Gambling on Reality: A Reading of Peter Carey’s Oscar and Lucinda
Discusses Oscar and Lucinda as a post-modern historical novel. 'Inhabiting the genre it wants to deconstruct, i.e. the nineteenth-century historical novel, it undermines its basic assumptions from within. History is viewed, not as a fixed and given series of events and motives, but as a text itself, which is as subject to the whims and needs of historians as the literary text is to those of the writers. Consequently, the past is an ideological construct, and as such it is also unstable and liable to change in accordance with the needs of the time.'
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Published 1 June 1991 in European Perspectives: Contemporary Essays on Australian Literature. Subjects: Heroic myths, Historical fiction, Peter Carey.