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This thoroughly researched article traces the life and work of Dutch-born left-wing activist, theosophist, scholar and poet Willem Siebenhaar who moved to Western Australia in 1891, and his connection with D. H. Lawrence, whom he met in 1922 and who helped him secure publication for a translation of Multatuli's Max Havelaar. Drawing on archival material such as Siebenhaar's correspondence, and on the letters of Lawrence, the article provides evidence not only of Siebenhaar's socialist (and at the time rather unpopular) ideas and attitudes, but also of the effects some of these had on Lawrence who put his acquaintance with Siebenhaar to creative use in writing his 'Australian' novel Kangaroo, particularly with regard to the fictional character Willie Struthers.
This article examines Elizabeth O'Conner's seven books, published between 1958 and 1980, as works which functioned ideologically to implement a desire in post-World War II Australia to reformulate and reaffirm the conservative values of the frontier era. Used as exemplifications of national discourses in their era, O'Conner's books focus on representations of the homestead and reveal a number of common parameters, such as hierarchical middle-class structures, concentration on the solidity of marriage and on feminised, domesticated spaces contextualised within an outdoor masculine world of work, and an assumption of Aboriginal inferiority. Thus homesteads in these popular books serve as sites for preserving class and racial distinctions.
This essay reads the novel of expatriate colonial writer Rosa Praed, Outlaw and Lawmaker (1893), as an intervention in the public debate about the Irish question and the marriage question which were vigorously discussed in the late 1880s in Britain, the United States and Australia. Although the novel belongs to the genre of colonial romance, Ferres argues that its author 'speaks from a range of different positions within these debates, and thus underlines the inherent difficulty of characterising women's interests' (32).
Shipway's article examines Flanagan's representation of Tasmanian versions of history and modernity in Gould's Book of Fish. As one of the recurring motifs in Flanagan's writing is 'the impoverishment of the Tasmanian present, a state of affairs both enacted by, and embodied in, a failed modernity', his fiction poses the question: 'how are we to summon up hope for Tasmania's future, when its past is so overwhelmingly full of defeat?'. Shipways argues that the answer proposed in the novel is 'to radically fictionalise that past, and to imbue it with the residue of collective longing left over from the project of hydro-electrification that was aborted after the Franklin River conflicts of the early 1980s' (43). 'In Gould's Book of Fish, Richard Flanagan returns to the time of Tasmania's first modernity in order to realise his hopes and ambitions for another modernity that is yet to come. The tragic-comic failure of that fictional modernisation embodies the ambivalence he feels about the real history of Tasmanian modernity' (44).
The article examines the use of bodily metaphors of dismemberment and beheading in Drewe's novel about the fate of the Tasmanian Aboriginal people, The Savage Crows, in the light of the Western historic notion of the 'social body' and the body of the state. It concludes that 'In a critique of the ways in which contemporary Australian society rests on but denies the fragmentation and dismemberment of Aboriginal communities in the past, this novel dismembers and fragments a contemporary Aboriginal community, and in the process, repeats the theft of William Lanney's head for white purposes, in order to produce a coherent (white social) body ... at the close of the narrative' (65).
This article concentrates on the characterisation of Dora, the heroine in the serialised version of Clarke novel His Natural Life. The author wants 'to cast new light on Clarke's literary aesthetic, on his philosophy, by examining the treatment of his heroine in the context of the middle-class Victorian market for popular books' (67). By treatment he means not so much the changes from the serialised version (Dora) to the book version (Sylvia), but rather 'both a male personage's moral behaviour towards Dora, and his opinion or construction of her character'. He argues that Clarke is able 'to stage a debate in the text about the philosophical implications and relative merits of literary modes, namely ... "realism" and "romance", and, in the end, strike a balance between the two which is manifested in the intricacies of his own characterisation of Dora' (68).
A few years after George Augustus Sala had coined the term 'Marvellous Melbourne' in 1885, a play with that title was written and performed with great success in Melbourne, the place perceived by many at the time as the premier city of the Australian colonies. Unlike Sala, however, the play uses the term sarcastically to describe the seedier side of Melbourne's urban life. Ryan's article examines the play, its reception and its images of Melbourne in the context of contemporary theatrical conventions. She finds that the play, which gave the audience an opportunity to comfortably enjoy images of their familiar local environment, presented Melbourne as a metropolis 'which could equal the crime, misery, and debauchery, as well as the glamour and sophistication, of other major urban centres around the world' (90).
The Literary Club founded by Dr Samuel Johnson and Sir Joshua Reynolds in London in 1764 has been a model to successive Johnsonian clubs in many countries. The first such offshoot of the original was the Johnsonian Club in Brisbane which operated from 1878 until 1991 and defined itself by gender, profession, class, and a firm belief in 'the elevating effects of cultural, and in particular literary, exchange'. Leanne Day's article discusses 'the ways in which the Literary Club influenced the Brisbane Johnsonian Club, taking into account the local club's underlying purpose: to provide its members with a venue to enjoy culture with others of like mind, while implicitly paving their way for professional advancement through networking'. It also examines 'the theme of manliness and writing within the context of this gentlemen's club for journalists' (92).