Imagining Brisbane: Narratives of the city 1975-1995

Muller, Vivienne (2005). Imagining Brisbane: Narratives of the city 1975-1995 PhD Thesis, School of English, Media Studies and Art History, The University of Queensland.

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Author Muller, Vivienne
Thesis Title Imagining Brisbane: Narratives of the city 1975-1995
School, Centre or Institute School of English, Media Studies and Art History
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2005-04-26
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Supervisor C. Ferrier
Total pages 276
Collection year 2005
Language eng
Subjects 200502 Australian Literature (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Literature)
420202 Australian and New Zealand
751001 Languages and literature
Formatted abstract
Imagining Brisbane focuses on a number of narratives set in Brisbane and published between 1975 and 1995. The major narratives are Jessica Anderson's The Commandant and Tirra Lirra by the River, David Malouf's 12 Edmondstone Street and Johnno, Susan Johnson's Messages from Chaos, Janette Turner Hospital's The Last Magician, Jay Vemey's A Mortality Tale, Rosie Scott's Lives on Fire, Nick Earls' Zigzag Street, Venero Armanno's Romeo of the Underworld, and Andrew McGahan's Praise and 1988.

The study examines, principally through textual analysis, the ways in which Brisbane as a city is actively constituted by the narratives (Donald, 1997: 187) as they explore the links between identity and place. The focus here is not to compare the real to the fictional city, rather to analyse how the fictional representations invite us to see the city (183). This being said, the narratives themselves often deal with events, developments and geographies of place that have been part of the "real" that has shaped Brisbane's history. In broad terms the narratives are involved in a deliberate and self-conscious naming of specific sites, spaces and topographical markers of Brisbane; they emphasise the importance of the spatial in the formation of subjectivity and they examine the gendered nature of the relationships between space and subjectivity with a strong emphasis on the body. The dissertation also addresses issues fundamental to the ways in which the narratives might be seen to constitute a regional discourse; to this end the thesis raises questions in relation to patterns and motifs that emerge in common in the texts, and considers the ways in which they participate in particular cultural mythologisings of the city. To frame and investigate the issues, the study draws on a range of theoretical concepts offered by cultural geography, gender analysis and theories of the city, particularly those concerned with the spatial.
Keyword Australian literature -- Queensland -- Brisbane.
Australian literature -- History and criticism.
Authors, Australian -- Queensland -- Brisbane.
Cities and towns in literature.
Brisbane (Qld.) -- In literature.
Additional Notes The author has given permission for this thesis to be made open access..

Document type: Thesis
Collections: Queensland Past Online (QPO)
UQ Theses (RHD) - Open Access
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Created: Wed, 07 Oct 2009, 11:22:56 EST by Ms Christine Heslehurst on behalf of Social Sciences and Humanities Library Service