'I argue in this essay that Australian writer Alexis Wright's 2006 novel Carpentaria and New Zealand writer Elizabeth Knox's Dreamhunter series (comprising of the novels Dreamhunter (2005) and Dreamquake (2007)) call up the matter of region and the waste of modernity to secede the form of nation. As fictional spaces overlaying real places, doubling with a world of dreams and an underworld of nightmares of colonial violence, these novels also move beyond the form of realism. This essay contends that in dispersing the forms of nation and genre though the matter of particular places, these contemporary antipodean novels deploy a politics of fantasy to reimagine the futures of nation. In this move away from nation towards the material specificities of region, these contemporary antipodean novels enable a transnational reading from the vantage point of region to region.' (Source: essay).
'In an essay now just over twenty years old, Peter Pierce laments what he calls the 'dichotomising habit' of Australian literary historians. Pierce testily suggests that '[t]he literary histories of Australia that invent different issues of debate, that abandon residual insecurities concerning the value of local materials remain to be written' - a challenge since energetically met by a number of histories and companions that seem to me at least to be neither melodramatic nor dichotomous, and that bring academic discussions surrounding the national literature more or less fully up to date. However, Pierce's observation still arguably holds for public discussions, many of them involving academics, and in which the present and future of Australian literature are confidently presented from a series of often directly opposing points of view. One view, the industry equivalent to the 'gloom thesis', proposes that Australian literature is dying, and cites evidence in dwindling recruitment and enrolment numbers at Australian universities, and in the depressing number of Australian literary classics that are currently out of print. The other view, equally forthright, is that Australian literature is booming, not least because of structural changes brought about to the publishing industry by globalisation, and as evidenced in the flourishing of Australian literature in international markets, in the expansion of writers' prizes and festivals, and in the active contribution of Australian writers, both 'high-art' and popular, to ongoing discussions of Australian national culture in an increasingly mediatised public sphere.'
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