Nile, Richard (2000) Civilisation. In: Nile, Richard, (ed.) The Australian Legend and Its Discontents. University of Queensland Press, Brisbane, QLD, Australia, pp. 42-58.

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[Extract] According to Mark Twain, Australia should be rumbling with crude vigor and generously outrage lies. If only. Our lies more recently have tended to be meanly narrow, guilty concealments, distracting attention from unpleasant realities. So we hang on, grimly. A strange situation, really, for a people reputed to be so 'laid back' as to be almost horizontal. Alternative suggestions intrude: earnest, limited, staunch. Such lies as we tell affect proportionately the shapes of our truths, handed down from generation to generation. And so we find it difficult, at times almost unbearable, to concede that among the good we may perform, we also carry out bad acts; or at the very least we allow bad things to happen. As if we could not live paradoxically, as if history could not contain ambiguities and contradictions, as if concessions and admissions would bring down the house of cards. What if we were more creative with our lies, and more courageous with our truths? 'I'd like to see that'.

Item ID: 54132
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-0-7022-2985-5
Keywords: civilisation, Australian history, historical narratives, nationalism,
Date Deposited: 07 Nov 2018 03:26
FoR Codes: 21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2103 Historical Studies > 210303 Australian History (excl Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History) @ 60%
20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2005 Literary Studies > 200502 Australian Literature (excl Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Literature) @ 40%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950503 Understanding Australias Past @ 60%
95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9502 Communication > 950203 Languages and Literature @ 40%
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