Without an Alibi

Neilsen, Philip (2008) Without an Alibi. [Textual Work]


The project is a book collection of 65 poems, primarily with an environmental focus. This practice-led project draws on eco-critical theory (Wilson, 1992; and Bate, 2000) and Darwinian literary theory (Carroll, 2004) to explore ideas of ecology, the ‘natural’, and conservation.

The poems explore a proposal of synthesis: that nature is for us both a construction of language/culture (as argued by post structuralism/ cultural studies) and also a pragmatic, empirical entity that can be experienced through the senses as well as through culture. For example, individual poems describe genres of ‘forest’ (‘Literary Forests’, ‘The Conservative Forest’, ‘The Imperial Forest’) which demonstrate how ‘nature’ can be culturally constructed, but also remain an empirical entity with which we experience a more immediate, physical connection, as posited by Bate (following Heidegger’s ‘being-in-the-world’) . The work also explores through satire the concept of evolutionary adaptation, for example the integration of machine into forest (‘The Black Forest’), animals adopting human characteristics (‘In Praise of Bears’), and ‘nature’ as a damaged or absent ‘other’.

Without an Alibi makes various strands of theoretical thinking concrete and manifest by ‘showing not telling’, in creative practice. The work has been high positively reviewed in the prestigious Australian Book Review, and by Professor Peter Pierce in the Canberra Times. Several of the poems have since been reproduced in national anthologies including The Penguin Anthology of Australian Poetry (2000) and Australian Poetry Since 1988 (Uni of NSW Press).

Impact and interest:

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Full-text downloads:

11 since deposited on 15 Dec 2013
3 in the past twelve months

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ID Code: 48942
Item Type: Creative Work (Textual Work)
Refereed: No
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Past > Schools > School of Media, Entertainment & Creative Arts
Deposited On: 15 Dec 2013 22:59
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2013 23:01

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