'An antipodean manifestation of the anti-modern tradition
“Remember, this is the country of the duck-billed platypus. When you are cut off from the world, things are bound to develop in interesting ways.”
With these words Peter Carey’s character in My Life as a Fake identifies the fundamental factor behind the bizarre aftermath of a literary hoax, namely: particularity of setting.
Just as Bob McCorkle, fraudulent creation of Christopher Chubb, comes to life in Carey’s novel to wreak havoc and anguish upon his creator, so too did Ern Malley step out of the imagination of James McAuley and Harold Stewart into Australia of the 1940s, to forge his own place as an almost-person in the history of Australian literature.'