Review of National Fictions: Literature, Film and the Construction of Australian Narrative by Graeme Turner
Graeme Turner's National Fictions is written both against and adjacent to literary criticism. Its object is culture, not literature, ideology not sensibility. It is the first monograph treating canonical Australian narratives to find its context unavoidably defined, its very subject constituted, by the crossed lines of structuralism, semiotics, theories of discourse and Marxist cultural theory. For these reasons it is an important, productive book. The problems I see in it have a great deal to do with the place of such theory, that is, the absence of such theory (and its approaches to history), in the discourse of Australian literary studies. For the implications of the central, indeed orthodox, insights of structuralist and post-structuralist thinking have not yet made any ripples in the mainstream of Australian literary criticism of Australian literature.
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Cite as: Carter, David. ‘Review of National Fictions: Literature, Film and the Construction of Australian Narrative by Graeme Turner.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 13, no. 2, 1987, doi: 10.20314/als.e0fa059449.