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Issue Details: First known date: 2007... 2007 Imaginary (Re)Vision : Politics and Poetics in Sam Watson's 'The Kadaitcha Sung' and Eric Willmot's 'Below the Line'
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'Dealing with the end of a world taking place on the Australian land, Sam Watson’s The Kadaitcha Sung – A Seductive Tale of Sorcery, Eroticism and Corruption and Eric Willmot’s Below the Line are both fictions that picture Australia in a state of—respectively—covert and internal, or (inter)national war. The Kadaitcha Sung tells the story of Tommy Gubba, son of Koobara, son of the chief of the Kadaitcha clan, and Fleur, a white woman, of Northern European descent. Tommy was born secretly after his uncle Booka Roth killed his father to become the last of the Kadaitcha clan. The Kadaitcha clan is in the novel an "ancient clan of sorcerers" (1) called by Biamee to stand among the tribes of the South Land (i.e. Australia) when he returned among the stars. Tommy is initiated and called by Biamee to recuperate the heart of the Rainbow Serpent stolen by Booka Roth, without which Biamee cannot "complete his earthly manifestation". Ensuing from the war that Booka waged against his own people, the veil of mists that Biamee had set upon the South Land is lifted, and "other mortals" come from "all corners of the globe and from every branch of the family of man" (33) and join forces with Booka, defeating the tribes of South Land that cannot match the weapons of the invaders (34). Tommy is to take revenge on the migloo ("fair-skinned" people), who have "raped and pillaged" (31) his people, and conquered the entire land (35). A fast pace narrative, The Kadaitcha Sung is also an action-packed novel, to which this quick introduction cannot do justice. In Below the Line, the story follows the steps of Angela, a white Australian, who at the beginning of the novel is incarcerated and raped in a camp in New Guinea. Freed and sent to Hawaii, she discovers that Australia has lost a war against Indonesia, and that the continent is now divided into two. Below the Brisbane Line is still Australia. Above the Brisbane Line is now called South Irian. Several characters analyze the situation in the course of the novel, and it is unsure whether Australia’s occupation is the result of the USA intervening too late and the UN being unable to change the course of the new colonisation of the country (four million foreign refugees now live in South Irian), or if Australia has indeed been abandoned by its allies because of other international interests in the region. Against her husband’s wish, Angela decides to go back to what is her homeland, where she becomes obsessed with the idea to find the woman she was incarcerated with in New Guinea. On her quest to find the mysterious Delta, and her journey across the country, she comes to understand that there is a third player in the game: the land and its "chosen ones."' (Introduction)

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  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Anglophonia / Caliban Divergences & Convergences; Anglophonia; Caliban no. 21 2007 Z1674247 2007 periodical issue A special issue including papers from the 'Divergences & Convergences' conference held at the University of Toulouse-Le Mirail, March 16-18 2006, attended by Australian writer Brian Castro and featuring papers on Australian literature. 2007 pg. 159-170
Last amended 27 Sep 2017 08:13:51
159-170 Imaginary (Re)Vision : Politics and Poetics in Sam Watson's 'The Kadaitcha Sung' and Eric Willmot's 'Below the Line'small AustLit logo Anglophonia / Caliban