Cyclone country: the language of place and disaster in Australian literature

Spicer, Chrystopher J. (2020) Cyclone country: the language of place and disaster in Australian literature. McFarland & Company, Jefferson, North Carolina, USA.

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Abstract

Cyclone Country is about our place, our weather, our stories and us. It is about our search for the words through which we find meaning amid the chaos, trauma, and devastation wrought by extreme weather events. These words and stories are important, for they form a cultural language by which we maintain relationships in such dire circumstances with our place and our community that help us cope.

In this first study of its kind in Australia, Chrystopher J. Spicer discusses the function of words, story and literature in re-building cultural relationships after nature catastrophes, using as an example the literature of the Australian state of Queensland, the north and north-eastern coasts of which are characterized by the annual impact of cyclonic storms. Exploring a range of works, including Alexis Wright’s Carpentaria, Nobel Prize winner Patrick White’s The Eye of the Storm, Vance Palmer’s Cyclone, and Susan Hawthorne’s poetry cycle Earth’s Breath, he proposes that the trope of the cyclone in the Queensland literary imagination is an example of cultural response to weather in a unique regional place, for weather is written into the cultural landscape. We can better understand and enable our place by embracing the revelations of extreme weather through the literature of the region.

Item ID: 67581
Item Type: Book (Research - A1)
ISBN: 978-1-4766-8156-6
Keywords: cyclones; weather; Queensland literature; Australian literature; environment; place; naming
Copyright Information: © 2020 Chrystopher J. Spicer. All rights reserved.
Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2021 01:50
FoR Codes: 47 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 4705 Literary studies > 470502 Australian literature (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander literature) @ 40%
47 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 4702 Cultural studies > 470209 Environment and culture @ 40%
47 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 4705 Literary studies > 470509 Ecocriticism @ 20%
SEO Codes: 13 CULTURE AND SOCIETY > 1302 Communication > 130203 Literature @ 40%
19 ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY, CLIMATE CHANGE AND NATURAL HAZARDS > 1904 Natural hazards > 190405 Meteorological hazards (e.g. cyclones and storms) @ 40%
28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280116 Expanding knowledge in language, communication and culture @ 20%
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