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A short photo essay on Randolph Stow. The photographs show Stow at his home in East Bergholt village, Suffolk, United Kingdom, and at his Sewell relatives' property at Sand Springs, via Geraldton, Western Australia.
'Allegories contain specific forms and techniques which define a text as an allegory. Furthermore, the reading of allegory as allegory differs markedly from contemporary reading practices. For example, there is a specific intention written into the text. The reader is required to determine that intention in order to uncover the allegory. That is, the reader's freedom to interpret the text is constrained by the text's allegorical devices. Furthermore, the text functions didactically to educate the reader in a certain way, and, through that education, transform the reader. This is the traditional function of allegory. I argue that Randolph Stow's novel, Tourmaline, is one such allegory. Furthermore, in Stow's novel, the allegorical mode is being used in order to educate the reader about an ecological worldview of land. The intention is to bring about a specific reader, one who through the reading of the allegory, develops what the philosopher, Freya Mathews, calls a "votive" relationship to land and the natural environment. As such, allegory is a literary mode in which Australian writers such as Stow and their reading publics are engaging in environmental politics.' (Author's abstract)
'In the Preface to his 1982 revision of To The Islands (first published 1958), Randolph Stow describes himself as a 'fanatical realist'. Re-reading Stow's texts suggests that if Stow's realism is 'fanatical', it is so because his writing continually, if unobtrusively, foregrounds language as that which mediates reality. We read the reflexiveness of Stow's texts more readily when we are paying attention to their intertextuality, along with their use of devices such as mise en abyme and cinematic or theatrical tableau, and sign making. One prominent sign in the Stow oeuvre is that of flowers as offerings. Whether presented to God, self or another person, flowers are at best ambiguous gifts, nuanced with various kinds of toxicity. This article discusses two examples. In the first, verbal 'flowers', part of an ancient children's dancing game, are embraced as if they were real by the protagonist of Stow's first novel, A Haunted Land (1956). In the second, from Tourmaline (1963), flowers on the altar of a ruined church correlate with the mysticism of a saint-like Aboriginal woman, Gloria Day; but also with the estranging dominance of the white settler-invader culture. The remainder of the article discusses the 'toxic flowers' of Charles Baudelaire's poem-cycle Les Fleurs du Mal (Flowers of Evil) as the informing intertext of Stow's To The Islands. The article reads intertexts as Gadamerian 'horizons', that are continually revised.' (Author's abstract)
'Based on bibliographic surveys and interviews with students and teachers of Australian Literature in India, the paper assesses differences of context and reception overseas and how this reshapes meanings and forms of canons and fields as national literary constructs enter transnational networks.' (Author's abstract)
'Of the small group of Australian novels written from beneath the shiny surface of late 50s and early 60s youth styles - reports from underground, stamped with 'insider' authority - none observed the intellectual uncertainties of a new order more acutely than Criena Rohan's The Delinquents (1962) and Mudrooroo's Wild Cat Falling (1965). Both hinged on an intriguing paradox: on the one hand they eagerly accepted that youth subcultures were the source of new identities, less welded to traditional class alignments; but they also contained some of the darkest interpretations of the relationship between youth and the culture industries which provided the raw material for subcultural styles. Their radical depiction of youth's energy and popular culture's allure was undercut by troubled equivocations, or doubts, that youth could creatively use mass popular culture to resist or undermine the power of the dominant capitalist order that produced it.' (Author's abstract)
'Grenville's representations of race and power relations in The Secret River offer important insights into the strategies and performance of whiteness in Australian contemporary literature, particularly in relation to the idea of the 'reconciliation' between white Australia and Indigenous peoples. This article attempts to map a context for representations of race in The Secret River in order to contribute to critiques of literary texts as manifestations of cultural territories consistent with the places and times which produce them.' (Author's abstract)
'This is a reading of A.B. Banjo Paterson's 'Waltzing Matilda' through the presence of the common and iconic object of the billycan: a presence that is significant - and ironic. The billy 'may be heard' (or read) without being particularly noticed. But when we pay closer attention, interesting things emerge. Its relationship with the Swagman isn't simply instrumental: the billy doesn't perform as might be expected. It doesn't do its job. Yet it has a poetic role to play, an ironic one, and a thematic one - that invokes the contemporary concerns of the environment, the workplace, and Indigenous/non-Indigenous relations. The billy is that thing that, for instance, boiled in 'Waltzing Matilda'. Or did it? If you know 'Waltzing Matilda' (if you know Australian literature) you know the billy's there, but why? Is it there for reasons other than of plot or verisimilitude: to paint an authentic picture of bush-life? A picture that requires a break for its characters, a break characterised as an Australian tea-making ritual? In examining the billy in Australian ballads, a thematic consistency begins to emerge. Tea is one of those themes, but a fairly passive one. The themes that come through most strongly are of life and death, and spirit - of the human protagonists, but also of the billy itself. To this extent the billy can be read as a metonym for Australia, that of the life, death and spirit of the nation. The billy is an object - a can - that evokes life and death. Here, a Freudian pun is hard to avoid - the billy is uncanny.' (Author's abstract)
'When literary critic Dorothy Green died in 1991, those in her immediate circle were mystified to learn that little trace of the biography of English writer E. L. Grant Watson, which she was known to have been researching for some twenty years, had been found among her papers. This article examines the reasons why.' (Author's abstract)