Guide Australian Gothic: An Anthology of Australian Supernatural Fiction

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Marcus Clarke famously used the term 'weird melancholy' to describe the unsettling qualities of the Australian bush, capturing a sense of the alienation and anxiety that is also powerfully evoked in Gothic stories like Rosa Praed's 'The Bunyip'. In 'The Bunyip', a group of colonials are on their way to establish a new settlement when they are confronted with the potential for anxiety and disorientation in the bush, becoming lost and terrified when a haunting cry draws them away from their campfire. The story seems to reinforce the alienation and unhomeliness of a yet-to-be-settled land that seems to actively reject occupation.

But the colonial Australian Gothic inhabits many already-settled places as well, in numerous stories of haunted homesteads and huts. In Hume Nisbet's story 'The Haunted Station' the narrator, an escaped convict and condemned murderer, takes possession of an abandoned homestead, only to find it already occupied by spectres and fiends. The past haunts the eerie Tasmanian mansions of Mary Fortune's story 'Mystery and Murder' and Marcus Clarke's 'The Mystery of Major Molineux', too, with apparitions of the violently dead seeking justice from the living.

Histories of violence are fundamental to the colonial Australian Gothic, from the brutality of the convict system as explored in many stories by Price Warung to the countless stories of Aboriginal and settler violence and massacres published by writers like Ernest Favenc, William Sylvester Walker, Mary Gaunt and others. In some ways, the colonial Australian Gothic liberates and explores the horror of colonial frontier violence, bringing it into vivid and, at times, maniacal focus; in other ways, it sublimates and distances it, enclosing colonialism's violent past within its own frightening yet familiar narrative conventions.


Ernest Favenc - Read his/her books online

In The Anthology of Colonial Australian Gothic Fiction we've brought together works by some of the significant Australian authors mentioned here, in order to highlight the colonial Australian Gothic as a dynamic, terrifying and often subversive popular literary form. Perspective is an archived program which is no longer broadcast.

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Facebook Twitter Delicious Reddit Digg what are these? Credits Producer Sue Clark. Perspective is an archived program which is no longer broadcast Presented by Paul Barclay. Editorial Feature articles Subjects Transcripts. But my pick is still On The Jellicoe Road as a must-read.

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Marchetta is one of my favourite authors of all time, and I legitimately think On The Jellicoe Road is nothing short of a masterpiece. If I can quote a line from the novel to summarize my feelings; ' I fall in love with these kids over and over again and my heart aches for their tragedies and marvels at their friendship.

Gothic Tribute 2017

Alice often talks and writes about what an impact authors like Robin Klein, Ruth Park and John Marsden had on her reading life — and how their YA books shaped her as an author too. I think the YA Alice writes now is a tough but tender modern ode to their legacy of honesty when writing for teen readers.

Among only a few Australians still free, they must learn to defend themselves against the hostile invaders. What I love about this is — depending on world politics at the time and right now, it feels particularly possible — the book swings back around in popularity and still feels so contemporary for how Marsden hits on our fears and international insecurities.

The Anthology of Colonial Australian Gothic Fiction

Obernewtyn and the Chronicles are a speculative love-letter to anyone who lives on the periphery, and teens today are beyond lucky that they can now read the entire finished series in one-sitting, without having to wait nearly 10 years between books four and five! Teens who love Game of Thrones will adore this series — and will especially love the fact that the author has an extensive backlist to fall into! Like the long slow sigh of a cello: dying.

But the sound of it is the only beautiful thing about it. I think Grace Beside Me is one of the most profound and stunning examples of what Aussie YA can, and should be — more inclusive, representative and critical of our society.