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y separately published work icon Post-Colonial : A Récit single work   novel  
  • Author:agent John Kinsella http://www.poetrylibrary.edu.au/poets/kinsella-john
Issue Details: First known date: 2009... 2009 Post-Colonial : A Récit
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Post-Colonial is a poetic and wildly experimental account of cultural intrusion and appropriation from one of Australia's finest and most prolific writers. Questioning what it is that constitutes nation and place, particularly in reference to Australia itself, Kinsella's narrator travels to the Cocos Islands to collect oral histories. Disaffected and unsure of his own role there, and cast adrift upon an ocean of his own dependencies, the narrator offers not only a fragmented tale of crisis, but also a sophisticated exploration of issues of history and self-determination among the local Cocos Malay of Home Island and the non-Cocos Malay foreigners of West Island.

'Post-Colonial is also a novel about how we read so-called post-colonial texts. It is a work in which time frames and time signatures shift, events are retold, and the reader is led to ask questions about the nature of history itself. Ranging from the 'natural' and 'real' to the fantastical, the narrative is in constant flux. History is erased, lost, reclaimed, and restated.' (From the publisher's website.)

Notes

  • Dedication: To T., K., and R.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • West End, South Brisbane - East Brisbane area, Brisbane - South & South West, Brisbane, Queensland,: Papertiger Media , 2009 .
      Extent: 234p.
      Description: illus., maps
      Note/s:
      • Introduced by Nicholas Birns.
      ISBN: 9780957941175

Works about this Work

The Scrub of Vicissitude : The Experimental Fiction of John Kinsella Nicholas Birns , 2021 single work criticism
— Appears in: Angelaki , vol. 26 no. 2 2021; (p. 124-134)

'John Kinsella’s achievement as a poet has overshadowed his fiction. But his narrative accomplishment is a considerable one. Whereas his poetry is usually classified as either experimental or “dark pastoral,” the fiction evades these kinds of categorizations. This essay delineates Kinsella’s fictional oeuvre, from the estrangements of his short stories to his recent series of short novels, novellas, and full-length novels, all of which feature a protagonist who is a version of himself, a Kinsella manqué, deployed against various speculative futuristic, or conjectural backdrops. This technique enables both a searing social interrogation and a questioning of the privileged self in light of racism, sexism, and white settler arrogance. Kinsella’s fiction often rewrites anterior texts or received genres. But, unlike so much other Australian fiction, it does not simply write into the global market or attempt to temporarily reanimate received paradigms. Kinsella’s fictions, such as Hollow EarthDjango & Jezebel, and Basket Z, are not conventional novels. But they provide a satisfying narrative through-line even as they prod the reader to think about their own place in the text and in the world.' (Publication abstract)

John Kinsella as Life Writer the Poetics of Dirt David McCooey , 2021 single work criticism
— Appears in: Angelaki , vol. 26 no. 2 2021; (p. 92-103)

'Life writing is ubiquitous in John Kinsella’s vast oeuvre. Kinsella’s employment of the diversity of modes collected under the rubric of “life writing” is underpinned by a “poetics of dirt.” Such a poetics is visible in the central role that material dirt (as both pollution and terrain) plays in Kinsella’s work, as well as the more general concept of impurity, as seen in Kinsella’s poetic trafficking in ideas concerning transgression, liminality, hybridity, and danger. In Purity and Danger (1966), the anthropologist Mary Douglas famously defined dirt as “matter out of place.” In the poem “Dirt” (from Kinsella’s 2014 collection Sack), dirt remains understandable as matter out of place, but it also becomes radically mobile, its material and symbolic weight subject to unexpected transformations. The eponymous dirt in Kinsella’s poem is being carted from one place to another by the poet’s near neighbour for “purposes unknown.” This “shitload of dirt,” dumped onto the dirt of the valley’s floor, makes its way into the disturbingly porous bodies – both human and non-human – around it. It is “something you sense in arteries” and “the haze / that lights and encompasses us all.” This poem can be taken as a metonym for Kinsella’s entire literary oeuvre. Employing his “poetics of dirt,” Kinsella attends to the dispossessed dirt of a post/colonial nation; the dirt of contemporary farming practices; the dirt of official and vernacular languages; and the dirt of personal secrets. This essay argues that Kinsella’s “poetics of dirt” cannot be disambiguated from his activist poetics, and the profoundly auto/biographical nature of his writing. Attending to postcolonial theory and life-writing studies, this essay analyses how Kinsella thematises dirt as central to both life writing (in prose and poetry) and a life of writing. In doing so, it considers dirt as something not simply “out of place,” but – in a postcolonial, post-sacred, and late-capitalist world – endlessly mobile, unstable, and transformative, moving between material and discursive realities in newly complex ways. By attending to dirt (both as matter and as pollutant) within the context of his various auto/biographical projects, Kinsella conspicuously draws attention to the relationship between the human and the material, profoundly questioning – in a way akin to a “new materialist” perspective – the consequences of a human-centred ontology. At its most radical, the “poetics of dirt” found in Kinsella’s life writing posits a world in which human subjectivity is not the only agental force in the material world.' (Publication abstract)

[Untitled] Rajyashree Khushu-Lahiri , 2013 single work review
— Appears in: Transnational Literature , November vol. 6 no. 1 2013;

— Review of Post-Colonial : A Récit John Kinsella , 2009 single work novel
Anti-Travel Adam Aitken , 2010 single work review
— Appears in: Jacket , July no. 40 2010;

— Review of Post-Colonial : A Récit John Kinsella , 2009 single work novel
Intersections Stephen Muecke , 2010 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , May no. 321 2010; (p. 61-62)

— Review of Post-Colonial : A Récit John Kinsella , 2009 single work novel
Intersections Stephen Muecke , 2010 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , May no. 321 2010; (p. 61-62)

— Review of Post-Colonial : A Récit John Kinsella , 2009 single work novel
Anti-Travel Adam Aitken , 2010 single work review
— Appears in: Jacket , July no. 40 2010;

— Review of Post-Colonial : A Récit John Kinsella , 2009 single work novel
[Untitled] Rajyashree Khushu-Lahiri , 2013 single work review
— Appears in: Transnational Literature , November vol. 6 no. 1 2013;

— Review of Post-Colonial : A Récit John Kinsella , 2009 single work novel
John Kinsella as Life Writer the Poetics of Dirt David McCooey , 2021 single work criticism
— Appears in: Angelaki , vol. 26 no. 2 2021; (p. 92-103)

'Life writing is ubiquitous in John Kinsella’s vast oeuvre. Kinsella’s employment of the diversity of modes collected under the rubric of “life writing” is underpinned by a “poetics of dirt.” Such a poetics is visible in the central role that material dirt (as both pollution and terrain) plays in Kinsella’s work, as well as the more general concept of impurity, as seen in Kinsella’s poetic trafficking in ideas concerning transgression, liminality, hybridity, and danger. In Purity and Danger (1966), the anthropologist Mary Douglas famously defined dirt as “matter out of place.” In the poem “Dirt” (from Kinsella’s 2014 collection Sack), dirt remains understandable as matter out of place, but it also becomes radically mobile, its material and symbolic weight subject to unexpected transformations. The eponymous dirt in Kinsella’s poem is being carted from one place to another by the poet’s near neighbour for “purposes unknown.” This “shitload of dirt,” dumped onto the dirt of the valley’s floor, makes its way into the disturbingly porous bodies – both human and non-human – around it. It is “something you sense in arteries” and “the haze / that lights and encompasses us all.” This poem can be taken as a metonym for Kinsella’s entire literary oeuvre. Employing his “poetics of dirt,” Kinsella attends to the dispossessed dirt of a post/colonial nation; the dirt of contemporary farming practices; the dirt of official and vernacular languages; and the dirt of personal secrets. This essay argues that Kinsella’s “poetics of dirt” cannot be disambiguated from his activist poetics, and the profoundly auto/biographical nature of his writing. Attending to postcolonial theory and life-writing studies, this essay analyses how Kinsella thematises dirt as central to both life writing (in prose and poetry) and a life of writing. In doing so, it considers dirt as something not simply “out of place,” but – in a postcolonial, post-sacred, and late-capitalist world – endlessly mobile, unstable, and transformative, moving between material and discursive realities in newly complex ways. By attending to dirt (both as matter and as pollutant) within the context of his various auto/biographical projects, Kinsella conspicuously draws attention to the relationship between the human and the material, profoundly questioning – in a way akin to a “new materialist” perspective – the consequences of a human-centred ontology. At its most radical, the “poetics of dirt” found in Kinsella’s life writing posits a world in which human subjectivity is not the only agental force in the material world.' (Publication abstract)

The Scrub of Vicissitude : The Experimental Fiction of John Kinsella Nicholas Birns , 2021 single work criticism
— Appears in: Angelaki , vol. 26 no. 2 2021; (p. 124-134)

'John Kinsella’s achievement as a poet has overshadowed his fiction. But his narrative accomplishment is a considerable one. Whereas his poetry is usually classified as either experimental or “dark pastoral,” the fiction evades these kinds of categorizations. This essay delineates Kinsella’s fictional oeuvre, from the estrangements of his short stories to his recent series of short novels, novellas, and full-length novels, all of which feature a protagonist who is a version of himself, a Kinsella manqué, deployed against various speculative futuristic, or conjectural backdrops. This technique enables both a searing social interrogation and a questioning of the privileged self in light of racism, sexism, and white settler arrogance. Kinsella’s fiction often rewrites anterior texts or received genres. But, unlike so much other Australian fiction, it does not simply write into the global market or attempt to temporarily reanimate received paradigms. Kinsella’s fictions, such as Hollow EarthDjango & Jezebel, and Basket Z, are not conventional novels. But they provide a satisfying narrative through-line even as they prod the reader to think about their own place in the text and in the world.' (Publication abstract)

Last amended 23 Aug 2010 12:08:07
Subjects:
  • Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Australian External Territories,
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