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* Contents derived from the Canberra,Australian Capital Territory,:Australian National University. Bibliotech,1994 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
Post-Structuralist premises underlie Bill Ashcroft's and John Salter's projection of Australia as a 'rhizomic text'. This notion dimisses 'Australia' as a signified, i.e. as a text with determinate meaning, opting for identity as a free-floating signifier to which meaning may be attached but only by a mechanism of deferral. Post-Colonialism, like Postmodernity, infects everything with absence, it transforms everything into virtuality - but it does so in a liberatory way, weakening the hold of hegemonic nationalism. But where does that leave the originatory logic behind the High Court's Mabo decision which basso continuo in Ashcroft's and Salter's argument? -- Livio Dobrez - introduction (edited)
This essay attacks Russel Ward's construction of male Australian identity in that locus classicus of debate, the turn of the century. Joy Hooton spotlights three authors of biographies, self-confessed Australian products of the 1890's who reproduce themselves through the medium of the text - My Life Story, Arthur Lynch (London, 1924); Comedy of Life, Lionel Lindsay (Sydney, 1961) and Naught to Thirty-Three, Randolph Bedford (Sydney 1944). Hooton explores the myth in this highly specific context, uncovering male anxieties and the suppression of issues of land, gender and race. Hooton adds George McIvers', A Drover's Odyssey, which is an exception to the myth, so further complicating an already problematised field. -- Livio Dobrez - introduction (edited)
The land sets human values in the subversive perspective of otherness, it queries the myth of belonging; it is, in short, a generator not of sameness but of difference. Ivor Indyk purues the thesis in connection with novelists like Vance Palmer, Katharine Susannah Prichard, Frank Dalby Davison, David Malouf, Eleanor Dark and Kylie Tennant. -- Livio Dobrez - introduction (edited)
Foxton notes the European settler's dualistic response to the Australian landscape, seeing it as Edenic especially when cultivated, but also as alien and Infernal. She explores Catherine Martin's use of landscape as a dramatic metaphor through which to work out the themes of religious faith and doubt.
Europeans in this country have sought an identity for themselves outside the sphere of the Aboriginal. But Nicholson and Sykes insist that in fact the construction of an Australian identity has always relied on the Aboriginal model. -- Livio Dobrez - introduction