Thinking the Antipodes

Australian Essays

By Peter Beilharz

In 1956, Bernard Smith wrote that the people of Australia were migratory birds. This was to become a leading motif of his own thinking, and a significant inspiration for author Peter Beilharz. Beilharz came to argue that the idea of the antipodes made sense less in its geographical form than in its cultural form, viewed as a relation rather than a place. Australians had one foot here and one foot there, whichever 'there' this was. This way of thinking with and after Bernard Smith makes up one current of Beilharz's best Australian essays. Two other streams contribute to this collection of Beilharz's essays. The second recovers and publicizes antipodean intellectuals - from Childe to Evatt to Stretton to Jean Martin - who have often been overshadowed by the reception given to metropolitan celebrity thinkers. This second stream also examines others, like Hughes and Carey, who have been celebrated as writers more than as interpreters of the antipodean condition. The third stream engages with mainstream views of Australian writing, and with the limits of these views. When thinking in terms of cultural traffic, then the stories told about Australia will also be global and regional in a broader sense. (Series: Philosophy) [Subject: Australian Studies, Philosophy, Cultural Studies]

Publication Date: 5/11/2015
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9781922235558

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