eCite Digital Repository

Island home: returning to Tasmania in Peter Conrad’s Down Home (1988) and Tim Bowden’s The Devil in Tim (2005)


Clarke, R, Island home: returning to Tasmania in Peter Conrad's Down Home (1988) and Tim Bowden's The Devil in Tim (2005), Studies in Travel Writing, 20, (1) pp. 100-115. ISSN 1364-5145 (2016) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 Taylor & Francis

DOI: doi:10.1080/13645145.2015.1134827


Tasmania is often spoken of domestically as a "problem". Indeed, talk of "the problem of Tasmania" circulates through intellectual and governmental as much as everyday discourse. For writers like Peter Conrad and Tim Bowden – expatriate Tasmanians who write of their "return" to the island – the discourse on the problem of Tasmania is particularly challenging. As returnees, the narrators of Conrad’s Down Home (1988) and Bowden’s The Devil in Tim (2005) engage in reflections on identity, alterity and history in ways that exploit and resist the stereotypes, tropes and narratives that have traditionally underpinned discussion of the Tasmanian problem. This essay argues that while the texts can be read as complicit with the ideology that sustains the idea of that problem, in their turn to encounters with "ordinary" Tasmania they present alternative visions of the state that question the ideologies that position the island as limited, backward and perpetually beset by intransigent challenges.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Tim Bowden; Peter Conrad; grey nomads; return narratives; tourism; “the Tasmanian problem; ordinariness
Research Division:Language, Communication and Culture
Research Group:Literary studies
Research Field:Australian literature (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander literature)
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Communication
Objective Field:Literature
UTAS Author:Clarke, R (Dr Robert Clarke)
ID Code:105629
Year Published:2016
Deposited By:School of Humanities
Deposited On:2016-01-11
Last Modified:2017-11-24

Repository Staff Only: item control page