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On Writing Carpentaria single work   criticism  
Issue Details: First known date: 2007... 2007 On Writing Carpentaria
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

Wright describes what drove her to write her novel Carpentaria, stating that 'For a long time while I was exploring how to write Carpentaria, I tried to come to some understanding of two principal questions: firstly, how to understand the idea of Indigenous people living with the stories of all the times of this country, and secondly, how to write from this perspective.'

Exhibitions

6692903

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Heat Harper's Gold no. 13 (New Series) 2007 Z1381473 2007 periodical issue 2007 pg. 79-95
  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon The Canberra Times 23 June 2007 Z1399971 2007 newspaper issue 2007 pg. B4 Section: Forum
    Note: Edited extract

Works about this Work

Ecopoetic Encounters: Amnesia and Nostalgia in Alexis Wright's Environmental Fiction Arnaud Barras , 2015 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australasian Journal of Ecocriticism and Cultural Ecology , no. 5 2015; (p. 32)
'In Carpentaria (2006) and The Swan Book (2013), Alexis Wright establishes an allegorical mode where she reimagines Europeans' first encounters with Australia from an Aboriginal environmental perspective. In this narrative system, the discovery of Australia is not realised by exploring colonisers, but by vulnerable strangers who apprehend the continent both experientially and linguistically. In Carpentaria, the Stranger-figure of Elias Smith is left amnesic after surviving a shipwreck during a cyclone; his first encounter with Australia is extremely violent and results in a loss of personal (hi)story. In The Swan Book, the character of Bella Donna seeks refuge in the nostalgia of swan stories after the disappearance of her native lands due to climate change; her first encounter with Australia is characterised by slow violence and results in a profusion of stories. In this essay I argue that by drawing attention to the interweaving of language and experience and by dramatising the relationship between organism and environment, ‘ecopoetic encounters’ allows readers to rediscover major episodes of Australian environmental history. Indeed, through the experiential and poetic meetings of Stranger-figures with Australia, Wright does not depict the initial moment of discovery as a nation-building event; rather she re-narrates it as a counterdiscursive episode of environmental historical rediscovery. Journeys of migration, environment transformations, and the marginalisation of populations are translated in an Aboriginal allegorical mode that allows European readers, through self-reflexivity, to rediscover the Australian continent through the perceptions, actions and emotions of Stranger-figures.' (Publication abstract)
Sovereign Bodies of Feeling—‘Making Sense’ of Country Alison Ravenscroft , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , vol. 14 no. 3 2014;

' What is the meaning of the claim made by many Aboriginal people that their relationship to country is a vital one: vital in the sense of a living relation, one that might be said to carry life itself? (Rose) It can be taken to be a claim of sovereignty, not only in relation to the land but, inextricably bound with this, a claim of a sovereign subject, or what Alexis Wright has called a sovereignty of the mind. To speak of sovereignty is always to speak of difference: different claims to land, but claims, too, about differences between the people making those claims. Into considerations of what these differences might be, I would like to install questions of embodiment and different capacities to feel, to sense, the country. This is not to speak of an essential difference, if by ‘essential’ we mean something immutable or fixed, but a difference made in cultural practices. For instance, being an embodied subject made in the context of practices associated with contemporary Anmatyerre culture might make for a differently sensate body than a settler subject made in cultural practices that are significantly different to Anmatyerre ones. In this regard, we could say that the Anmatyerre subject and the settler subject do not live in the same country as each other, even if they are living in the same coordinates of longitude and latitude.' (Author's introduction)

Damage Control : Australian Literature as Translation Nicholas Jose , 2012 single work prose
— Appears in: Westerly , July vol. 57 no. 1 2012; (p. 102-120)
Damage Control : Australian Literature as Translation Nicholas Jose , 2012 single work prose
— Appears in: Westerly , July vol. 57 no. 1 2012; (p. 102-120)
Sovereign Bodies of Feeling—‘Making Sense’ of Country Alison Ravenscroft , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , vol. 14 no. 3 2014;

' What is the meaning of the claim made by many Aboriginal people that their relationship to country is a vital one: vital in the sense of a living relation, one that might be said to carry life itself? (Rose) It can be taken to be a claim of sovereignty, not only in relation to the land but, inextricably bound with this, a claim of a sovereign subject, or what Alexis Wright has called a sovereignty of the mind. To speak of sovereignty is always to speak of difference: different claims to land, but claims, too, about differences between the people making those claims. Into considerations of what these differences might be, I would like to install questions of embodiment and different capacities to feel, to sense, the country. This is not to speak of an essential difference, if by ‘essential’ we mean something immutable or fixed, but a difference made in cultural practices. For instance, being an embodied subject made in the context of practices associated with contemporary Anmatyerre culture might make for a differently sensate body than a settler subject made in cultural practices that are significantly different to Anmatyerre ones. In this regard, we could say that the Anmatyerre subject and the settler subject do not live in the same country as each other, even if they are living in the same coordinates of longitude and latitude.' (Author's introduction)

Ecopoetic Encounters: Amnesia and Nostalgia in Alexis Wright's Environmental Fiction Arnaud Barras , 2015 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australasian Journal of Ecocriticism and Cultural Ecology , no. 5 2015; (p. 32)
'In Carpentaria (2006) and The Swan Book (2013), Alexis Wright establishes an allegorical mode where she reimagines Europeans' first encounters with Australia from an Aboriginal environmental perspective. In this narrative system, the discovery of Australia is not realised by exploring colonisers, but by vulnerable strangers who apprehend the continent both experientially and linguistically. In Carpentaria, the Stranger-figure of Elias Smith is left amnesic after surviving a shipwreck during a cyclone; his first encounter with Australia is extremely violent and results in a loss of personal (hi)story. In The Swan Book, the character of Bella Donna seeks refuge in the nostalgia of swan stories after the disappearance of her native lands due to climate change; her first encounter with Australia is characterised by slow violence and results in a profusion of stories. In this essay I argue that by drawing attention to the interweaving of language and experience and by dramatising the relationship between organism and environment, ‘ecopoetic encounters’ allows readers to rediscover major episodes of Australian environmental history. Indeed, through the experiential and poetic meetings of Stranger-figures with Australia, Wright does not depict the initial moment of discovery as a nation-building event; rather she re-narrates it as a counterdiscursive episode of environmental historical rediscovery. Journeys of migration, environment transformations, and the marginalisation of populations are translated in an Aboriginal allegorical mode that allows European readers, through self-reflexivity, to rediscover the Australian continent through the perceptions, actions and emotions of Stranger-figures.' (Publication abstract)
Last amended 25 Nov 2013 10:50:25
79-95 On Writing Carpentariasmall AustLit logo Heat
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