Love, lust, life - landscape: Writing about Brisbane in the last twenty years

Muller, Vivienne (1997) Love, lust, life - landscape: Writing about Brisbane in the last twenty years. Queensland Review, 4(1), pp. 12-17.


Brisbane is the kind of city that if it did not exist would have to be invented and indeed it has by many of its writers. Its history of settlement and its political conservatism of the slash, bum and bulldoze variety has urged writers Sam Watson in his novel The Kadaitcha Sung to depict it as a place of punishment, violence, racism and red-necked parochialism. The same sense of oppression informs David Malouf’s mixed nostalgic references to the city as a place of beauty and boredom, a city you can love and hate in Johnno. In similar vein, Jessica Anderson in Tirra Lira by the River, Angelika Fremd in The Glass Inferno and Janette Turner Hospital in both short stories and novels, depicted Brisbane as a place one needs to leave but also a place where epiphanies are possible, and where the past haunts the present with a ferocious insistence, For novelists Rosie Scott, Janette Turner Hospital and Venero Armanno, Brisbane is simultaneously Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained. Many writers depict Brisbane as a great place to grow up in but you wouldn't want to live there - unless you are Hugh Lunn. Brisbane has been, and arguably still is by some writers, seen both favourably and unfavourably as a provincial backwater, unsophisticated and straight - still a frontier town in the popular and literary imagination if not in reality - a place where it is likely that you will know somebody who knows somebody you know.

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ID Code: 12
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Brisbane, Place, Novels
ISSN: 1321-8166
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > LITERARY STUDIES (200500) > Australian Literature (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Literature) (200502)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 1997 (please consult author)
Copyright Statement: Reproduced with permission of the publisher.
Deposited On: 15 Mar 2006 00:00
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 12:21

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