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Dying of Landscape: E.L. Grant Watson and the Australian Desert


Haynes, R, Dying of Landscape: E.L. Grant Watson and the Australian Desert, Australian Literary Studies, 19, (1) pp. 32-43. ISSN 0004-9697 (1999) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

Copyright The Author 1999

DOI: doi:10.20314/als.b551ea493e


The six, relatively neglected I Australian novels of Elliot Lovegood Grant Watson, written between 1914 and 1935, present an intriguing and complex reworking of their author's engagement with the Western Australian desert. Equipped with a broad literary background, a close knowledge of psychoanalysis and Jungian ideas, a deep interest in comparative religion and the prior experience of travel in the Middle East, as well as a training in biology and anthropology, Watson would seem the archetypal Renaissance man, uniquely qualified to interpret his experiences within the European context of his time. Yet, unlike his two later autobiographical explorations of this period, But to What Purpose (1946) and Journey under the Southern Stars (1968), the novels proposed such radical views about Aboriginal culture and European settlement that, despite their anti-feminist stance, they could now pass as respectably postcolonial and as prefigurings of the late twentieth-century preoccupation with the spirit of place that in Australia is peculiarly associated with desert areas.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Australia, history, literature, history, EL Grant Watson
Research Division:Language, Communication and Culture
Research Group:Communication and media studies
Research Field:Communication and media studies not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in language, communication and culture
UTAS Author:Haynes, R (Dr Roslynn Haynes)
ID Code:121485
Year Published:1999
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Office of the School of Humanities
Deposited On:2017-09-29
Last Modified:2017-11-20

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