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Issue Details: First known date: 2012... 2012 The Ruin of Time and the Temporality of Belonging : Journey to the Stone Country and Landscape of Farewell
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'At first glance, Landscape of Farewell (2007) appears a simpler, more streamlined story than its predecessor, Journey to the Stone Country (2002). In the first person, Max Otto, a widowed German professor specialising in the history of massacres, tells of his journey to Mount Nebo in Central Queensland, a journey precipitated by his encounter with visiting Aboriginal Australian academic Vita McLelland. His journey is conducted in the context of his not yet assuaged grief for his wife, and of his haunted suspicions about his father's complicity in the horrors of wartime Germany. Peter Pierce (2004) has identified some of Miller's enduring preoccupations: 'solitariness', 'artful evocations of the visceral', tensions between ancestry, freedom and exile, and the indeterminacy of memory. While many of these recur in Landscape, I focus in this paper on how the theme of time is exercised in this novel, with its spare but concentrated prose and apparently straightforward narration. How does Landscape of Farewell draw us inwards as well as onwards, into an intricately nested set of temporalities that speak to selfhood, truth and reparation, to cross-cultural translation, to mortality and relinquishment, and to the intractable terrain of moral debate about the past? What does Miller's mode of narration bring to familiar questions, in Australian culture, of place and belonging?' (Source:

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  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon The Novels of Alex Miller : An Introduction Robert Dixon , Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2012 Z1856233 2012 anthology criticism 'One of Australia's most respected novelists, Alex Miller's writing is both popular and critically well-received. He is twice winner of Australia's premier literary prize, the Miles Franklin Award. He has said that writing is his way of 'locating connections' and his work is known for its deeply empathic engagement with relationships and cultures.

    This collection explores his early and later works, including Miller's best-known novels, The Ancestor Game, Journey to the Stone Country, Lovesong and Autumn Laing. Contributors examine his intricately constructed plots, his interest in the nature of home and migration, the representation in his work of Australian history and culture, and key recurring themes including art and Aboriginal issues. Also included is a memoir, illustrated by photographs from his personal collection, in which Alex Miller reflects on his writing life.

    With contributions from leading critics including Raimond Gaita, Peter Pierce, Ronald A. Sharp, Brenda Walker, Elizabeth Webby and Geordie Williamson, this collection is the first substantial critical analysis of Alex Miller's work. It is an invaluable resource for anyone teaching and studying contemporary Australian literature.' (Publisher's blurb)
    Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2012
    pg. 201-216
Last amended 11 Jul 2012 14:53:18
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