eCite Digital Repository

Writing Tasmania's Different Soul


Wood, DE, Writing Tasmania's Different Soul, Island Studies Journal, 3, (2) pp. 153-162. ISSN 1715-2593 (2008) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Licenced under Creative Commons Attribution: Non-Commercial, No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

Official URL:


The narrator of Christopher Koch's 1958 novel The Boys in the Island claims for Tasmania "a different soul", distinct from that of the Australian mainland to the north, in the same breath in which he claims for the island "a different weather". Observations of the distinctiveness of island geography and weather – and of the quality of the light – are recurrent in narratives set not only in Tasmania, but also on those islands to which Tasmania itself acts as a ‘mainland’. This paper surveys a range of texts, including Koch’s The Boys in the Island, Joanna Murray-Smith’s Truce, and my own The Alphabet of Light and Dark, in which a Tasmanian island functions both as a setting for the protagonist's idealized childhood and as a metaphor for the protagonist’s "true self". It explores the representation of islands in these texts, examining how a specific tradition of writing about Tasmania intersects with a broader tradition of writing about islands.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Australia, distinctiveness, islands, mainland, Tasmania
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:Wood, DE (Dr Danielle Wood)
ID Code:59648
Year Published:2008
Deposited By:English, Journalism and European Languages
Deposited On:2009-12-16
Last Modified:2014-10-08
Downloads:411 View Download Statistics

Repository Staff Only: item control page