Making new worlds 3. Myth and countermyth in Australian Literature

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McLaren, John (1990) Making new worlds 3. Myth and countermyth in Australian Literature. UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)


Contains a discourse on the pattern of development of ‘new literatures’ emerging in Australian literature. In countries such as India the new literature attempts to find its authenticity by establishing continuity with the traditions that were interrupted by colonialism. This is equally true of the writing of dispossessed peoples such as the American Indians, the Maoris of New Zealand, or the Australian Aborigines, who have been made dispossessed minorities in their native countries. Settler societies such as the Australian have a different problem. Like the Americans, white Australians have to come to terms with the land they occupy and the people they have dispossessed. Unlike the Americans, they can point to no moment at which they declared their independence of the nation from which their culture stems. Their search for origins therefore becomes an attempt to construct myths which will separate them from the sources of their culture and join them instead in a unity with the land they inhabit. The tensions in Australian writing and culture arise from the attempts to reconcile these contradictory ambitions.

Additional Information

Date is approximate. Title "The centre cannot hold" has been crossed out and replaced with "Making new worlds"

Item type Other
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 2005 Literary Studies
Current > Collections > McLaren Papers
Keywords Australian literature, new worlds, culture, identity, settlers, fiction, novels, mythology, writers, MCLAREN-BOXD10-DOC6
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