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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

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Fletcher, LM and Mead, E (2010) 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

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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.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Peter Carey; Peter Corris; postcolonialism; True History of the Kelly Gang; Mutiny of the Bounty; Fletcher Christian
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Commonwealth Literature
Page Range: pp. 189-206
ISSN: 0021-9894
Identification Number - DOI: 10.1177/0021989409359851
Additional Information:

Copyright 2010 Sage

Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2013 03:28
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 04:56
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