The literary transformation of memory across generations

McNamara, Noela (2013) The literary transformation of memory across generations. Etropic: electronic journal of studies in the tropics, 12 (2). pp. 230-238.

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Artistic and cultural representations of space, place, memory, and belonging are some of the fundamental aspects of fictional narratives. This paper focuses on how the tropics evolve as a place of belonging in Terri Janke's Butterfly song through literary transformation of generational memories of personal and family experiences combined with historical fact. The notion of the tropics as 'different' is examined through complex relationships between the place where the protagonist, Tarena Shaw, lives in Sydney; the place that she calls home, Cairns; and the place of her ancestors, Thursday Island in the Torres Straits. Layers of memory unfold through family stories revisited in the context of contemporary cultural life to ensure the return of a pearl brooch lost for nearly forty years. Components of culture, a love story, a connection of things to ancestors and people, and the history of the Torres Straits and Cairns are the foci of Janke's novel. These features demonstrate how multiple perspectives of place and memory can enrich the literary imagination and in turn, enlighten Australian readers to the historical past and present life of tropical North Queensland.

Item ID: 32773
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1448-2940
Additional Information:

This special edition of etropic contains the extended and refereed verisons of papers first presented at the Third Biennial Tropics of the Imagination Conference, 4-5 July 2013, The Cairns Institute, James Cook University, Smithfield, QLD, Australia.

Freely available from publisher website.

Date Deposited: 02 May 2014 04:23
FoR Codes: 20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2005 Literary Studies > 200524 Comparative Literature Studies @ 50%
20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2005 Literary Studies > 200525 Literary Theory @ 50%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9502 Communication > 950203 Languages and Literature @ 40%
95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9503 Heritage > 950302 Conserving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage @ 30%
95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950503 Understanding Australias Past @ 30%
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