Discusses the different approaches to Wright's poetry over the period from her first collection The Moving Image (1946) to her Collected Poems (1994) in the foreword to which Wright discussed changes in literary fashions and readership. Taking several individual poems, McMahon explores their 'complex relation of past and present to present and future readers.
'In this essay, the radical potentialities of modernism's dialogue with notions of the sacred will be analysed, with a particular focus on the active construction of a transcendental spirituality that functions as a rejection of hegemonic forces. I will argue that Randolph Stow constructs a place in which hegemonic symbolisation–the alienating forms of language that separate subjects from the real–can be challenged or subverted. I will also argue that Patrick White's fiction develops further the anti-hegemonic exploration of the sacred. In particular, I will explore the ways in which White's novel Voss engages with concepts of the sacred, only to challenge direct notions of religious identification. This novel has provoked a series of interpretative gestures which privilege a Christian framework, without any political context which could help to explain the ethics of White's treatment of the sacred. Thus, the current analysis will aim to re-politicise the reading of White's novel, as a text that articulates a challenge to the hegemony of meaning in a colonial (and post-colonial) context.' (Extract from article)