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Title: From a Distant Shore: Australian Writers in Britain 1820-2012
Contributor(s): Bennett, Bruce (author); Pender, Anne  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2013
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Abstract: The phenomenon of expatriation, or living abroad, for formative or extensive periods, or a lifetime, has been a topic of interest to Australian commentators and critics, especially in the years leading to and following the 'new nationalism' of the 1970s. A.A. Phillips focused the debate in the 1950s with his claim that expatriation, chiefly to Britain and Europe, had 'robbed' Australian culture of 'a leaven of venturesome minds' (1958, 82). Those who left had also missed out: they had 'lost the feel of native soil beneath the feet' (1958, 82). Taking up the agricultural imagery in more argumentative fashion, historian Geoffrey Serle posed his 'unanswerable' question - whether these expatriate writers 'wrote more or less, better or worse, after digging up their roots' (1973, 127). This book finds the expatriation of Australian writers from the early nineteenth to the twenty-first century an important cultural phenomenon, but we try to avoid the superficial assumptions of an organic, home-grown culture versus an inauthentic 'foreign' culture developed overseas. We do not see our subjects in this study as melodramatic heroes, villains or martyrs. A decade into the twenty-first century, we have inherited another set of orthodoxies of a more post-modern variety - that travel is the normal condition and that any attachment to a particular place or places is more or less irrelevant. Some of the authors discussed in this study, such as Germaine Greer, Peter Conrad and M.J. Hyland, have expressed the view that nationality and belonging to a country are meaningless, or that home is a fiction, though each individual's reasons for their view varies. However these notions are contested in the lives and careers of many other Australians who choose to live overseas.
Publication Type: Book
Grant Details: ARC/DP0879142
Publisher: Monash University Publishing
Place of Publication: Clayton, Australia
ISBN: 9781921867958
Field of Research (FOR): 200502 Australian Literature (excl Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Literature)
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 950203 Languages and Literature
HERDC Category Description: A1 Authored Book - Scholarly
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Extent of Pages: 278
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Appears in Collections:Book

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