My Brilliant Career and Radicalism

The trouble with historians, Miles Franklin wrote in 1947, is that they are far too fond of 'repetition' . She may well have been right. This is by no means the first attempt to assess the radicalism of My Brilliant Career: in the 1980s, in what was called 'an intriguing book about a unique woman', Colin Roderick sought to 'explain' the radicalism of Franklin's work. Blessed with 'the advantage of having known Miles Franklin personally', the analysis was frank and alarming. The 'Yarra Bank tub thumpings' (72) of My Brilliant Career, Roderick tells us, are all a product of Miles Franklin's 'repressed sexuality' (71): 'morbid introspection, with sexual frustration, slides below the story like a tidal undertow' (75, 126).

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Published 1 October 2002 in Volume 20 No. 4. Subjects: Australian politics, Radical Nationalism, Radicalism, Miles Franklin.

Cite as: Scates, Bruce. ‘My Brilliant Career and Radicalism.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 20, no. 4, 2002, doi: 10.20314/als.2e3bb377af.