Locating Australian Literary Memory

Locating Australian Literary Memory

By Brigid Magner

Anthem Studies in Australian Literature and Culture

‘Locating Australian Literary Memory’ explores sites which are explicitly connected with eleven Australian authors through material forms of commemoration such as houses, graves, statues and assorted artefacts. While acknowledging the value of literary memorials and the voluntary labour that enables their construction and preservation, it argues for an expanded repertoire of practices to recognise authors who have been overlooked.

Hardback, 280 Pages

ISBN:9781785271076

November 2019

£80.00, $125.00

  • About This Book
  • Reviews
  • Author Information
  • Series
  • Table of Contents
  • Links
  • Podcasts

About This Book

‘Locating Australian Literary Memory’ explores sites which are explicitly connected with Australian authors through material forms of commemoration such as houses, graves, statues and assorted artefacts. The focus is on eleven Australian authors – Adam Lindsay Gordon, Joseph Furphy, Henry Handel Richardson, Henry Lawson, A. B. ‘Banjo’ Paterson, Nan Chauncy, Katharine Susannah Prichard, Eleanor Dark, P. L. Travers, Kylie Tennant and David Unaipon. Each of these writers offers different perspectives on the conventions of literary commemoration from the nineteenth century onwards.

Australian heritage terrain has been thoroughly mapped by nationalist heritage practices which may no longer relate to contemporary values. As elsewhere, the focus is moving towards a greater recognition of the contributions of women authors, migrants, expatriates and First Nations peoples. There is an often unacknowledged dissonance between imported modes of commemoration and the unceded lands onto which they have been introduced. The designation of ‘author countries’ is especially problematic in a postcolonial context because it ‘overwrites’ Indigenous Country, obscuring it from the view of non-Indigenous Australians.

Rather than advocating for the creation of more literary monuments, or the further preservation of memorials that currently exist, ‘Locating Australian Literary Memory’ seeks to reveal the many blind spots, contradictions, challenges and eccentricities of literary commemoration in Australia. While observing the value of literary memorials and the voluntary labour that enables their construction, this book argues for an expanded repertoire of practices to recognise authors and storytellers who have been hitherto overlooked.

Reviews

Brigid Magner explores this strange and idiosyncratic feature of Australian cultural expression, in an informative study of literary heritage, offering a comprehensive account of the ways in which Australians remember ten now absent authors, beginning with Adam Lindsay Gordon and moving through a range of writers, to finish with a focussed consideration of monuments to David Unaipon, one at Raukkan in South Australia and another still in the making, to be installed at Tailem Bend. — Anne Pender, University of Adelaide, https://openjournals.library.sydney.edu.au/index.php/JASAL/article/view/14655/12940, accessed 19 August 2020

‘Brigid Magner’s fascinating study sets out the ways in which a nation can build an identity by actively constructing a literary memory, and then using those memories to paper over the deep history of our First Nations and their stories. In doing so she helps us understand both how fragile Australian culture is and also the ways in which literature is a powerful force.’ —Sophie Cunningham

"Magner's book is an innovative addition to Australian literary studies, and will hopefully inspire further efforts to memorialise more recent Australian authors. —Webby, Elizabeth. ‘Review of Locating Australian Literary Memory, by Brigid Magner.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 35, no. 2, 2020, doi: 10.20314/als.d589b6304"

Author Information

Brigid Magner is senior lecturer in literary studies and founding member of the non/fiction lab research group at RMIT University, Australia. She has contributed to a range of publications on topics relating to Australian and New Zealand literary culture with a particular focus on publishing, authorship, cultural heritage and tourism.

Series

Anthem Studies in Australian Literature and Culture

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; Introduction: Remembering Absent Authors; 1. Adam Lindsay Gordon’s Grave; 2. Joseph Furphy in the Riverina; 3. Henry Handel Richardson and the Haunting of Lake View; 4. Henry Lawson Country; 5. The Multiple Birthplaces of A. B. ‘Banjo’ Paterson; 6. Nan Chauncy’s Sanctuary; 7. Living Memorials: The Houses of Katharine Susannah Prichard and Eleanor Dark; 8. Statue: Mania: P. L. Travers and the Appeal of Mary Poppins; 9. Kylie Tennant’s Hut; 10. The David Unaipon Monument at Raukkan; Conclusion: Towards an Expanded Repertoire of Literary; Commemorations; Index.

Links

No Podcasts for this title.

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