Rewriting the Past: Exploration and Discovery in The Transit of Venus


The disruptiveness of The Transit of Venus can clearly be detected in Hazzard's treatment of history; in the way she explores the connections between the private destinies of her characters and the events which make up the official history of a nation or a culture, events which themselves are implicated in the self-definition of those subjects or characters. An examination of the treatment of history in this novel can be useful in highlighting disruptive strategies in narrative, characterisation and imagery, while also providing some insights into the kinds of discursive frames in which subversion can operate in writing that seems to take pains to situate itself so carefully within a centralised literary tradition.

Published 1 May 1992 in Volume 15 No. 3. Subjects: Characterisation, Historical fiction, Imagery, Narrative techniques, Shirley Hazzard.

Cite as: Olubas, Brigitta. ‘Rewriting the Past: Exploration and Discovery in The Transit of Venus.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 15, no. 3, 1992, doi: 10.20314/als.e02c99991c.