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y separately published work icon Cape Grimm single work   novel  
Is part of Mandala Trilogy 1995 series - author novel (number 3 in series)
Issue Details: First known date: 2004... 2004 Cape Grimm
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  • Dedication: Dedicated to the memory of Dinny O'Hearn.
  • Epigraph: In the whole array of living things there is only one terrestrial order that is homeless and is alien to any land. This creature is the moonbird. Carillo Mean - The Flying Sheep of the Pacific Ocean.
  • Epigraph: The north-west cape of Van Diemen's land is a steep, black head, which from its appearance I called 'Cape Grim'. Matthew Flinders Journal.
  • Epigraph: There is the story of one's hero, and then, thanks to the intimate connection of things, the story of one's story itself. Henry James.
  • Also published in sound recording format.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Pymble, Turramurra - Pymble - St Ives area, Sydney Northern Suburbs, Sydney, New South Wales,: Flamingo , 2004 .
      Extent: xii, 302p.p.
      ISBN: 073226992X

Works about this Work

y separately published work icon The 'Imagined Sound' of Australian Literature and Music Joseph Cummins , London : Anthem Press , 2019 18679009 2019 multi chapter work criticism

'‘Imagined Sound’ is a unique cartography of the artistic, historical and political forces that have informed the post-World War II representation of Australian landscapes. It is the first book to formulate the unique methodology of ‘imagined sound’, a new way to read and listen to literature and music that moves beyond the dominance of the visual, the colonial mode of knowing, controlling and imagining Australian space. Emphasising sound and listening, this approach draws out and re-examines the key narratives that shape and are shaped by Australian landscapes and histories, stories of first contact, frontier violence, the explorer journey, the convict experience, non-Indigenous belonging, Pacific identity and contemporary Indigenous Dreaming. ‘Imagined Sound’ offers a compelling analysis of how these narratives are reharmonised in key works of literature and music.

'To listen to and read imagined sound is to examine how works of literature and music evoke and critique landscapes and histories using sound. It is imagined sound because it is created by descriptive language and imaginative thought, and is as such an extension of the range of heard sound. The concept is inspired by Benedict Anderson’s key study of nationalism, ‘Imagined Communities’ (1983). Discussing official (and unofficial) national anthems, Anderson argues the imagined sound of these songs connects us all. This conception of sound operates in two ways: it places the listener within ‘the nation’ and it bypasses the problem of both space and time, enabling listeners from across a vast space to, simultaneously, become one. Following Anderson, imagined sound emphasises the importance of the imagination in the formation of landscapes and communities, and in the telling and retelling of histories. 

'’Imagined Sound’ encounters the different forms and tonalities of imagined sound – the soundscape, refrain, song, lyric, scream, voice and noise ¬– in novels, poems, art music, folk, rock, jazz and a film clip. To listen to these imagined sounds is to encounter the diverse ways that writers and musicians have reimagined and remapped Australian colonial/postcolonial histories, landscapes and mythologies. Imagined sound links the past to the present, enabling colonial landscapes and traumas to haunt the postcolonial; it carries and expresses highly personal and interior experiences and emotions; and it links people to the landscapes they inhabit and to the narratives and myths that give place meaning. As a reading and listening practice imagined sound pursues the unresolved conflicts that echo across the haunted soundscapes connecting the colonial past to the postcolonial present. The seeds of regeneration also bear fruit as writers and musicians imagine the future. ‘Imagined Sound’ fuses the spirit of close reading common to literary studies and the score analysis familiar to musicology with ideas from sound studies, philosophy, Island studies and postcolonial studies.' (Publication summary)

Strategic, Stylistic and Notional Intertextuality : Fairy Tales in Contemporary Australian Fiction Danielle Wood , 2018 single work criticism
— Appears in: TEXT Special Issue Website Series , no. 43 2018;

'While Canadian scholar Lisa M Fiander argues that fairy tales are ‘everywhere’ in Australian fiction, this paper questions that assertion. It considers what it means for a fairy tale to be ‘in’ a work of contemporary fiction, and posits a classificatory system based on the vocabulary of contemporary music scholarship where a distinction is made between intertextuality that is stylistic and that which is strategic. Stylistic intertextuality is the adoption of features of a style or genre without reference to specific examples, while strategic intertexuality references specific prior works. 

'Two distinct approaches to strategic fairy-tale revision have emerged in Australian writing in recent decades. One approach, exemplified in works by writers including Kate Forsyth, Margo Lanagan and Juliet Marillier, leans towards the retelling of European fairy tales. Examples include Forsyth’s The Beast’s garden (‘Beauty and the Beast’), Lanagan’s Tender morsels (‘Snow White and Rose Red’) and Marillier’s short story ‘By bone-light’ (‘Vasilisa the Beautiful’). The other, more fractured, approach is exemplified in works by writers including Carmel Bird and Murray Bail, which do not retell fairy tales but instead echo them and allude to them.

'This paper proposes that recent Australian works that retell fairy tales are less likely to be set in a recognisably Australian context than are works which take a more fractured approach to fairy tale. It also explores the notion that, presently, transporting European fairy tales, whole, into an Australian setting, seems to be a troubling proposition for writers in a post-colonial settler society that is highly sensitised to, but still largely in denial about, its colonial past.' (Publication abstract)

Echoes between Van Diemen’s Land and Tasmania : Sound and the Space of the Island in Richard Flanagan’s Death of a River Guide and Carmel Bird’s Cape Grimm Joseph Cummins , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Journal of Commonwealth Literature , June vol. 49 no. 2 2014;

'This article encounters two Tasmanian novels, Richard Flanagan’s Death of a River Guide (1994) and Carmel Bird’s Cape Grimm (2004). The novels each contain two soundscapes: one detailing the hidden histories of violence and genocide at the frontier meeting of Aboriginal people and colonialists in the 1820s, and a second, set in a contemporary timeframe, that echoes these past traumas within the lives of characters facing extinction of their own. Deploying a close listening approach in the analysis of these soundscapes, the essay charts the space of the island in the novels, arguing that the resonance between the soundscapes past and present constitutes a transhistorical continuum of sound that links the colonial to the present. While there are both similarities and differences between the soundscapes in Flanagan and Bird, in the novels the sonic continuum reconstructs colonial history and remaps the space of the island. The discussion is positioned in relation to discourses of sound in Australian gothic literature, haunting, and theories of space.' (Publication summary)

A Dream-Temple of Collective Imagination : Exploring Community in Carmel Bird's Cape Grim Gerardo Rodriguez Salas , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Literary Studies , May vol. 27 no. 1 2012; (p. 76-91)
A Haunted Land John McLaren , 2005 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Studies , vol. 20 no. 1&2 2005; (p. 139-153)
'Since the nineteenth century, Australian art and writing has had a double vision of the country, as a sunny land of opportunity, and as a place of loneliness and loss. [...] Recent fiction by white writers has, like Lawson, shown an awareness of the strangeness of the land, but it locates this strangeness more directly in the brutality and defeats of settlement. The sufferings of both settlers and of those they violently displaced continue to haunt their successors' (139). The paper examines the nature of this haunting in recent novels by white Australian writers.
Clouds Gather in a Grim Skye Peter Pierce , 2004 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 7-8 February 2004; (p. 11)

— Review of Cape Grimm Carmel Bird , 2004 single work novel
Mythic Tale Intersects with Tasmanian History Dorothy Johnston , 2004 single work review
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 14 February 2004; (p. 5a)

— Review of Cape Grimm Carmel Bird , 2004 single work novel
Finale of Grim Tidings Katharine England , 2004 single work review
— Appears in: The Advertiser , 21 February 2004; (p. 9)

— Review of Cape Grimm Carmel Bird , 2004 single work novel
Untitled Kabita Dhara , 2004 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Bookseller & Publisher , February vol. 83 no. 7 2004; (p. 36)

— Review of Cape Grimm Carmel Bird , 2004 single work novel
Credulous Rubes James Ley , 2004 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , February no. 258 2004; (p. 35)

— Review of Cape Grimm Carmel Bird , 2004 single work novel
Bird Watch Murray Waldren , 2004 single work biography
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 31 January-1 February 2004; (p. 8-9)
Ripples from Port Arthur Christopher Bantick , 2004 single work review
— Appears in: The West Australian , 5 June 2004; (p. 7)
All the Way to Cape Grimm : Reflections on Carmel Bird's Fiction Shirley Walker , 2004 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Literary Studies , May vol. 21 no. 3 2004; (p. 264-276)
The article presents a critical overview of Carmel Bird's writing, particularly her four major novels. Suggesting that there is a continuity of pattern, theme and sometimes character, Walker examines Bird's major concerns, and the narrative means by which these are expressed (such as fantasy and the Gothic; images and references). She argues that the novels under survey 'raise profound questions: of the presence of evil in the world and the rise of charasmatic leaders who appear to be evil incarnate' (275).
Conversations at Rochester Road : Carmel Bird Discusses Her Writing with Shirley Walker Shirley Walker (interviewer), 2004 single work interview
— Appears in: Australian Literary Studies , May vol. 21 no. 3 2004; (p. 277-288)
Carmel Bird James Phelan (interviewer), 2005 single work interview
— Appears in: Literati : Australian Contemporary Literary Figures Discuss Fear, Frustrations and Fame 2005; (p. 43-56)
Last amended 3 Jun 2014 16:46:30