The Life of Such is Life: a cultural history of an Australian classic

Osborne, Roger (2022) The Life of Such is Life: a cultural history of an Australian classic. Sydney Studies in Australian Literature . Sydney University Press, Sydney, NSW, Australia.

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Abstract

The Life of Such is Life provides the first comprehensive textual and cultural history of Joseph Furphy’s Such is Life by examining the transmission of text from the author’s 1898 typescript through various book publications, serialisation, and abridgement. Drawing on fresh archival research and combining the approaches of book history, print culture studies and literary criticism, Roger Osborne analyses the motivations and actions of stakeholders in these publishing projects to produce a deeper understanding of the position Furphy and Such is Life have occupied in the Australian literary field.

Joseph Furphy’s Such is Life is widely regarded as an Australian classic, and it has been a touchstone in commentary about the development of Australian literature since its publication in 1903. Drawing on correspondence between publishers, editors and defenders of Furphy’s literary legacy, Osborne’s research investigates the influence that a variety of stakeholders had on the way that Furphy’s work was published and read during a long textual, material and cultural history that continues to this day. He pays particular attention to the influence of A. G. Stephens, Kate Baker, Miles Franklin, Vance and Nettie Palmer, and Angus and Robertson’s W. G. Cousins to provide the first comprehensive account of the life of Such is Life after Furphy’s death in 1912.

The life of Joseph Furphy’s Such is Life has evolved in a cycle of commemoration and forgetting. Resuscitated in print and commentary during periods of national reflection about the democratic themes that Furphy explored in his self-declared ‘magnum opus’, Such is Life now exists in a complex bibliographical and biographical network. As a companion to Osborne’s Joseph Furphy Digital Archive, this book questions the fundamental unit of literary study, providing an innovative model for future publications in the field of Australian literature.

Item ID: 69774
Item Type: Book (Research - A1)
ISBN: 978-1-74332-769-2
Keywords: Australian literature; textual criticism; book history; Joseph Furphy; editing; publishing
Copyright Information: Copyright: © 2022. Sydney University Press.
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2022 02:21
FoR Codes: 47 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 4705 Literary studies > 470502 Australian literature (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander literature) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280116 Expanding knowledge in language, communication and culture @ 100%
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