AustLit logo
Issue Details: First known date: 2007... 2007 Circling with Ghosts: The Search for Redemption
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.

AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'This article explores the ways in which Michael Meehan's The Salt of Broken Tears (referred to hereafter as Salt) might be read as an allegorical quest for redemption. I refer also to Patrick White's Voss, to the extent that it provides an obvious antecedent, and an ironic archetype of the "explorer" tale. Voss provides a useful juxtaposition to Salt, in that they both represent quests, and futile quests at that. Both are historical novels, using a distanced past to illuminate a particular (different) present. Both novels illustrate an Australian masculinity haunted by a lost sense of "rightness": not just of "right-doing", but also of fitness, comprehensibility, belonging. The masculine is presented as both mirrored and haunted by the feminine. There are two key elements in the construction of this masculinity: violence, and deprivation or "lack". I am interested in how these elements drive the masculine quest, and how this masculine quest mirrors the broader Australian longing for redemption, or perhaps absolution.' (p.65)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon JASAL Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature; Spectres, Screens, Shadows, Mirrors Special Issue Tanya Dalziell (editor), Paul Genoni (editor), 2007 Z1373275 2007 periodical issue 2007 pg. 65-76
    Note: Includes list of works cited.
Last amended 9 Aug 2010 11:04:28
65-76 Circling with Ghosts: The Search for Redemptionsmall AustLit logo JASAL
    Powered by Trove