AustLit logo
'The Great Dirty Joke Black Velvet' single work   criticism  
Issue Details: First known date: 2009... 2009 'The Great Dirty Joke Black Velvet'
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.

AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'The issue of sexual contact across the racial divide-that is, for the most part, of white men having sex with black women-has long agitated Australia's culture and society. The unintended result of such contact, the appearance of a growing 'half-cast' population, was seen as a grave threat to the racist dream of a white Australia, and led to the policy of systematically removing mixed-race children from their mothers in order to 'breed out their colour,' thereby creating the 'Stolen Generations'. The policy so earnestly promoted the likes of A.O. Neville and Cecil Cook found widespread approval throughout Australia: hardly any voices were raised in dissent, and several decades later many still regarded it as entirely justified.' (p. 157)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Messengers of Eros : Representations of Sex in Australian Writing Xavier Pons , Newcastle upon Tyne : Cambridge Scholars Press , 2009 Z1572958 2009 single work criticism

    'After decades of strict, puritanical censorship, Australian writers are free to address sexual issues. But sex remains a controversial and disturbing topic - its representation in poetry or fiction can never be free of ambiguities and still requires a variety of literary strategies to be made acceptable.

    Messengers of Eros examines those strategies and offers close readings of many Australian literary texts. It revisits classics such as Coonardoo, Capricornia or Such Is Life as well as major modern writers such as Patrick White, Peter Carey, David Malouf or Richard Flanagan, and engages with contemporary works whose status is still a matter for debate. It takes into account the postcolonial context of Australia's culture, especially where Indigenous and multicultural writers are concerned.

    This original and compelling book draws on the lessons of French theory and, though its approach is sympathetic to postmodernism, it never falls into academic jargon, remaining easily accessible to the general reader.' (Publisher's blurb)

    Newcastle upon Tyne : Cambridge Scholars Press , 2009
    pg. 157-178
Last amended 12 Feb 2010 12:15:34
157-178 'The Great Dirty Joke Black Velvet'small AustLit logo