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Inheriting the Past: Peter Corris's The Journal of Fletcher Christian and Peter Carey's True History of the Kelly Gang

Citation

Fletcher, L and Mead, E, Inheriting the Past: Peter Corris's The Journal of Fletcher Christian and Peter Carey's True History of the Kelly Gang, Journal of Commonwealth Literature, 45, (2) pp. 189-206. ISSN 0021-9894 (2010) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright Statement

Copyright 2010 Sage Publications

DOI: doi:10.1177/0021989409359851

Abstract

Peter Carey's True History of the Kelly Gang and Peter Corris's The Journal of Fletcher Christian are historical novels, which emerge from quite different Australian cultural fields (Literature and popular fiction), but reading them alongside each other reveals fundamental similarities in their politics of race, gender and sexuality. We argue that both novels use the symbolism of the male, colonizing body to grant legitimacy to their postcolonial settler audience. In both cases, this legitimacy takes the form of a fragment of "true and secret" history which opposes authorized accounts of famous historical lives and events (Australia's most famous bushranger, the British Empire's most famous mutineer). We focus, in particular, on the extent to which both novels imagine the voices of Kelly and Christian by exploiting the richly metaphorical relationship between the body as flesh and the body as text. © The Author(s) 2010.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Peter Carey, Peter Corris, Ned Kelly, Fletcher Christian, historical fiction, postcolonialism
Research Division:Language, Communication and Culture
Research Group:Literary Studies
Research Field:Australian Literature (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Literature)
Objective Division:Cultural Understanding
Objective Group:Communication
Objective Field:Languages and Literature
Author:Fletcher, L (Dr Lisa Fletcher)
Author:Mead, E (Miss Elizabeth Mead)
ID Code:65850
Year Published:2010
Deposited By:English, Journalism and European Languages
Deposited On:2010-12-06
Last Modified:2015-01-12
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