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y separately published work icon Waterway single work   novel  
Issue Details: First known date: 1938... 1938 Waterway
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Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Also published in braille and sound recording formats
Introduction appears in 1990 publication

Works about this Work

y separately published work icon Reflectant Tides : The Aqueous Poetics of Sydney in Women's Fiction, 1934-1947 Meg Brayshaw , Penrith : 2018 18029044 2018 single work thesis

'In Sydney, the period between the two world wars was a time of rapid change, when ‘modern’ was considered a goal to which the city and its people should strive. The 1930s were bookended by the opening of the Harbour Bridge in 1932 and the 1938 Sesquicentenary of the First Fleet’s landing, two events that figured Sydney as the triumphant end point of a narrative of national, white Australian progress. This period also saw the publication of a number of novels by Australian women writers that took the contemporary city as their setting and scrutinised urban modernity as a state of being and an ideological position. This thesis takes as its focus five novels that depict and debate the multiple and often combative discourses of modernity that flowed through Australia’s first and most populous urban centre in the interwar period: Seven Poor Men of Sydney (1934) by Christina Stead, Jungfrau (1936) by Dymphna Cusack, Waterway (1938) by Eleanor Dark, Foveaux (1939) by Kylie Tennant, and Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow (1947; 1983) by M. Barnard Eldershaw. Through close reading within and across the novels, I argue that this generation of women writers pioneered a distinctly Australian, modern urban poetics that is best described as aqueous. Responding to Sydney as a dynamic estuarine environment, each writer mobilises water as location and literary device, infusing the modern city’s spaces and processes with productively aqueous qualities of changeability and circulation, unsettlement and motility. Making heuristic use of a Benjaminian framework for dialectical urban thinking, I read this aqueous poetics of Sydney against the narrative of progress epitomised by the Bridge and Sesquicentenary, arguing that in contradistinction to this narrative, the novels present an Australian urban modernity of material emplacement in an unpredictably watery sphere, where history settles and sediments, multiple ideological schemas flow into one another, and relations between bodies, space and power generate constant contestation.'

Source: Abstract.

Trans-scalar Sydney, Narrative Form and Ethics in Eleanor Dark’s Waterway Meg Brayshaw , 2017 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , vol. 17 no. 1 2017;

'In the opening scene of Eleanor Dark’s novel Waterway (1938), Oliver Denning drives over Sydney’s South Head through the dawn, looking out over the red roofs of Watsons Bay to the harbour below. Oliver’s elevated perspective and physical distance allow him to offer readers a holistic assessment of Sydney, one hundred and fifty years after white settlement. As a doctor, Oliver relies on medical metaphors for his description, diagnosing the city as a germinating disease, ‘the growth of whose parent cells had fastened upon the land’ in 1788 (11). Struggling to reconcile with its cost—a land ‘violated,’ a people decimated—Denning finds himself wishing to ‘annihilate the city’ (12, 11). As the scene continues, however, the doctor forces himself to reconfirm his connection to the present place and time, as Dark shifts to second person to enfold the reader in a vision of radical community:

You were one of the red roofs, and all about you, on this shore and on the opposite shore, from Balgowah to Parramatta, were your neighbours, the other red roofs … He was very well pleased that it should be so. … What you see now, spreading itself over the foreshores, reaching back far out of sight, and still back into the very heart of the land, is something in whose ultimate good you must believe or perish. The red roofs and the quiet grey city become intimate and precious—part of a story of which you yourself are another part, and whose ending neither you nor they will see. (12-13)

‘This Long and Shining Finger of the Sea Itself’ : Sydney Harbour and Regional Cosmopolitanism in Eleanor Dark’s Waterway Melinda Cooper , 2017 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , vol. 17 no. 1 2017;

'In Eleanor Dark’s novel Waterway (1938), Professor Channon is prompted by the ominous international headline ‘Failure of Peace Talks’ to imagine the world from a global perspective (120). Channon feels himself metaphorically ‘lifted away from the earth … seeing it from an incredible distance, and with an incredible, an all-embracing comprehension’ (119-20). This move outward from a located perspective to ‘a more detached overview of a wider global space’ signifies a cosmopolitan viewpoint, ‘in which the viewing subject rises above the placebound attachments of the nation-state to take the measure of the world as a wider totality’ (Hegglund 8-9). Yet even this global view is mediated by Channon’s position from within ‘a great island continent alone in its south sea’ (121). Gazing from a ‘vast distance,’ he views Europe as ‘the patches where parasitic man had lived longest and most densely,’ and from which humankind ‘went out to infect fresh lands’ (120). This description of old world Europe as ‘parasitic’ provides a glimpse of resistant nationalism, reflecting Channon’s location within one of the ‘fresh lands’ affected by colonisation. Channon is ultimately unable to sustain a ‘Godlike’ perspective in this scene, desiring ‘nothing but to return’ to local place (121). Although his view initially ‘vaults beyond the bounds of national affiliation’ (Alexander and Moran 4), this move outward does not ‘nullify an affective attachment to the more grounded locations of human attachment’ (Hegglund 20). Channon’s return to the ‘shabby home … of his own humanity’ brings a renewed sense of connection to ‘the sun-warmed rail of the gate’ and ‘the faint breeze [which] ruffled the hair back from his forehead’ (122).' (Introduction)

Armed with Fruit-Knives : Transgression in Australian Women's Modernist Still-Lifes Rosemary Lloyd , 2013 single work criticism
— Appears in: Magnificent Obsessions : Honouring the Lives of Hazel Rowley 2013; (p. 202-218)
Time's Abyss : Australian Literary Modernism and the Scene of the Ferry Wreck Brigid Rooney , 2013 single work criticism
— Appears in: Scenes of Reading : Is Australian Literature a World Literature? 2013; (p. 101-114)

'The desire to challenge or escape colonial provincialism in search of a freer, more cosmopolitan modernity finds expression in three works of fiction by women writers that stage the drama of ferry wreck on Sydney Harbour, and that thread - as Wai Chee Dimock would say - local Australian scenes into the deeper time of world literature: Christina Stead's short story 'Day of Wrath' (1934), Eleanor Dark's novel Waterway (1938) and The Transit of Venus (1980) by Shirley Hazzard' [p. 102].

Waterways by Eleanor Dark Nuri Mass , 1946 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Women's Digest , November vol. 2 no. 11 1946; (p. 22-23)

— Review of Waterway Eleanor Dark , 1938 single work novel
Recent Books : Digest of the Month's Reading G. F. , 1946 single work review
— Appears in: The Australasian Book News and Library Journal , December vol. 1 no. 6 1946; (p. 261)

— Review of Six Times Six : Poems Yvonne Webb , 1940-1949 selected work poetry ; Sun Across the Sky Eleanor Dark , 1937 single work novel ; Waterway Eleanor Dark , 1938 single work novel ; Return to Coolami Eleanor Dark , 1936 single work novel
Untitled 1947 single work review
— Appears in: The Central Queensland Herald , 6 February 1947; (p. 5)

— Review of Waterway Eleanor Dark , 1938 single work novel
Untitled 1947 single work review
— Appears in: The North Queensland Register , 22 March 1947; (p. 61)

— Review of Waterway Eleanor Dark , 1938 single work novel
A Sydney Day 1938 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 24 June no. 31350 1938; (p. 6)

— Review of Waterway Eleanor Dark , 1938 single work novel
'Book News' Arranges for Exhibit J. U. , 1947 single work column
— Appears in: The Australasian Book News and Library Journal , April vol. 1 no. 10 1947; (p. 443)
Book News persuades the Department of Post War Reconstruction to include Australian literature in the Australian section of the British Empire Exhibition at the Royal Easter Show. Book News calls once more for a National Book League.
Tragic Modernism in Eleanor Dark's 'Waterway' Brian Beasley , 2004 single work criticism
— Appears in: Eucalypt , no. 3 2004;
The Progress of Eleanor Dark G. A. Wilkes , 1951 single work criticism biography
— Appears in: Southerly , vol. 12 no. 3 1951; (p. 139-148)
y separately published work icon Time and Memory in the Novels of Eleanor Dark Helen O'Reilly , Kensington : 2009 Z1596660 2009 single work thesis

'In this thesis I will demonstrate that Eleanor Dark's over-riding themes are time and memory. Time informs the structure of her novels, she juxtaposes past and present. Memory in all its aspects, personal, cultural, racial dominates both her contemporary novels and The Timeless Land trilogy. The thesis considers Dark's fiction in sequence to chart her treatment oftime and memory.

'Simultaneously Dark was reaching into her own reservoir of memory and transfiguring her own experience in the characters, events and locations of her novels. In this oblique way, and through this unique form of modelling, Dark reveals little known areas of her life. Biographically Dark remains elusive; the surface events of her life are well documented but do not account for the drama of her character portrayals, the immediacy of her perceptions of the natural world, her deep intellectual responses to art, literature and politics, as well as her preoccupation with time.

'It is my contention that Dark's creative thrust was inwards; she developed the inner processes of memory and imagination. Time and memory cohere in her novels; under scrutiny they bring new interpretations to her work, and new insights into her life.' (Author's abstract)

Spun from Four Horizons : Re-Writing the Sydney Harbour Bridge Susan Carson , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Journal of Australian Studies , December vol. 33 no. 4 2009; (p. 417-429)
'The Sydney Harbour Bridge provides an imaginative space that is revisited by Australian writers in particular ways. In this space, novelists, poets, and cultural historians negotiate questions of emotional and psychological transformation as well as reflect on social and environmental change in the city of Sydney. The writerly tensions that mark these accounts often alter, or query, representations of the Bridge as a symbol of material progress and demonstrate a complex creative engagement with the Bridge. This discussion of 'the Bridge' focuses on the work of four authors, Eleanor Dark, P.R. Stephensen, Peter Carey and Vicki Hastrich and includes a range of other fictional and non-fictional accounts of 'Bridge-writing.' The ideas proffered are framed by a theorising of space, especially referencing the work of Michel de Certeau, whose writing on the spatial ambiguity of a bridge is important to the examination of the diverse ways in which Australian writers have engaged with the imaginative potential and almost mythic resonance of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.' (p. 417)
Last amended 3 May 2001 10:18:30
  • Coast,
  • Sydney, New South Wales,
  • Watsons Bay, Sydney Eastern Harbourside, Sydney Eastern Suburbs, Sydney, New South Wales,
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