Professing the Popular: Political Fiction circa 2006


Discusses recent fiction of 'explicit political orientation'—Linda Jaivin's The Infernal Optimist, Andrew McGahan's Underground and Richard Flanagan's The Unknown Terrorist—that point to 'a perceptible shift in the field of Australian literary production, a shift away from the aesthetic as a form of resistance towards a much more direct and sometimes didactic engagement with a contemporary political climate'. These political engagements 'emerge alongside their engagement with and appropriation of popular idioms and genres. All, in other words, at least implicitly phrase their claims to political effectiveness through a refusal of autonomous aesthetic forms and a reproduction of what might be called (after Jacques Ranciére) the popular gestus.'

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Published 1 October 2007 in Volume 23 No. 2. Subjects: Political fiction, Patrick White.

Cite as: McCann, Andrew. ‘Professing the Popular: Political Fiction circa 2006.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 23, no. 2, 2007, doi: 10.20314/als.630d23435d.