A Dream-Temple of Collective Imagination : Exploring Community in Carmel Bird’s Cape Grimm
The notion of community, especially religious and racial communities, is central to the understanding of Carmel Bird's fiction. Regarding the need to integrate Australia's Indigenous people and the white community—a recurrent preoccupation in her writing—Bird expresses her concern for the Indigenous community when she says that there has been 'a policy of systematic genocide, an attempt to wipe out a race of people' (Stolen Children 1). Communitarian theory can be considered a useful theoretical framework to explore this aspect of Bird's fiction. As Jean-Luc Nancy shows in his influential essay 'The Confronted Community', there has been philosophical debate about community since the 1980s, debate which still deserves close attention (27). Nancy, together with other philosophers and critics, argues for a redefinition of communitarian interests beyond a neo-Marxist appeal. In the late 1990s, Maurice Blanchot affirmed the need for a revision of the term 'community' at a 'time when even the ability to understand community seems to have been lost' (1).
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