Imagined Counterpart: Outlining a Conceptual Literary Geography of Australia


Australian literature has been more diligent in literally, metaphorically and self-consciously mapping the continent than almost any other old or emerging national literature. There seems to be on the one hand an archetypal simplicity, on the other a complex mystique in the appearance of that plump, pointed silhouette. With no boundaries except the sea and thus separate from the rest of the world, Australia as a map of the imagination seems somehow to have more dimensions than those New World imaginative geographies which disappear along a single axis, in a single cardinal direction, whether the American West or the Canadian North.

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Published 1 June 1991 in European Perspectives: Contemporary Essays on Australian Literature. Subjects: Australian landscape - Literary portrayal, Isolation (Emotional & social), Landscape & identity, Postcolonial literature & writers.

Cite as: Leer, Martin. ‘Imagined Counterpart: Outlining a Conceptual Literary Geography of Australia.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 15, no. 2, 1991, doi: 10.20314/als.36b436d7fe.