AustLit logo
Issue Details: First known date: 2012... 2012 Hoaxing Jokes : Unveiling (Un)canny Ethnic Hoaks
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.

AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'This article deals with two ethnic hoaxes - O'Grady's They're A Weird Mob and Demidenko's The Hand that Signed the Paper - examining their reception in the Australian literary market through the lens of Freud's theory of the comic and the joke. Focusing on etymological implications of the comic and the joke, their respective containing and rupturing effects and how these interlink colonial, assimilationist and multicultural discourses in Australia will be pointed out. Apart from revisiting the social and literary backgrounds of the novels this will cast light on their similar perpetuation of binary oppositions which de-aestheticise the inferior "other" in favour of the superior "White" subject. On the other hand, the comic-joke relationship will be useful in order to interpret the psychoanalytical reasons for the diametrically opposite reception the novels received after the hoaxes were unveiled. This reception was due not merely to the different content of the novels but also to the locus of the comic. In They're a Weird Mob the comic is embedded inside the text, thus containing the rupturing effect of the joke, which reveals the mimicral relationship between the two subjects of the above binary opposition and, thus, the post-colonial/post-multicultural "similarity" between them, even after the hoax was revealed. However, in Demidenko's case the locus of the comic is to be found in its epitextual elements which meant that, once the hoax was discovered, the joke with its psychoanalytical meanings and fears haunted the "White" subject in the open, rupturing such a subject's putative superiority. It is with the latter meaning that the neologism "hoaks" is used in this article; that is, to sum up the idea that ethnic hoaxes play on the slippery psychoanalytical ground of the comic and the joke, of superiority and its opposite, uncanny fears.' (Author's abstract)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Last amended 10 Jan 2013 10:56:36
90-104 http://www.ub.edu/dpfilsa/jeasa328messina.pdf Hoaxing Jokes : Unveiling (Un)canny Ethnic Hoakssmall AustLit logo Journal of the European Association of Studies on Australia,
X