Australia Literature (1920-)


In the early years of the fourth period, that is, in the years following the First World War, the influence exerted by the Lindsay family and the followers of Vision magazine, advocates of an ideal based on vitality, gaiety and imagination, was important. Later opposed to this influence K. Slessor, who with Cuckooz Country introduced the ways of Eliot in Australian poetry, and R. Fitzgerald, who in his Essay on Memory revealed himself to be an anti-Heliotian poet. The poet Mary Gilmore expressed her soul as a woman of the people in her lyrics. Three poetic movements, the Angry Penguins, the Ern Malley Hoax(The mocking Ern Malley) and the Jindyworobaks (lit. Those who connect) were inspired by Aboriginal themes. In the field of novel and short story Lawson and Furphy’s tradition was continued by Katharine Susannah Prichard, author of the novel Coonardoo, and by Kylie Tennant, with The Battlers ; in the historical novel E. Dark stood out, with The Timeless Land (The Eternal Earth), of solid constructive structure; Flora Eldershaw (1897-1956) and Marjorie Barnard (b.1897), who co- wrote numerous books under the common pseudonym of Barnard Eldershaw, including A House is Built(A house is built), an adventurous family chronicle told with amusing irony; while Martin Boyd, under the pseudonym of Martin Mills, continued the Anglo-Australian tradition in Lucinda Brayford ; in the thesis novel, Xavier Herbert was mentioned, with Capricornia (1938), of great documentary and sociological value; for fiction intended for children, N. Lindsay deserves mention, especially for The Magic Pudding, and F. Davidson, author of Children of the Dark People. Douglas Stewart, author of the verse drama, stood out among the writers of plays Ned Kelly (1943), rightly considered the starting point of a new and more mature phase of Australian theater, and of Fire on the Snow, a radio drama that met with considerable success.


You can make starting the contemporary period in 1948, a publication of The Aunt’s Story of (the story of Aunt) Patrick White, Nobel Prize 1973. In the other works of this prominent writer, including The Tree of Man (1955; The tree of man) and Voss (1957; The explorer), realistic observation and psychological analysis are noted. Other novelists moving in the same direction are R. Stow, author of To the Islands(1958; Towards the islands) and David Malouf (b. 1934); the latter then also dedicated himself to poetry, publishing his first collection (Typewriter Music) in 2007, which was welcomed by a wide audience. Important observations on the Irish in Australia, a country located in Oceania listed on programingplease, come to us from the work of T. Keneally, Three Cheers for the Paraclete, who in 1982 published Schindler’s Ark, which became famous thanks to the film adaptation (Schindler’s List) of S. Spielberg. In the field of contemporary poetry, the satirical and anti-intellectual compositions of AD Hope have emerged, which deal with the themes of sex and imagination; those of J. McAuley (1917-1976), responding to a need for order; however Judith Wright dominates the scene with Woman to Man and Les A. Murray (b.1938), considered one of the greatest Australian poets, who blends history and myth, religion and arcane beliefs in his verses (Poems against Economics, 1972, Poems against economics; Selected Poems: the Vernacular Republic, 1976, Selected Poems: the dialectal Republic); Fredy Neptune: A Novel in Verse, 1999). In the early 2000s, Dorothy Porter (b.1954) also rose to prominence, winning numerous awards with her collections, including Before Time Could Change Us (2004), as well as reviving an almost forgotten genre, the novel in verse. The poem also highlights the work of Fay Zwicky (b. 1933) and Roberta (Bobbi) Sykes (b. 1943). Among the short-story writers stands D. O’Grady (b. 1929), whose most representative work is A Long Way from Home. Among the theatrical authors, the names of Ray Lawler stand out, with the drama The Summer of the Seventeenth Doll (1955; The summer of the seventeenth doll); by Alan Seymour (b.1927), with One Day of the Year (1960; The only day of the year) which examines the contrast between the old and the new generation through the observance of(Commemoration of the Soldier); by Barry Oakley (b.1931) and Jack Hibberd (b.1940). Between 1965 and the end of the Eighties, the Australian literary culture went through a period of great creativity with the birth of countless trends and addresses that are nevertheless difficult to define due to their composite and heterogeneous character. The mythological and symbolic conception of the Australian land, prevalent in the 1950s, gives way to a realistic narrative by writers from journalism. This is the case with Robert Drewe, author of three novels and winner of the prestigious Walkley Award for fiction. Television culture and the whirling technological changes determine the birth of experimental literary trends, influenced by the themes of American postmodern authors: the ironic narrative of Murray Bail and David Ireland, the poetic experiments of John Tranter (b.1943), considered by many today the most important Australian poet and of which we remember the award-winning Urban Myths: 210 Poems: New and Selected (2006), and John Forbes (1950-1998), the important critical works of Michael Wilding, as well as the neo-traditionalism of Peter Carey, as well as that of C. McCullough (b.1937), author of the famous saga,Thornbirds (1977) are all phenomena that can be read in this light. The seventies and eighties, defined as “of the Australian renaissance” for their indisputable intellectual vivacity, were also characterized by the attempt to free oneself from the influence of English culture, and by a parallel attempt to build national autonomy and identity. In this perspective, the works of writers such as Tim Winton (b.1960), with his Cloudstreet (1991), The Riders (1994), The Turning(2004); Richard Flanagan (b.1961, Tasmania); J. Davis (1917-2000); Elizabeth Jolley (1923-2007). Finally, the literature of Australians abroad arises from the desire to understand their role through the screen of other cultural values. Often kept on the sidelines, it instead represents a very vital aspect of Australian culture, with authors of the caliber of Germaine Greer (b. 1939) and Peter Porter (b. 1929).

Australia Literature

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