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Issue Details: First known date: 1998... 1998 Seeking the Centre : The Australian Desert in Literature, Art and Film
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Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Notes:
illus; map; bibl

Works about this Work

Redrawing the Map : An Interdisciplinary Geocritical Approach to Australian Cultural Narratives Peta Mitchell , Jane Stadler , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Geocritical Explorations : Space, Place, and Mapping in Literary and Cultural Studies 2011; (p. 47-62)
Reconfiguring Australia's Literary Canon : Antipodean Cultural Tectonics Salhia Ben-Messahel , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Commonwealth , Autumn vol. 34 no. 1 2011; (p. 77-91)
'This paper shows how an Australian community imagined by the European continent has evolved to become more inclusive of otherness, be it in the form of non-Anglo-Australian cultures, Australian regional cultures, or a significant Indigenous culture intimately linked to the land. In this process, which is comparable to tectonic shifts, some Australian authors have attempted, within a 21st-century global village, to map intercultural spaces that reveal a pervasive sense of emptiness and the uncanny.' (Author's abstract)
Kellerberrin Walking - Writing & Vagabondage in South West Western Australia : Nine Speeds of Walking/Writing Mark Minchinton , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Journeying and Journalling : Creative and Critical Meditations on Travel Writing 2010; (p. 67-77)
The Wide Brown Land : Literary Readings of Space and the Australian Continent Anthony J. Hassall , 2007 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australia : Making Space Meaningful 2007; (p. 45-53)
'In his 1987 poem "Louvres" Les Murray speaks of journeys to 'the three quarters of our continent/set aside for mystic poetry" (2002, 239), a very different reading of Australia's inner space to A.D. Hope's 1939 vision of it as '[t]he Arabian desert of the human mind" (1966, 13) In this paper I review the opposed, contradictory ways in which the inner space of Australia has been perceived by Australian writers, and note changes in those literary perceptions, especially in the last fifty years. In that time what was routinely categerised, by Patrick White among others, as the "Dead heart" (1974, 94) - the disappointing desert encountered by nineteenth=century European explorers looking for another America -has been re-mythologised as the "Red Centre," the symbolic, living heart of the continent. What Barcroft Boake's 1897 poem hauntingly portrayed as out where the dead men lie" (140,-2) is now more commonly imagined as a site of spiritual exploration and psychic renewal, a place where Aboriginal identification with the land is respected and even shared. This change was powerfully symbolised in 1985 by the return to the traditional Anangu owners of the title deeds to the renamed Uluru, the great stone sited at the centre of the continent; but while this re-mythologising has been increasingly influential in literary readings, older, more negative constructions of that space as hostile and sterile have persisted, so that contradictory attitudes towards the inner space of Australia continue to be expressed. In reviewing a selection of those readings, I am conscious that they both distort and influence broader cultural perceptions. I am also aware that literary reconstructions of the past reflect both the attitudes of the time depicted and the current attitudes of the writer, and that separating the two is seldom simple. Finally, I am conscious of the connections between literary readings and those in art and film of the kind documented by Roslynn Hanes in her 1998 study Seeking the Centre: the Australian Desert in Literature, Art and Film, and those in television and advertising. I have however, with the exception of the Postscript, limited my paper to literary readings, with an emphasis on works published since Haynes's study.' (Author's abstract p. 45)
Dying to Come to Australia : Asylum Seekers, Tourists and Death Jon Stratton , 2007 single work criticism
— Appears in: Our Patch : Enacting Australian Sovereignty Post-2001 2007; (p. 167-196) Imagined Australia : Reflections around the Reciprocal Construction of Identity between Australia and Europe 2009; (p. 57-87)
Revisiting the Dead Heart Rory McGuire , 1998 single work review
— Appears in: Uniken , December no. 19 1998; (p. 14)

— Review of Seeking the Centre : The Australian Desert in Literature, Art and Film Roslynn D. Haynes , 1998 single work criticism
Artistic Journey into the Notion of Desert Peter Pierce , 1999 single work review
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 6 February 1999; (p. 23)

— Review of Seeking the Centre : The Australian Desert in Literature, Art and Film Roslynn D. Haynes , 1998 single work criticism
Inside the Dead Heart Robin Gerster , 1999 single work review
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 2 March vol. 117 no. 6163 1999; (p. 75)

— Review of Seeking the Centre : The Australian Desert in Literature, Art and Film Roslynn D. Haynes , 1998 single work criticism
Desert-Seekers Robert Drewe , 1999 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , February-March no. 208 1999; (p. 5-6)

— Review of Seeking the Centre : The Australian Desert in Literature, Art and Film Roslynn D. Haynes , 1998 single work criticism
A Centre You Can Also Die In Robyn Davidson , 1999 single work review
— Appears in: The Times Literary Supplement , 11 June no. 5019 1999; (p. 27)

— Review of Seeking the Centre : The Australian Desert in Literature, Art and Film Roslynn D. Haynes , 1998 single work criticism
Dying to Come to Australia : Asylum Seekers, Tourists and Death Jon Stratton , 2007 single work criticism
— Appears in: Our Patch : Enacting Australian Sovereignty Post-2001 2007; (p. 167-196) Imagined Australia : Reflections around the Reciprocal Construction of Identity between Australia and Europe 2009; (p. 57-87)
The Wide Brown Land : Literary Readings of Space and the Australian Continent Anthony J. Hassall , 2007 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australia : Making Space Meaningful 2007; (p. 45-53)
'In his 1987 poem "Louvres" Les Murray speaks of journeys to 'the three quarters of our continent/set aside for mystic poetry" (2002, 239), a very different reading of Australia's inner space to A.D. Hope's 1939 vision of it as '[t]he Arabian desert of the human mind" (1966, 13) In this paper I review the opposed, contradictory ways in which the inner space of Australia has been perceived by Australian writers, and note changes in those literary perceptions, especially in the last fifty years. In that time what was routinely categerised, by Patrick White among others, as the "Dead heart" (1974, 94) - the disappointing desert encountered by nineteenth=century European explorers looking for another America -has been re-mythologised as the "Red Centre," the symbolic, living heart of the continent. What Barcroft Boake's 1897 poem hauntingly portrayed as out where the dead men lie" (140,-2) is now more commonly imagined as a site of spiritual exploration and psychic renewal, a place where Aboriginal identification with the land is respected and even shared. This change was powerfully symbolised in 1985 by the return to the traditional Anangu owners of the title deeds to the renamed Uluru, the great stone sited at the centre of the continent; but while this re-mythologising has been increasingly influential in literary readings, older, more negative constructions of that space as hostile and sterile have persisted, so that contradictory attitudes towards the inner space of Australia continue to be expressed. In reviewing a selection of those readings, I am conscious that they both distort and influence broader cultural perceptions. I am also aware that literary reconstructions of the past reflect both the attitudes of the time depicted and the current attitudes of the writer, and that separating the two is seldom simple. Finally, I am conscious of the connections between literary readings and those in art and film of the kind documented by Roslynn Hanes in her 1998 study Seeking the Centre: the Australian Desert in Literature, Art and Film, and those in television and advertising. I have however, with the exception of the Postscript, limited my paper to literary readings, with an emphasis on works published since Haynes's study.' (Author's abstract p. 45)
Kellerberrin Walking - Writing & Vagabondage in South West Western Australia : Nine Speeds of Walking/Writing Mark Minchinton , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Journeying and Journalling : Creative and Critical Meditations on Travel Writing 2010; (p. 67-77)
Reconfiguring Australia's Literary Canon : Antipodean Cultural Tectonics Salhia Ben-Messahel , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Commonwealth , Autumn vol. 34 no. 1 2011; (p. 77-91)
'This paper shows how an Australian community imagined by the European continent has evolved to become more inclusive of otherness, be it in the form of non-Anglo-Australian cultures, Australian regional cultures, or a significant Indigenous culture intimately linked to the land. In this process, which is comparable to tectonic shifts, some Australian authors have attempted, within a 21st-century global village, to map intercultural spaces that reveal a pervasive sense of emptiness and the uncanny.' (Author's abstract)
Redrawing the Map : An Interdisciplinary Geocritical Approach to Australian Cultural Narratives Peta Mitchell , Jane Stadler , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Geocritical Explorations : Space, Place, and Mapping in Literary and Cultural Studies 2011; (p. 47-62)
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