Review of Along the Faultlines: Sex, Race and Nation in Australian Women's Writing, 1880s-1930s by Susan Sheridan, and Writing the Colonial Adventure: Race, Gender and Nation in Anglo-Australian Popular Fiction, 1875-1914 by Robert Dixon
It is a gift to be invited to review these two books together not just because they are substantial, original works of literary analysis and cultural history but because of the rich pattern of parallels and intersections which emerges by reading them side by side. Both books have been a decade or so in the making and we can trace their history: explicitly in Susan Sheridan's case as Along the Faultlines reviews the original occasion of its earlier chapters; implicitly in Robert Dixon's as we perceive the sedimentation of an earlier Marxist-structuralist reading of ideology beneath a revised post-structuralism (for want of a better term) and post-colonialism. The interest here involves more than the individual projects alone for it can also be understood as generational. Sheridan and Dixon, if they'll forgive me, belong to the 'middle' generation of contemporary literary and cultural critics. Students before structuralism in its Australian moment, they have emerged now as major writers of the first post-structuralist and in a different sense post-feminist generation. At the same time, their formative encounters with 'theory' were before postmodernism. This compressed history- from pre- to post- to post-post-structuralism in a decade--is itself characteristic of the generation. - is itself characteristic of the generation.
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Published 1 October 1996 in Volume 17 No. 4.
Cite as: Carter, David. ‘Review of Along the Faultlines: Sex, Race and Nation in Australian Women's Writing, 1880s-1930s by Susan Sheridan, and Writing the Colonial Adventure: Race, Gender and Nation in Anglo-Australian Popular Fiction, 1875-1914 by Robert Dixon.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 17, no. 4, 1996, doi: 10.20314/als.e8e9213617.