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Issue Details: First known date: 2016... 2016 Literature, Literary Ethics, and the Global Contexts of Australian Literature : Teaching Nam Le’s The Boat
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‘This essay takes up the question of literary ethics as a mode of pedagogy and considers the way the contexts of writing and reading bear on the larger and historical and conceptual resonances of literary texts. Nam Le's collection of short stories, The Boat (2008), is an exemplary Australian text that speaks to its global and Asian-Pacific contexts, prompting students to engage with their contemporary world first through specific locations and then through the paradigm of what we call "the literary" or "literature," by which I mean an appreciation of the ways that literature and literary reading persist today despite the extraordinary shifts that we have witnessed in media and cultural literacy. I focus on the opening story of the collection, "Love and Honour and Pity and Pride and Compassion and Sacrifice," because it explicitly addresses the question of literary ethics - that is, what writing and reading mean in the early twenty-first century—first through the protagonist,  a young Vietnamese Australian writer who shares his name with the author, and second through his experience of hearing and reworking a first-person story of trauma told to him by his father. That "Love and Honour" is rich with intertextual associations—notably with the writing of James Joyce, William Faulkner, and Kurt Vonnegut — gives students the opportunity to connect and reconnect with well-known works and to extend their sense of the terrain of the literary.’ (Introduction)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Teaching Australian and New Zealand Literature Nicholas Birns (editor), Nicole Moore (editor), Sarah Shieff (editor), New York (City) : Modern Language Association of America , 2016 9421541 2016 anthology criticism essay

    'Australia and New Zealand, united geographically by their location in the South Pacific and linguistically by their English-speaking inhabitants, share the strong bond of hope for cultural diversity and social equality—one often challenged by history, starting with the appropriation of land from their indigenous peoples. This volume explores significant themes and topics in Australian and New Zealand literature. In their introduction, the editors address both the commonalities and differences between the two nations’ literatures by considering literary and historical contexts and by making nuanced connections between the global and the local. Contributors share their experiences teaching literature on the iconic landscape and ecological fragility; stories and perspectives of convicts, migrants, and refugees; and Maori and Aboriginal texts, which add much to the transnational turn.' (Publication summary)

    New York (City) : Modern Language Association of America , 2016
    pg. 190-198
Last amended 18 Aug 2017 07:35:14
190-198 Literature, Literary Ethics, and the Global Contexts of Australian Literature : Teaching Nam Le’s The Boatsmall AustLit logo
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