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‘A Masterpiece of Camouflage’: Modernism and Interwar Australia

‘A Masterpiece of Camouflage’: Modernism and Interwar Australia Interwar Australia has often been seen as geographically and culturally distant from the centres of modernity, with 1930s Australian literary culture viewed through the tropes of isolation, insularity and quarantine. Through a reading of Eleanor Dark's experimental novel Prelude to Christopher (1934), I contest this idea, arguing that interwar Australia contained its own latent modernisms and modernities, which were often hidden alongside anti-modernist positions and inside other discourses such as cultural nationalism. This essay contributes to recent reinvestigations of the cosmopolitanism/nationalism binary and calls for these categories to be rethought in more interconnected terms. It also examines Dark's modernist and gendered critique of eugenics in light of the larger project of settler colonialism. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Modernist Cultures Edinburgh University Press

‘A Masterpiece of Camouflage’: Modernism and Interwar Australia

Modernist Cultures , Volume 15 (3): 25 – Aug 1, 2020

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
Copyright © Edinburgh University Press
ISSN
2041-1022
eISSN
1753-8629
DOI
10.3366/mod.2020.0299
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Interwar Australia has often been seen as geographically and culturally distant from the centres of modernity, with 1930s Australian literary culture viewed through the tropes of isolation, insularity and quarantine. Through a reading of Eleanor Dark's experimental novel Prelude to Christopher (1934), I contest this idea, arguing that interwar Australia contained its own latent modernisms and modernities, which were often hidden alongside anti-modernist positions and inside other discourses such as cultural nationalism. This essay contributes to recent reinvestigations of the cosmopolitanism/nationalism binary and calls for these categories to be rethought in more interconnected terms. It also examines Dark's modernist and gendered critique of eugenics in light of the larger project of settler colonialism.

Journal

Modernist CulturesEdinburgh University Press

Published: Aug 1, 2020

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