Review of Antipodean Encounters: Australia and the German Literary Imagination 1754-1918 by Alan Corkhill, and German Images in Australian Literature from the 1940s to the 1980s by Irmtraud Petersson
In 1951 the proceedings of the Australian Goethe Society carried a short paper by Nettie Palmer on 'Some Relations between German and Australian Literature'. A series of extracts from an address she had delivered in Melbourne on 21 March 1951, it included a facsimile reproduction of an original music composition by Henry Handel Richardson. In her paper Palmer was mainly concerned with Richardson's connections with German culture, but also with the contribution of the Swiss novelist who wrote about Australia, Esther Landolt. Although often referred to as one of the Australian nationalists, Nettie Palmer was as much an internationalist as a nationalist and like earlier figures—O'Dowd and A.G. Stephens immediately come to mind—she maintained that Australian writers could not afford to pursue isolationist policies but needed to keep in touch with what was happening in the rest of the literary world. In her journalism of the 1920s and the 1930s she pursued what she called 'The Foreign Relations of Australian Literature' and always insisted that Australia was a 'multi-cultural' country.
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Cite as: Smith, Vivian. ‘Review of Antipodean Encounters: Australia and the German Literary Imagination 1754-1918 by Alan Corkhill, and German Images in Australian Literature from the 1940s to the 1980s by Irmtraud Petersson.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 15, no. 3, 1992, doi: 10.20314/als.359e8711df.