A working-man's paradise?: Christina Stead's verdict on Antipodean socialism and injustice

Ackland, Michael (2016) A working-man's paradise?: Christina Stead's verdict on Antipodean socialism and injustice. In: Adair, Gigi, and Schwart, Anja, (eds.) Postcolonial Justice in Australia: reassessing the 'fair go'. Konzepte Orientierrungen Abhandlungen Lekturen Australien Studien, 12 . Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, Trier, Germany, pp. 127-137.

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Abstract

Christina Stead left Australia in 1928 and embraced Marxist-Leninism as the trans-Atlantic stock and banking crisis became the Great Depression. From her new intellectual vantage-point she offered a critical overview of the lives of Sydney's working-class, both in her first novel, Seven Poor Men of Sydney and in a contemporaneous, fragmentary manuscript novel, "The Young Man Will Go Far". In the former, she dissects organizational and theoretical failings of the radical Left, which are related, in part, to a general avoidance of theory in local labour movements. The manuscript novel focuses on the debilitating effects of poverty even on the gifted poor, and on the limited avenues available for personal advancement. Overall Stead interrogates Australia's optimistic vision of its own potential, and especially the notion of it as a working-man's paradise, and indicates how far her compatriots still have to go to attain intellectual enlightenment and a truly just society.

Item ID: 52689
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-3-86821-674-5
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Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2018 03:57
FoR Codes: 20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2005 Literary Studies > 200502 Australian Literature (excl Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Literature) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970119 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of the Creative Arts and Writing @ 100%
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