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Issue Details: First known date: 2011... 2011 Apocalypse in Australian Fiction and Film : A Critical Study
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Australia has been a frequent choice of location for narratives about the end of the world in science fiction and speculative works, ranging from pre-colonial apocalyptic maps to key literary works from the last fifty years. This critical work explores the role of Australia in both apocalyptic literature and film. Works and genres covered include Nevil Shute's popular novel On the Beach, Mad Max, children's literature, Indigenous writing, and cyberpunk. The text examines ways in which apocalypse is used to undermine complacency, foretell environmental disasters, critique colonization, and to serve as a means of protest for minority groups. Australian apocalypse imagines Australia at the ends of the world, geographically and psychologically, but also proposes spaces of hope for the future.' (From the publisher's website.)


* Contents derived from the Jefferson, North Carolina,
United States of America (USA),
McFarland and Company , 2011 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
Introduction, Roslyn Weaver , single work criticism
'Imagining Australia in apocalyptic terms has long been of interest to writers and filmmakers. Many speculative texts narrate Australia's complete destruction in the future or envisage a chaotic post-apocalyptic society. Apocalyptic scenarios and themes are found in works by writers (Nevil Shute's On the Beach, Gabrielle Lord's Salt) and filmmakers (Where the Green Ants Dream, Until the End of the World); in texts for adults (Tess Williams's Map of Power, Simon Brown's Winter) and for children (Lee Harding's Waiting for the End of the World, John Marsden's Tomorrow, When the War Began); and in works by authors of both genders and varying cultural backgrounds.' (Author's introduction, 3)
(p. 3-21)
An Apocalyptic Map : New Worlds and the Colonization of Australia, Roslyn Weaver , single work criticism
'This chapter examines the map that preceded, and eventually superseded, the territory of Australia, in order to demonstrate that early maps of the south land established an apocalyptic tradition that still resonates in contemporary fictions. If one reinterprets Jean Baudrillard's comments in the context of colonization and Australia, it is possible to see how European imagination delineated an apocalyptic map of the country before explorers and settlers even arrived, a map that located Australia as a tabula rasa, a blank slate where heaven and hell might equally be feasible. This chapter surveys the dialectic emerging from these confliction visions.' (24)
(p. 23-53)
The Shield of Distance : Apocalypse in Australian Literature After 1945, Roslyn Weaver , single work criticism
'...One of the major themes of the Australian apocalyptic discourse is the nation's vulnerability to outside influence. In a sense, Australia's position on the edge of the globe not only excludes it from the world and its advantages but also shields the country from crises as a kind of utopian space free from harm, whereby the end of 'the world' can occur even if Australia still exists.

In the case studies in this chapter, the nation initially appears to be relatively utopian setting while war has destroyed the rest of the world, and the country's remote location seem to have protected it from the disaster elsewhere; yet this proves to be a false hope. Australia cannot escape catastrophe, and the authors suggest social and political complacency and indifference as the main reasons for collapse. In this way the novels function as warnings, using crisis to reveal dystopian futures. The associations these case studies make between disaster and Australia ultimately work to reinforce the concept that the nation is an apocalyptic space.' (54)
(p. 54-82)
An Apocalyptic Landscape : The Mad Max Films, Roslyn Weaver , single work criticism
In this chapter Roslyn Weaver explores 'the three Mad Max films to consider their contribution to the apocalyptic tradition. In these texts, the outback is 'the nothing,' a threatening place that is hostile to humans. The trilogy reveals future disaster and appears to envisage a better new world, but then subverts apocalyptic hope by suggesting the new world is a false ideal because it only exists far from the Australian landscape and even then only exists far from the Australian landscape and even then only in ruined, decayed form. The repeated dismissals of hope and the negative image of the Australian landscape undercut any security of feeling at home, presenting instead a picture of exile and punishment in the desert.' (83)
(p. 83-107)
Children of the Apocalypse, Roslyn Weaver , single work criticism

This chapter explores apocalypse in children's literature with reference to literary attitudes to children, nature and dystopia. Examinations of works by Lee Harding, Victor Kelleher, and John Marsden then focus on how these writers adapt apocalyptic themes for a juvenile audience. Their novels display tyranny, large-scale catastrophe, invasion, and children in danger, and their apocalyptic settings reveal anxieties about isolation, invasion, Indigenous land rights and colonization. (108)

(p. 108-134)
(Re)Writing the End of the World : Apocalypse, Race, and Indigenous Literature, Roslyn Weaver , single work criticism
'This chapter addresses apocalyptic writing in the context of race, and specifically authors who rewrite Australian history as apocalypse to represent the impact of white colonization on Indigenous peoples. The disaster scenarios of apocalypse can allow minority groups to invent a new world in which to challenge and change dominant cultural constructions for widely differing agendas. The apocalyptic paradigm of revelation and disaster can work effectively to interrogate the history of colonization and relations between white and Indigenous Australians.' (136)
(p. 135-158)
The End of the Human : Apocalypse, Cyberpunk, and the Parrish Plessis Novels, Roslyn Weaver , single work criticism
This discussion 'offers a brief summary of cyberpunk globally and in Australia and then, within the framework of Australian apocalypse outlined so far in this book, examines Marianne de Pierres's Parrish Plessis novels to determine one approach to the sense of location and apocalypse in Australian cyber narratives. De Pierres sets her novels in a future Australia but describes a mixed cultural and linguistic environment that appears to constitute a generic global space. Yet her representation of the hostile and harsh landscape indicates specifically Australian themes. De Pierres's use of eschatological motifs as well as the textual anxieties about posthumanism and the end of authenticity also belie cyberpunk's indifference to apocalypse.' (159-160)
(p. 159-185)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Last amended 14 Jun 2012 13:40:32