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Issue Details: First known date: 1992... 1992 Autobiographical Storytelling by Australian Aboriginal Women
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'It is only very recently that the written autobiographies of Aboriginal people have begun to be published in Australia. So extreme has been the degradation and virtual erasure of Aboriginal culture that it is impossible for white readers to imagine the scale of obstacles that have to be negotiated and compromises that have to be made in order for Aboriginal people to offer their personal stories to a white reading public, and to do so in genres and modes that are not only foreign to Aboriginal culture but have been brutally efficient agents of its destruction for two hundred years. Much Aboriginal history is difficult to relate because it is literally unspeakable. For white readers there are also difficulties that go well beyond the challenges of cross-cultural comprehension. Even the most sympathetic white observers and promoters of Aboriginal culture face the now familiar risk of consolidating the old patterns of domination each time they attempt to act as interpreters of Aboriginal production. It can be argued, however, that there is a much more serious risk of perpetuating the negation of Aboriginal culture by ignoring the new work and remaining silent, and it is from this position that this essay is written. Further, Aboriginal autobiography offers much more than a window for viewing authentic "first-hand" presentations of black experience; it also contributes to a more understanding of the genres by which cultures tell their personal and communal stories and so define themselves. In other words, the window enables vision and reflection both ways, upon fundamentally different worlds and their representations.' (Author's introduction, 370-371)

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Last amended 9 May 2012 10:19:52
370-384 Autobiographical Storytelling by Australian Aboriginal Womensmall AustLit logo
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