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Issue Details: First known date: 2010... 2010 The Real Matilda : Re-Inscribing the 'Pygmies' of Australian Culture
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'In his novels, Carey entitles women, the doubly colonized sex in Australian cultural history, to a voice in history and re-inscribes them into the Australian tradition. His novels feature all sorts of strong-willed and charismatic women: Lucinda and Eliabeth Leplastrier in Oscar and Lucinda, the snake-dancer Leah Goldstein and Phoebe McGrath in Illywhacker, Ellen Kelly in True History of the Kelly Gang, Mercy Larkin in Jack Maggs and Felicity Smith in The Unusual Life of Tristan Smith. They all stand their ground in an essentially hostile patriarchal society. With these female characters the author not only reallocates those of his biographee's character traits traditionally associated with a particular sex, but he also actually rewrites the roles of men and especially women have played in Australian history.' (p. 237)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Rewriting History : Peter Carey's Fictional Biography of Australia Andreas Gaile , Amsterdam : Rodopi , 2010 Z1711490 2010 single work criticism

    'Peter Carey is one of the most richly awarded and critically acclaimed novelists of the present day. Most of his fictions relate to questions of Australian history and identity. Rewriting History argues that taken together Carey's novels make up a fictional biography of Australia. The reading proposed here considers both key events in the life of the subject of Carey's biography (such as the exploration of the interior of the continent, the dispossession of the Aborigines, the convict experience, the process of Australia's coming of age as a postcolonial country) as well as its identity.

    Rewriting History demonstrates how Carey exposes the lies and deceptions that make up the traditional representations of Australian history and supplants them with a new national story - one that because of its fictional status is not bound to the rigidities of traditional historical discourse. At a time of momentous cultural change, when Australia is being transformed from a "New Britannia in another world" to a nation not merely in, but actually of the Asia-Pacific region, Carey's fiction, this book argues, calls for the construction of a postcolonial national identity that acknowledges the wrongs of the past and gives Australians a sense of cultural orientation between their British past and their multicultural present. Source: (Sighted 27/07/2010).

    Amsterdam : Rodopi , 2010
    pg. 235-251
Last amended 30 Nov 2010 12:21:21
235-251 The Real Matilda : Re-Inscribing the 'Pygmies' of Australian Culturesmall AustLit logo
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