacity to answer the deep-seated psychic needs of his people.
'White's work has contributed in many different ways to the writing of the nation. The spiritual needs of a young nation such as Australia must also comprehend its continual urge towards self-definition. Explored here is one important aspect of that challenge: white Australia's dealings with the indigenous people of the land, tracing the significance of the Aboriginal presence in three texts selected from the oeuvre of Patrick White: Voss (1957), Riders in the Chariot (1961), and A Fringe of Leaves (1976). Each of these texts interrogates European culture's denigration of the non-European Other as embedded in the discourse of orientalism.
'One central merit of White's commanding perspective is the constant close attention he pays to European hubris and to the paramount autonomy of indigenous culture. There is evidence even of a project which can be articulated as a search for the possibility of white indigeneity, the potential for the white settler's belonging within the land as does the indigene.' (Publisher's website)
'Africa Writing Europe offers critical readings of the meaning and presence of Europe in a variety of African literary texts. The first of its kind, it shifts the focus from questions of African identity to readings which delineate ideas of Europe also in texts written specifically in an African context. It seeks to place the representations of Europe in an historical context by including a number of different and often conflicting definitions of the Africa-Europe opposition, definitions that are traced to differences between the specific geographical and cultural locations both in the African and in the European context, including an Eastern European perspective as well as the metropolitan centres of Britain and France.
The readings engage with the legacy of white domination manifested as slavery, colonialism, and apartheid as well as with the entangled histories and new perspectives developed through exile, both as voluntary and as forced migration. Several essays address the gendered dimension of the Africa-Europe opposition and relate it to other intersecting oppositions, such as the rural and the urban, the private and the public, in their analysis of representations of femininity and masculinity in the literary texts. (Publisher's blurb)Amsterdam : Rodopi , 2009
'Paradise is commonly imagined as a place of departure or arrival, beginning and closure, permanent inhabitation of which, however much desired, is illusory. This makes it the dream of the traveller, the explorer, the migrant, hence - a trope recurrent in postcolonial writing, which is so centrally concerned with questions of displacement and belonging. Projections of Paradise documents this concern and demonstrates the indebtedness of writers as diverse as Salman Rushdie, Agha Shahid Ali, Cyril Dabydeen, Bernardine Evaristo, Amitav Ghosh, James Goonewardene, Romesh Gunesekera, Abdulrazak Gurnah, Janette Turner Hospital, Penelope Lively, Fatima Mernissi, Michael Ondaatje, Shyam Selvadurai, M.G. Vassanji, and Rudy Wiebe to strikingly similar myths of fulfilment. In writing, directly or indirectly, about the experience of migration, all project paradises as places of origin or destination, as homes left or not yet found, as objects of nostalgic recollection or hopeful anticipation. Yet in locating such places, quite specifically, in Egypt, Zanzibar, Kashmir, Sri Lanka, the Sundarbans, Canada, the Caribbean, Queensland, Morocco, Tuscany, Russia, the Arctic, the USA, and England, they also subvert received fantasies of paradise as a pleasurable land rich with natural beauty.
Projections of Paradise explores what happens to these fantasies and what remains of them as postcolonial writings call them into question and expose the often hellish realities from which popular dreams of ideal elsewheres are commonly meant to provide an escape.' Source: www.rodopi.nl/ (Sighted 25/07/2011).Amsterdam New York (City) : Rodopi , 2011
'This study traces, in J.M. Coetzee's fictional and non-fictional production, an imaginative and intellectual masterplot deriving from Coetzee's perception of European presence in (South) Africa as having its origin in an act of illegitimate penetration and fraudulent visitation. In Coetzee's novels, the historical and political problem of a hostile occupation and unfair distribution of the land finds a correspondence in the domestic space of house and farm, and the uneasy cohabitation of its occupants, along with the relation between hosts and guests. The seminal dimension of the categories of penetration and visitation is highlighted, as these are shown to operate not only on a spatial level but also on an epistemological, physical, psychological, hermeneutic, metafictional and ethical one: we encounter literary and psychological secrets that resist decipherment, bodies that cannot be penetrated, writers depicted as intruders, parents that ask to be welcomed by their children.
This study also identifies, in Coetzee's narrative, an ethical proposal grounded on a logic of excess and unconditionality - a logic of 'not enough' - lying behind certain acts of hospitality, friendship, kindness, care, and guidance to the gate of death, acts that may transform prevailing unequal socio-historical conditions and hostile personal relationships, characterized by a logic of parasitism and intrusion. As the figure of the writer progressively gains explicit prominence in Coetzee's literary production, special attention will be paid to it, as it alternately appears as secretary and master, migrant and intruder, pervert and foe, citizen and neighbour. Overall, Acts of Visitation analyzes how Coetzee's works depict the (South) African land, the Karoo farm, the familial household or the writer's and literary character's house as simultaneously contending and redemptive sites in which urgent historical, ethical, and metafictional issues are spatially explored and dramatized.' (Publishers' website)
Works published before Coetzee's arrival in Australia including, Dusklands, In the Heart of the Country, Waiting for the Barbarians, Life & Times of Michael K, Age of Iron, Disgrace, Foe, Boyhood and The Master of Petersburg are also discussed in this critical work.Amsterdam New York (City) : Rodopi , 2011
'Indigenous Australian cultures were long known to the world mainly from the writing of anthropologists, ethnographers, historians, missionaries, and others. Indigenous Australians themselves have worked across a range of genres to challenge and reconfigure this textual legacy, so that they are now strongly represented through their own life-narratives of identity, history, politics, and culture. Even as Indigenous-authored texts have opened up new horizons of engagement with Aboriginal knowledge and representation, however, the textual politics of some of these narratives - particularly when cross-culturally produced or edited - can remain haunted by colonially grounded assumptions about orality and literacy.
Through an examination of key moments in the theorizing of orality and literacy and key texts in cross-culturally produced Indigenous life-writing, Entangled Subjects explores how some of these works can sustain, rather than trouble, the frontier zone established by modernity in relation to 'talk' and 'text'. Yet contemporary Indigenous vernaculars offer radical new approaches to how we might move beyond the orality-literacy 'frontier', and how modernity and the a-modern are productively entangled in the process. ' (Source: Angus & Robertson website www.angusrobertson.com.au)Netherlands : Rodopi , 2013
'Chaos. Pain. Self-mutilation. Women starve themselves. They burn or slash their own flesh or their babies' throats, and slam their newborns against walls. Their bodies are the canvases on which the suffering of the soul carves itself with knife and razor. In Australian fiction written by women between 1984 and 1994, female characters inscribe their inner chaos on their bodies to exert whatever power they have over themselves. Their self-inflicted pain is both reaction and language, the bodily sign not only of their enfeeblement but also to a certain extent of their empowerment, of themselves and their world. The texts considered in this book - chiefly by Margaret Coombs, Kate Grenville, Fiona Place, Penelope Rowe, Leone Sperling, and Amy Witting - function as both defiance and accceptance of prevailing discourses of femininity and patriarchy, between submission and a possible future. The narratives of anorexia, bulimia, fatness, self-mutilation, incest, and murder shock the reader into an understanding of deeper meanings of body and soul, and prompt a tentative interpretation of fiction in relation to the world of 'real' women and men in contemporary (white) Australia. This is affective literature with the reader in voyeuristic complicity. Holding up the mirror of fiction, the women writers act perforce as a social lever, their narratives as Bildungsromane. But there is a risk, that of reinforcing stereotypes and codes of conduct which, supposedly long gone, still represent women as victims. Why are the female characters (self-)destroyers and victims? Why are they not heroes, saviours or conquerors? If women read about women / themselves and feel pity for the Other they read about, they will also feel pity for themselves: there is little happiness in being a woman. But infanticide and distorting the body are problem-solving behaviours. In truth, the bodies of the female characters bear the marks and scars of the history of their mothers and the history of their grandmothers - indeed, that of their own: the history of survivors.' (Publisher's blurb)Amsterdam : Rodopi , 2013
'These volumes present John Kinsella's uncollected critical writings and personal reflections from the early 1990s to the present. Included are extended pieces of memoir written in the Western Australian wheatbelt and the Cambridge fens, as well as acute essays and commentaries on the nature and genesis of personal and public poetics. Pivotal are a sense of place and how we write out of it; pastoral's relevance to contemporary poetry; how we evaluate and critique (post)colonial creativity and intrusion into Indigenous spaces; and engaged analysis of activism and responsibility in poetry and literary discourse. The author is well-known for saying he is preeminently an "anarchist, vegan, pacifist" - not stock epithets, but the raison d'être behind his work. The collection moves from overviews of contemporary Australian poetry to studies of such writers as Randolph Stow, Ouyang Yu, Charmaine Papertalk-Green, Lionel Fogarty, Les Murray, Peter Porter, Dorothy Hewett, Judith Wright, Alamgir Hashmi, Patrick Lane, Robert Sullivan, C.K. Stead, and J.H. Prynne, and on to numerous book reviews of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction, originally published in newspapers and journals from around the world. There are also searching reflections on visual artists (Sidney Nolan, Karl Wiebke, Shaun Atkinson) and wide-ranging opinion pieces and editorials. In counterpoint are conversations with other writers (Rosanna Warren, Rod Mengham, Alvin Pang, and Tracy Ryan) and explorations of schooling, being struck by lightning, 'international regionalism', hybridity, and experimental poetry. This two-volume argosy has been brought together by scholar and editor Gordon Collier, who has allowed the original versions to speak with their unique informal-formal ductus. Kinsella's interest is in the ethics of space and how we use it. His considerations of the wheatbelt through Wagner and Dante (and rewritings of these), and, in Thoreauvian vein, his 'place' at Jam Tree Gully on the edge of Western Australia's Avon Valley form a web of affirmation and anxiety: it is space he feels both part of and outside, em¬braced in its every magnitude but felt to be stolen land, whose restitution needs articulating in literature and in real time. Beneath it all is a celebration of the natural world - every plant, animal, rock, sentinel peak, and grain of sand - and a commitment to an ecological poetics.' (Publication summary)Amsterdam : Rodopi , 2013
'How does one read across cultural boundaries? The multitude of creative texts, performance practices, and artworks produced by Indigenous writers and artists in contemporary Australia calls upon Anglo-European academic readers, viewers, and critics to respond to this critical question.
'Contributors address a plethora of creative works by Indigenous writers, poets, playwrights, filmmakers, and painters, including Richard Frankland, Lionel Fogarty, Lin Onus, Kim Scott, Sam Watson, and Alexis Wright, as well as Durrudiya song cycles and works by Western Desert artists. The complexity of these creative works transcends categorical boundaries of Western art, aesthetics, and literature, demanding new processes of reading and response. Other contributors address works by non-Indigenous writers and filmmakers such as Stephen Muecke, Katrina Schlunke, Margaret Somerville, and Jeni Thornley, all of whom actively engage in questioning their complicity with the past in order to challenge Western modes of knowledge and understanding and to enter into a more self-critical and authentically ethical dialogue with the Other.
'In probing the limitations of Anglo-European knowledge-systems, essays in this volume lay the groundwork for entering into a more authentic dialogue with Indigenous writers and critics.' (Publication summary)Amsterdam : Rodopi , 2014
'Cultural memory involves a community shared memories, the selection of which is based on current political and social needs. A past that is significant to a national group is re-imagined by generating new meanings that replace earlier certainties and fixed symbols or myths. This creates literary syncretisms with moments of undecidability. The analysis in this book draws on Renate Lachmann theory of intertextuality to show how novels that blur boundaries without standing in for history are prone to intervene in cultural memory. A brief overview of Aboriginal politics between the 1920s and the 1990s in relation to several novels provides historical and political background to the links between, and problems associated with, cultural memory, testimony, trauma, and Stolen Generations narratives, which are discussed in relation to Sally Morgan My Place and Doris Pilkington Rabbit-Proof Fence. There follows an analysis of novels that respond to the history of contact between Aboriginal and settler Australians, including Kate Grenville historical novels The Secret River, The Lieutenant, and Sarah Thornhill as examples of a traditional approach. David Malouf Remembering Babylon charts how language and naming defined our early national narrative that excluded Aboriginal people. Intertextuality is explored via the relation between Thea Astley The Multiple Effects of Rainshadow, Chloe Hooper The Tall Man, and the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. Kim Scott Benang: from the heart and That Deadman Dance and Alexis Wright Carpentaria reflect a number of Lachmann concepts, syncretism, dialogism, polyphony, Menippean satire, and the carnivalesque.' (Publication summary)Leiden : Brill , 2015
'Australian Fiction as Archival Salvage examines developments in the Australian postcolonial historical novel from 1989 to the present, including seminal experiments in the genre by Kate Grenville, Mudrooroo, Kim Scott, Peter Carey, Rohan Wilson and others.' (Publication summary)Leiden : Rodopi , 2015
'Metaphors are ubiquitously used in the humanities to bring the tangibility of the concrete world to the elaboration of abstract thought. Drawing on this cognitive function of metaphors, this collection of essays focuses on the evocative figures of the `gateway' and the `wall' to reflect on the state of postcolonial studies. Some chapters - on such topics as maze-making in Canada and the Berlin Wall in the writings of New Zealand authors - foreground the modes of articulation between literal borders and emotional (dis)connections, while others examine how artefacts ranging from personal letters to clothes may be conceptualized as metaphorical `gateways' and `walls' that lead or, conversely, regulate access, to specific forms of cultural expression and knowledge. Following this line of metaphorical thought, postcolonial studies itself may be said to function as either barrier or pathway to further modes of enquiry. This much is suggested by two complementary sets of contributions: on the one hand, those that contend that the canonical centre-periphery paradigm and the related `writing back' model have prevented scholars from recognizing the depth and magnitude of cross-cultural influences between civilizations; on the other, those that argue that the scope of traditional postcolonial models may be fruitfully widened to include territories such as post-imperial Turkey, a geographical and cultural gateway between East and West that features in several of the essays included in this collection. Ultimately, all of the contributions testify to the fact that postcolonial studies is a field whose borders must be constantly redrawn, and whose paradigms need to be continually reshaped and rebuilt to remain relevant in the contemporary world - in other words, the collection's varied approaches suggest that the discipline itself is permanently `under construction'. Readers are, therefore, invited to perform a critical inspection of the postcolonial construction site.' (Publication summary)Leiden Boston : Brill , 2016
'The English-speaking world today is so diverse that readers need a gateway to its many postcolonial narratives and art forms. This collection of essays examines this diversity and what brings so many different cultures together. Whether Indian, Canadian, Australasian or Zimbabwean, the stories discussed focus on how artists render experiences of separation, belonging, and loss. The histories and transformations postcolonial countries have gone through have given rise to a wide range of myths that retrace their birth, evolution, and decline. Myths have enabled ethnic communities to live together; the first section of this collection dwells on stories, which can be both inclusive and exclusive, under the aegis of ‘nation’.
'While certain essays revisit and retell the crucial role women have played in mythical texts like the Mahābhārata, others discuss how settler colonies return to and re-appro¬priate a past in order to define themselves in the present. Crises, clashes, and conflicts, which are at the heart of the second section of this book, entail myths of historical and cultural dislocation. They appear as breaks in time that call for reconstruction and redefinition, a chief instance being the trauma of slavery, with its deep geographical and cultural dislocations. However, the crises that have deprived entire communities of their homeland and their identity are followed by moments of remembrance, reconciliation, and rebuilding. As the term ‘postcolonial’ suggests, the formerly colonized people seek to revisit and re-investigate the impact of colonization before committing it to collective memory. In a more specifically literary section, texts are read as mythopoeia, foregrounding the aesthetic and poetic issues in colonial and postcolonial poems and novels. The texts explored here study in different ways the process of mythologization through images of location and dislocation. The editors of this collection hope that readers worldwide will enjoy reading about the myths that have shaped and continue to shape postcolonial communities and nations. ' (Publication summary)