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Issue Details: First known date: 1996... 1996 Representing Difference in Sam Watson's "The Kadaitcha Sung"
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The last ten years have seen an amazing and powerful upsurge of Australian Aboriginal writing. Texts such as Archie Weller's novel  Day of the Dog and the playwright Jack Davis's No Sugar have taken the day-to-day experience of the Nyoongah people and cast them into a realist literary form which contests the existing white accounts.' These early realist texts are told from the alter/native, subaltern viewpoint, suppressed if not silenced by the dominant white discourse, in which Aboriginality itself was a term used to eradicate the specific differences these texts were designed to uncover and celebrate. These Aboriginal texts try to uncover a hidden history without modifying the dominant discourse of Western realist narrative. The limitations of this mode of representation have been pointed out by Australian Aboriginal critics such as Mudrooroo who have questioned its effectiveness for a contemporary Aboriginal politics: realist texts reinforce the dependency-syndrome of Aboriginal writing, especially where, as in the case of Weller's, they are deeply pessimistic narratives ending with images of defeat. Mudrooroo has argued that the alternative may be to develop texts which go back to "the very roots of Aboriginal culture, to traditional Aboriginal culture. I feel this is the way to go — that we should be developing our own literature and not just utilizing Australian realism."3 Such texts, he argues, are celebratory and recuperative, confronting Australian society with a discourse marked by its difference. Sam Watson's Kadaitcha Sung is one such non-realist text, and it is the forms it adopts and their effect on the politics of textually representing difference that I want to consider here. (Introduction)

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Last amended 27 Sep 2017 16:42:11
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