Inventing Australia: Images and Identity, 1688-1980

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Allen & Unwin, 1981 - Australia - 205 pages
To be 'Australian': what can that mean? This influential Australian history sets out to find the answers by tracing the images we have used to describe our land and our people.

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Contents

Hell Upon Earth
16
A Workingmans Paradise?
29
Another America
47
The National Type
63
Bohemians and the Bush
85
Young White Happy and Wholesome
110
Diggers and Heroes
125
Growing Up
140
Everyman and his Holden
158
Copyright

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Page 2 - The Inhabitants of this Country are the miserablest People in the world. The Hodmadods of Monomatapa, though a nasty people, yet for Wealth are Gentlemen to these...
Page 57 - This moral is that the flower of art blooms only where the soil is deep, that it takes a great deal of history to produce a little literature, that it needs a complex social machinery to set a writer in motion.
Page 91 - I have seen, and heard, much of Cockney impudence before now, but never expected to hear a coxcomb ask two hundred guineas for flinging a pot of paint in the public's face.
Page 91 - Art should be independent of all clap-trap — should stand alone, and appeal to the artistic sense of eye or ear, without confounding this with emotions entirely foreign to it, as devotion, pity, love, patriotism, and the like. All these have no kind of concern with it; and that is why I insist on calling my works "arrangements
Page 3 - There the old people that are not able to stir abroad by reason of their age, and the tender infants, wait their return; and what Providence has bestowed on them they presently broil on the coals and eat it in common. Sometimes they get as many fish as makes them a plentiful banquet ; and at other times they scarce get every one a taste.
Page 79 - And ye vaunted your fathomless power, and ye flaunted your iron pride, Ere — ye fawned on the Younger Nations for the men who could shoot and ride!
Page 102 - Of the tramways and the buses making hurry down the street; And the language uninviting of the gutter children fighting Comes fitfully and faintly through the ceaseless tramp of feet. And the hurrying people daunt me, and their pallid faces haunt me As they shoulder one another in their rush and nervous haste, With their eager eyes and greedy, and their stunted forms and weedy, For townsfolk have no time to grow, they have no time to waste. And I somehow rather fancy...
Page viii - real' Australia waiting to be uncovered. A national identity is an invention. There is no point asking whether one version of this essential Australia is truer than another because they are all intellectual constructs, neat, tidy, comprehensible — and necessarily false.
Page 27 - The Law locks up The man or woman Who steals the goose From off the common But leaves the greater villain loose Who steals the common from the goose...

About the author (1981)

Richard White is a young historian with a particular interest in the development of a distinctive Australian culture. He has written on the 'Australian way of life' and on 'Americanisation' and popular culture.

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