Review of The Nervous Nineties: Australian Cultural Life in the 1890s by John Docker
In his preface to The Nervous Nineties, John Docker gives the reader some advice on what cannot be expected from his book—there will be no totalising theory, no single focus on Australia, no orderly examination of the period as a gradual unfolding of meaning. Instead, the book will take the hint from postmodernism and present multiple perspectives on a range of aspects of the period; it will consider both politics and culture, both high and low art. Docker describes his first encounter with his current 'intellectual hero' Mikhail Bakhtin through Rabelais and his World and explains that Bakhtin's ideas about the carnivalesque opened up this new, multiple vista on the nineties.
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