The return of the text: recent developments in Australian literary criticism

Torre, Stephen (2002) The return of the text: recent developments in Australian literary criticism. In: Zach, Wolfgang, (ed.) English Studies: past - present - future. Verlag, Hamburg, pp. 170-178.

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In 1990 a Professor at the University of Queensland in Australia noted about the study of English that "Fortunately, the discipline has been falling apart for some time now"l. In this paper I want to sketch the stages of this "falling apart" and try to frame the practices which have transformed the discipline. But first, I need to address that perhaps puzzling adjectival qualification in Professor Frow's estimation of the fortunes of English in Australia. I think I can suggest why such a process might seem "fortunate" to our literary scholars by relating a personal experience. During the past few weeks I have been following a scholarly but leisurely path through England, taking in not just sites of particular literary associations and academic activities but of historical and cultural importance as well. Although not my first visit, I nevertheless experienced again the acute and complex feelings of having found my way back to a cultural origin - a cultural origin which seems centrally important to my sense of self, although in all respects (as a second-generation Australian of non-English ethnicity) I am its Other.

Item ID: 5419
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 3-8300-0518-0
Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2009 23:10
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 > 970120 Expanding Knowledge in Language, Communication and Culture @ 100%
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