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Yasue Arimitsu investigates 'the state of literature in Japan, and how Australian literature was introduced to Japan, how it is now being taught at universities, and the state of academic appraisal of Australian literature in Japanese universities' and 'what learning about Australian literature means to Japanese people'. (p. 7)
Epigraph: "Please believe that I am falling apart.
I am not speaking metaphorically; nor is this the opening gambit of some melodramatic, riddling, grubby appeal for pity. I mean quite simply that I have begun to crack all over like an old jug - that my poor body [...] has started coming apart at the seams" -Rushdie, Midnights Children
'Sareen and Sengupta talk about Alfred Deakin's impeccable colonial idiom, engaging with India in his twin texts Irrigated India: an Australian View of India and Ceylon, Their Irrigation and Agriculture (1893) and Temple and Tomb in India (1893). In dreaming and wombing the Australian Federation into being, Deakin found himself in a Saleem Sinaiesque self-nation equation. It is thus that he chose to visit India in 1890, in the wake of the decade of his deep engagement with the Federation movement, in order to nurture his dream of the Australian nation.' (Editor's abstract)
‘Australia and Japan emerged simultaneously as modernizing stages in a shared region, and Singapore joined them in the 1960s. Interaction between Australia and Japan is more than 150 years old, while its Australia/Singapore counterpart is much more recent. But mutual perceptions appear in both cases to be characterized by concerns about cultural superiority or inferiority, and by complex contests over the deference dur to civilizations in Australian, Japanese and Singaporean fiction.’ (p. 37)
'India has faced a similar challenge in establishing the serious study of its own writing in English, one made more problematic by the battle not only to overcome ingrained colonial prejudice against that writing as second-hand imitations of British literature, but because of the resistance from nationalist critics championing writing in the autochthonous languages of the subcontinent. The tactical solution amongst academics in Australia has been in part to accept the consolidation of the field in the national context and to look beyond the national to historical complex networks of literary production and circulation under Empire and to current networks of diasporic movements in and out of Australia. Among other things Sharrad shares that the current calibration of research publications in Australia and the allocation of research grants threaten steadily to concentrate resources around a few key international journals and narrow interpretations of the national interest.' (Editor's abstract)
‘This paper seeks to examine the dissemination, reception and perception of Australian literature in China from 1906 to 2008 by providng a historical background for its first arrival in China as a literature undistinguished from English or American literature, then as part of a ruoxiao minzu wenxue (weak and small nation literature) in the early 1930s, its rise as interest grew in Communist and proletarian writings in the 1950s and 1960s, and its spread and growth from the end of the cultural revolution in 1976 across all genres, culminating in its present unprecedented flourishing.’ (Introduction, p. 65)