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The Jungian quest for the Aborigine within: a close reading of David Tacey's Edge of the Sacred: transformation in Australia

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Rolls, M (1998) The Jungian quest for the Aborigine within: a close reading of David Tacey's Edge of the Sacred: transformation in Australia. Melbourne Journal of Politics, 25. pp. 171-187. ISSN 0085-3224

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Abstract

The opinion is frequently expressed that the acquisition of Aboriginal cultural property will assist settler Australians and other non-Aboriginal people in overcoming a range of afflictions they allegedly suffer. To list but some of these, it is posited that Aboriginal cultural property will enable settler Australians to heal the alienated self, become reconciled with the land they inhabit, regain a lost mythopoeic realm and acquire a hitherto lacking spiritual continuity. Having colonised Aboriginal lands in order to satisfy particular interests, the emphasis has now changed to one of urging the appropriation of selected cultural features and practices belonging to the dispossessed in order to satisfy a different set of needs. In this paper I discuss these issues as they pertain to David Tacey’s Edge of the Sacred. His text was selected for analysis because of its prominence, the apparent sophistication of its arguments, and because Tacey, aware of and professedly sensitive to the issues surrounding appropriation, categorically distances himself from the practice. Nevertheless, as this article argues, Edge of the Sacred does demonstrate acquisitive intent.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Melbourne Journal of Politics
Page Range: pp. 171-187
ISSN: 0085-3224
Date Deposited: 21 May 2008 22:24
Last Modified: 22 Jul 2010 23:19
URI: http://eprints.utas.edu.au/id/eprint/3646
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