Narrative Structure and the BLURRED Landscape

Makeham, Paul B. (1999) Narrative Structure and the BLURRED Landscape. In McLean, Judith M. & Gough, Louise (Eds.) Blurred: Creating Performance for Young People. Playlab Press, Brisbane, Qld, pp. 19-22.

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Like many of the best works of Australian theatre, "Blurred" taps into our national fascination with the physical environment. Australians (both pre- and post-colonial) have always been possessed of a powerful sense of landscape, because it is the canvas of our group imagination, a mythic space onto which we project our deepest collective impulses: "the projective screen for a persistent national neurosis deriving from the fear and fascination of a preternatural continent". (Ross Gibson, "Camera Natura: Landscape in Australian feature films", in Frow and Morris, eds, Australian Cultural Studies: A Reader (Sydney: Allen and Unwin, 1993, p.211) Of course the landscape has always evoked profoundly ambivalent responses in us, a mix of repulsion and attraction, fear and desire, a need to demonise and to exalt. For many of the earliest explorers - lost in space - one response was to be swallowed up by it, and through immersion, to "die of landscape" (Randolph Stow, in David Tacey, "Dissolving into Landscape", Island, 56, 1 (Spring 1993), p.46). In Blurred, Calvin is probably the most obvious "explorer" in this last sense, but all the characters, in one way or another, experience the passing away of some part of themselves as they journey down the coast.

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ID Code: 7100
Item Type: Book Chapter
Additional Information: This is the author’s manuscript version of the work. It is posted here with permission of the copyright owner for your personal use only. No further distribution is permitted. For more information about this book please refer to the publisher's website (see link) or contact the author. Author contact details:
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Keywords: Landscape, performance, Australian theatre
ISBN: 090815657X
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > PERFORMING ARTS AND CREATIVE WRITING (190400) > Drama Theatre and Performance Studies (190404)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 1999 Paul Makeham
Deposited On: 20 Apr 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 12:39

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