The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.
'In Tim Winton's Short Story, "Blood and Water," from the celebrated collection Minimum of Two (1987), the narrator experiences the fear and joy of birth, associating birth with the sacred and the ordeal baby Sam Nilsam has to undergo in order to heave his first breath and connect with the outside world through a flow of excrement, blood, water and suffering. Breath, Winton's most recently published novel and winner of the Miles Franklin Award, suggests some of these ideas in the depiction of a boy's discovery and experience of the world of surf and surfers on the Western Australian coast. The novel encapsulates some of Winton's major concerns: adolescence and manhood, place and the environment, life in Western Australia, identity, culture and politics. It raises questions about eco-philosophical nature, issues of identity and place, all the more as it was published in the same year as newly elected Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's Apology to the Stolen Generations, a highly symbolic speech which marked the nation's desire to move forward, beyond colonization, urging Australians to build a new history resulting from both an ending (the recognition of past injustices) and a beginning (the desire to unite and embrace the multicultural ideal).' (Author's introduction)
'...White's recourse to two particular autobiographical labels and modes (self-portrait and memoir) requires an appreciation of the complexity of these various models of life writing. In this essay, however, I shall be primarily concerned with White's technology of foreclosure of the confessional option.' (From author's introduction)
'Rolf Boldrewood's novel Robbery Under Arms is known for its action, adventure and frank depiction of life in Australia during the gold rush. It is also known for its didacticism, which critics tend to find disagreeable (Green 257; Rosenberg 488; Dowsley 75; Turner 240). Despite this recognition, the scholarship that explores the novel's didactic nature is limited to religious scholars like Veronica Brady, who suggests that Dick's narrative represents a surrender to cultural norms rather than an allegory symbolizing a genuine spiritual transformation (41). This paper, however, seeks to create a new discussion that will draw out the Christian-centered 'allegorical tendencies' in Robbery Under Arms.' (Author's introduction)
'Born in 1947, Peter Kocan went down in the history of Australian fiction for having written a pair of companion novellas that are largely inspired from his experience as an inmate when he was incarcerated at Long Bay Correctional Center (Sydney) and then confined in Ward 6 for the Criminally Insane in Morrisset Psycological Hospital (New South Wales). When he turned 19, he attempted to shoot dead the then-leader of the Australian Labor Party Arthur Calwell with a sawn-off .22 rifle. At the time of the trial he was diagnosed as a borderline schizophrenic and condemned to life imprisonment, a sentence that was commuted to ten years of treatment that gave him and insiders knowledge of psychiatric institutions.
Published after a time when asylum narratives were starting to make their mark in Australian fiction with novels such as David Ireland's The Flesheaters (1972) and Walter Adamson's The Institution (1976), The Treatment (1980) and its sequel The Cure (1983) chronicle Len Tarbutt's institutionalisation - a nineteen-year-old youngster confined in the maximum-security cell of a mental hospital to serve a life sentence. On another level, these two second-person semi-fictions can also be interpreted as a national allegory of Australian penal settlement, which explicates the ruler-ruled relationship through the establishment of a panoptic repressive system.' (Author's introduction)
'Recent criticism has seen the rise of an approach to literature that views texts as products of 'transnationalism,' a move that arises from a growing sense that, in a global age, authors should not be bounded by the traditional limits of national culture. In her book Cosmopolitan Style: Modernism Beyond the Nation (2006), for instance, Rebecca Walkowitz looks at how this trend has evolved in world Anglophone literature, extending from canonical writers like Joseph Conrad, James Joyce, and Virginia Woolf to such contemporary authors as Salman Rushdie, Kazuo Ishiguro, and W.G. Sebald. In the field of Australian literature, the question of transnationalism is often linked to issues of postcolonialism, as reflected in recent critical works like Graham Huggan's Australian Literature: Postcolonialism, Racism, Transnationalism (2007) and Nathanael O'Reilly's edited collection Postcolonial Issues in Australian Literature (2010), both of which examine how Australian literature and culture have metamorphosed in the new global context. While there is little doubt that world literature has been affected in important ways by this broadening of literary stage, there seems to be a widespread conflation between two similar but different terms: the transnational and transcultural. For while it is true that the culture of many countries arises from a cosmopolitan and diverse assortment of influences, this loosening of cultural boundaries between nations is far from being simultaneous with the decline of the state.' (Author's introduction)
Waitingi"The moment of stasis between land mass",Ron Pretty,
single work poetry