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y separately published work icon JASAL periodical issue   peer reviewed assertion
Alternative title: Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature
Issue Details: First known date: 2009... no. 9 2009 of JASAL est. 2002 JASAL
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* Contents derived from the 2009 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
Poetry and Public Speech : Three Traces, David McCooey , single work criticism

'Poetry is routinely seen as 'marginal' to public culture, especially in terms of it having lost its status as a form of public speech. Such a condition is often noted in nostalgic terms, in which a golden era - bardic or journalistic - is evoked to illustrate contemporary poetry's lack. But traces of poetry's instrumentality, especially as a form of public speech, can be found in various extra-poetic contexts.

'In this article, three examples of poetry operating in 'extra-poetic contexts' will illustrate the different, sometimes troubling, ways in which traces of poetry as a mode of public speech can be observed in contemporary culture: the poem-cartoons of Michael Leunig; the role of the poet Les Murray in the drafting of a proposed preamble to the Constitution of Australia; and the quotation of William Ernest Henley's 'Invictus' as the final statement of Timothy McVeigh (the 'Ohio Bomber') prior to his execution. These examples illustrate that poetry-as-public-speech engages with political discourse in diverse, incommensurate ways.

'Leunig's occasional cartoon-poems, appearing in the metropolitan press, are examples of poetry at its most public and politically engaged state. And yet, even Leunig's most 'political' work gestures towards a realm beyond politics, where the poetic, the comic, and the existential coexist as a way of making life in the political realm more bearable. Les Murray's role as a 'national' poet in the failed attempt to introduce a preamble to the Australian Constitution illustrates the vestigial role that poets can play in nation building. Lastly, McVeigh's quotation of Henley, made without any explanation, shows the unpredictable and potentially volatile condition of poetry-as-public-speech.

'In addition, the examples variously engage in arguments about the relationship between the individual and the state, private identity and national history.' (Author's abstract)

Note: Includes list of works cited.
Peter Yeldham's Reunion Day : An Anzac Day Play on British Television, Susan Lever , single work criticism
'Though a few naturalist plays from the 1950s and 1960s are acknowledged in Australian drama history, the plays written for television by Australians who went to Britain and America have disappeared from consideration. This article discusses one of them, Peter Yeldham's Reunion Day as an example of the naturalism current in British television in the early 1960s. It discusses the play's deliberate restraint and depiction of 'ordinary' people. It also places the play in the context of other Australian plays that use Anzac Day or the veteran's reunion as subject matter. A copy of the screenplay is appended.'
Reunion Day : A Play for Television, Peter Yeldham , single work film/TV

This is the script for a play written by Peter Yeldham in 1961 and televised on the BBC in 1962. Although it is about an Anzac Day in Sydney, it was never shown on Australian television.

Includes forward pp.1-2.

The Writer Alan D. Mickle : Serendipity, Vanity and Obscurity in an Australian Literary Career, Patrick Buckridge , single work criticism
'This article examines the work of a largely forgotten literary intellectual, Alan D. Mickle (1883-1969). His career testifies to the possibility of living a long, active, varied and productive writing life entirely without institutional support, national recognition, or even much in the way of professional affirmation or encouragement beyond a very small circle of family and friends. In fifty years of writing, he produced a remarkable quantity, breadth and variety of literary work, including books of literary and philosophical essays, travel, autobiography, poetry, fiction, humour, fantasy, dramatic criticism, children's literature, sporting memoirs and political commentary: thirty separate volumes, none of them sufficiently popular, even at the time of publication, to earn the writer a living or even give him a profile in Australia. His writings often have a startling freshness and independence, but very singularity that makes him interesting also makes him unusually resistant to categorization in terms of group affiliations and clearly defined literary and intellectual traditions.'
John Shaw Neilson : 'Something of a Mystic', Toby Davidson , single work criticism

'Competing post-Federation representations of mysticism as bold or passive, masculine or effeminate, dogmatic or independent, Australian or foreign, drove the shifting critical notions of this era culminating in the generalist designations of John Shaw Neilson (1872-1942) as Australia's all-purpose mystical poet. Neilson is a mystical poet; yet the basis for this has been subject to a number of distortions from Neilson's time until the late 1990s. This article examines how an understanding of both Western Christian mysticism and its often erroneous critical applications in Australia might inform new studies of the mystical Neilson.'

Tracing the Spectre of Death in Francis Webb's Last Poems, Bernadette Brennan , single work criticism

'In much of Francis Webb's poetry "the tale brings death" ("A Drum for Ben Boyd") but death remains largely off-stage. The poetry eschews the space of death and seems unwilling to explore the possibility of nothingness. There is a significant change, however, that is particularly noticeable in Webb's last three published poems. This paper focuses on the naming of death in "Sturt and the Vultures" but it traces first a progression in Webb's poetry - from "A Death at Winson Green" through "Socrates" and "Rondo Burleske: Mahler's Ninth" - in which the poet seems increasingly ready to contemplate the possibilities of the void.'

C.J. Brennan's Femme Fatale : Representations of Female Sexuality in Poems, Katrina Hansord , single work criticism
'This essay is intended to reappraise, from a feminist perspective, Christopher Brennan's 'Poems [1913]'. It will argue that through the key figure of Lilith, Brennan's representation of female sexuality and Motherhood disrupts the traditional representations of Lilith in mythology, reflecting changes in the defined roles of gender identity occurring in the late nineteenth century. By examining Brennan's representation of gender in relation to the historical context and to the broader theological concerns of the poetry, this essay will argue for the possibility that Brennan's poetry could be regarded as 'protofeminist'. The works of critical thinkers and theorists such as Julia Kristeva, Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar, Mary Condren and Judith Wright are drawn on to form this argument.'
'Something to Keep You Steady' : Egalitarianism and Distiction from D. H. Lawrence to Christos Tsiolkas, Nicholas Birns , single work criticism
'This essay will examine the fiction of D. H. Lawrence, Elliot Perlman, and Christos Tsiolkas with regard to their representation of Australian society, particularly in comparison to the European past and present. Its guiding dynamic will be the opposition between the egalitarian 'mateship' that D. H. lawrence found, and was discomfited by, in 1922 and the economic neoliberalism and concomitant sense of 'distinction' (to use Pierre Bourdieu's term) that Perlman and Tsiolkas see in today's Australia and to the world in which Australia manifests itself.'
'Was Ever a Book Written Under Greater Difficulty?' : On the Parallels between Frank Hardy's Power Without Glory and John Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath, Danica Cerce , single work criticism
'At first glance, Frank Hardy seems to have had very little in common with John Steinbeck, yet a close examination of both writers' personal and literary life reveals a number of parallels. Just as Hardy denounced economic and social injustice and remained an artist with a refined sense for human rights and freedom, so did Steinbeck engage himself in the fight for egalitarian society. Although they are both best known for their proletarian narratives with social necessity and documentary integrity, they did not remain limited only within modes and methods of this literary tradition, but moved into a complex modern structure. The first part of my essay aims to shed light on the affinities between the two writers in terms of writing style, narrative technique, and subject matter; the second part focuses on the parallels between their central works, Power without Glory and The Grapes of Wrath.'
Stuart Cunningham : In the Vernacular : A Generation of Australian Culture and Controversy, Fiona Jean Nicoll , single work review
— Review of In the Vernacular : A Generation of Australian Culture and Controversy Stuart Cunningham , 2008 selected work essay ;
Serious Frolic : Essays on Australian Humour Edited by Fran De Groen and Peter Kirkpatrick, Paul Genoni , single work review
— Review of Serious Frolic : Essays on Australian Humour 2009 anthology criticism ;
Nick Enright : An Actor's Playwright, Susan Lever , single work review
— Review of Nick Enright : An Actor's Playwright 2008 anthology criticism biography ;
After the Celebration by Ken Gelder and Paul Salzman, Jean-François Vernay , single work review
— Review of After the Celebration : Australian Fiction 1989-2007 Ken Gelder , Paul Salzman , 2009 selected work criticism ;
Brian Castro's Fiction : The Seductive Play of Language by Bernadette Brennan, Jacinta Van Den Berg , single work review
— Review of Brian Castro's Fiction : The Seductive Play of Language Bernadette Brennan , 2008 multi chapter work criticism ;
60 Classic Australian Poems by Geoff Page, Michael Sharkey , single work review
— Review of 60 Classic Australian Poems for Children 2009 anthology poetry ;
'Geoff Page's selection of 'classic Australian' poem's's is a brave effort to display the development and achievement of a body or work that will bear comparison with any in the anglosphere. Page also claims to focus on poems that strike him as "unequivocally enjoyable, even if that enjoyment is sometimes hard-won." I doubt that all his readers will entirely agree. The book occupies a space somewhere along the spectrum of middle-school poetry text and teach-yourself poetry-appreciation manual. The same might be said of his 80 Great Poems from Chaucer to Now. The structure of each is strikingly similar to Ruth Padel's 52 Ways of Looking at a Poem, a concatenation of poems with commentary culled from her UK weekly Independent on Sunday column. Page and Padel are enthusiastic teachers, but the whiff of the classroom is palpable in their methodological rigour and tone.' (Introduction) 
Make it Australian : The Australian Performing Group, the Pram Factory and the New Wave Theatre by Gabrielle Wolf, Helen Thomson , single work review
— Review of Make It Australian: The Australian Performing Group, the Pram Factory and New Wave Theatre Gabrielle Wolf , 2008 single work criticism ;
A History of the Book in Australia, Philip Mead , single work review
— Review of A History of the Book in Australia, 1891-1945 : A National Culture in a Colonised Market 2001 anthology criticism ; Paper Empires : A History of the Book in Australia 1946-2005 2006 anthology criticism ; Making Books : Contemporary Australian Publishing 2007 anthology criticism ;
Doing Life : A Biography of Elizabeth Jolley by Brian Dibble, Susan Lever , single work review
— Review of Doing Life : A Biography of Elizabeth Jolley Brian Dibble , 2008 single work biography ;
Stella Miles Franklin : A Biography by Jill Roe, Sandra Knowles , single work review
— Review of Stella Miles Franklin Jill Roe , 2008 single work biography ;
Literary Activists : Writer-Intellectuals and Public Life by Brigid Rooney, Maria Takolander , single work review
— Review of Literary Activists : Australian Writer-Intellectuals and Public Life Brigid Rooney , 2009 multi chapter work criticism ;

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Last amended 9 Aug 2010 12:51:52