The Littoral Zone: Australian Contexts and Their Writers

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CA. Cranston, Robert Zeller
Rodopi, 2007 - Literary Criticism - 319 pages
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In this, the first collection of ecocritical essays devoted to Australian contexts and their writers, Australian and USA scholars (settlers, invaders, temporary visa holders) comment on the transliteration of sea, land and interior through the works of major and minor authors and through their own experience with the bioregion. The littoral zone is the starting point in this fresh approach to reading literature and is organised around the natural environment - rainforest, desert, mountains, coast, islands, Antarctica. There's the beach where sexual and spiritual crises occur; the Wheatbelt area - the most visible clearance line on the planet; desert literature, camel trekking, and the transformation of a salt flat into an inland island. New Age literature that 'appropriates' Aboriginals and their cultures as the healing poultice for an ailing and dispirited West; a re-examination of pastoralism, and "the feet of millions of sheep . that] have done unspeakable damage to soils"; an inquiry into whether Judith Wright's work can "persuade us to rejoice" in the world; an investigation of the Limestone Plains, home of the bush capital and the bogong moth; of bananas, cane toads and the Great Barrier Reef in tropic Queensland; of national parks and guesthouses where "the mountains meet the sea"; a discursive approach to temperate islands that covers sealing, Soldier Settlement, and sea country pastoral; and finally to Antarctica, where an initial utopian approach gives way to an emphasis on its stark, 'timeless' icescape as a minimalist backdrop for human dramas. The author-terrain is no less grand in its scope: poets, playwrights, novelists, and non-fiction writers are discussed across the broad range of contexts that constitutes the littoral zone known as 'Australia'.

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Littoral and Critical Contexts
The Australian Littoral Imagination at Play
Literature and Ecology in the Western Australian Wheatbelt
Literature in the Arid Zone
The Green Thumb of Appropriation
Robert Gray and the Shepherding of Antipodean Being
The Poetry of Judith Wright and Ways of Rejoicing in the World
Ecopoetics of the Limestone Plains
The Green Mountains of SouthEast Queensland
North Queensland in Australian Literature
Images of Antarctica in Australian Literature
Notes on Contributors
List of Illustrations

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Page 20 - Men that undertake only one district are much more likely to advance natural knowledge than those that grasp at more than they can possibly be acquainted with : every kingdom, every province, should have its own monographer.
Page 26 - ... the place of Bingham's Ghost, of the Old Timber Wharf, of the Big Flood That Time, the country of the rationalized farms, of the day-and-night farms, and of the Pitt Street farms, of the Shire Engineer and many other rumours, of the tractor crankcase furred with chaff, the places of sitting down near ferns, the snake-fear places, the cattle-crossing-long-ago places.

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