On Appropriation: Two Novels of Dark and Barnard Eldershaw
In 1945 Eleanor Dark published The Little Company; two years later Marjorie Barnard and Flora Eldershaw Tomorrow and Tomorrow. Both were written during, and prompted by, the second world war, and locate at least part of their action in Sydney during those years. Both are political, and set out to expose a symbiotic relation between prosperity, poverty, and the war itself. Both, too, are much concerned with writing. There are of course many differences, but on my reading it is the similarities that are startling—if hitherto unremarked. My first concern in this essay is simply to identify those points of similarity; my second, to suggest how the (unacknowledged) appropriation—if that is what it is—may have come about; my third, to explore the way in which the question of intellectual property becomes thematised in the two novels.
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