University of Tasmania
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The Australian and Spanish-American novel of the land : an inquiry into some modern aspects of Pastoral

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posted on 2023-05-27, 08:36 authored by Cooper, Desmond John
The novel of the land springs directly from colonial man's encounter with Virgin continents: an interpretation of the colonial experience is to be expected, since it is a normal function of the novelist to interpret man and his world. The Australian and Spanish-American novels of the land may validly be compared because of the intimate coincidence of subject matter, the identical European and cultural origins of the colonists, and because of the 19th and 20th Century appearance of the novel form in which writers articulate their interpretation of the emigrant venture. The modern colonial novel of the land is deeply indebted to earlier pastoral, utopian and neo-platonic ideas, which are traced in considerable detail in the introductory chapter, and identified in others. Examination of the literature of both continents reveals many areas of significant accord in their attitudes to Nature, and these are largely attributable to European cultural conditioning that transcends formal national differences. The important emergent themes are City versus Country, the Idealization of Rural Man and the Indigene, Aspiration towards the Simple Life, and Pastoral and Rural Utopianism. Both literatures see the moral stature of man as measured by his response to the new environmental challenge. They also reveal anxieties at the violation of Nature, and interpret the essentially masculine nature of the emigrant societies. Significant differences emerge - the green hell theme and the cults,of masculine aggressiveness in Spanish-American novels, and the historical land saga, and the transposition of land epic into universal allegory of the human condition in Australian writers. But for the rest, our interest resides not so much in social and other differences as in the treatment and colouring of comparable conditions that the new continental homelands imposed.


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Copyright 1970 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis (M.A.) - University of Tasmania, 1970. Bibliography: p. 309-312

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