A New Version of Pastoral: Developments in Michael Wilding’s Fiction
Michael Wilding's Pacific Highway is his pastoral romance; a true descendant of Longus's Daphnis and Chloe and similar antique prose narratives, incorporating Theocritan and Arcadian elements and informed by an awareness of the traditions and connotations of pastoral in the renaissance. Like Daphnis and Chloe it is a pastoral clouded with foreboding, but Wilding's story is more sombre. It does not actually recreate an idyll, but uses elements of the pastoral mode allusively, to hint at underlying contradictions and ironies which the protagonists themselves only partly comprehend.
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