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"Wet, in the mindscape of the dry: watertanks as nature/culture signifiers"

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Cranston, CA 2008 , '"Wet, in the mindscape of the dry: watertanks as nature/culture signifiers"', in Maureen Devine and Christa Grewe-Volpp (eds.), Words on Water: Literary and Cultural Representations , Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, Bergstrasse, Germany, pp. 23-38.

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Abstract

While the island continent of Australia engages in the geographical reality of water excess—ocean surrounds and endless beaches—the literary constructions of "Australia" move inland, to the outback, where landscape forms the mindcape of the Dry. An historical perception of water in Europe is as abundance. Australia on the other hand is earth's driest inhabited continent. Our (speaking as a European-descended Australian here) attitudes towards water are shaped by personal levels of engagement with food production, government policy, the discourse of science concerning the hydrological cycle and water transportation, and by popular culture, including visual and literary images. The chapter argues that the way water has been represented in texts and images has contributed to Australian ways of "seeing water." And that within Australia, European architectural traditions and aesthetics have contributed to a reluctance to harvest rainwater.

Item Type: Book Section
Authors/Creators:Cranston, CA
Keywords: Ecocriticism: watertanks; literature; architecture; corrugated iron.
Publisher: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier
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© WVT Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, 2008

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