"Worth in the Telling": Tales of Trauma in Australian Aboriginal Narratives

  • Clare Bradford Deakin University

Abstract

Résumé: Le présent article examine quatre œuvres d'auteurs aborigènes, qui traitent de la douloureuse expérience du passage à l'âge adulte de quatre jeunes filles venant de l'arrière-pays australien. Cependant, le contexte de la production et de la réception de ces récits suscitent des contradictions internes. Par exemple, ce sont des récits écrits également pour des Aborigènes et des non-Aborigènes et qui empruntent aux traditions narratives locales et occidentales. D'une part, elles répondent à l'idéologie contemporaine de la valorisation des Aborigènes mais, d'autre part, elles conservent un caractère hybride, typique de l'ambivalence des &eolig;uvres postcoloniales. Summary: This essay examines four texts by Australian Aboriginal authors, considering their narrative modes and ideologies while concentrating on stories of trauma involving Aboriginal girls growing into adulthood. It argues that these narratives are implicated within conditions of production and reception that lead to conflicting and contradictory textual strategies; for instance, they are written both for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal audiences and deploy a combination of Aboriginal and Western narrative traditions. On the one hand, they enter the contemporary politics of Aboriginal self-representation; on the other, they are hybrid texts that disclose the ambivalence and the shifting positions common in postcolonial textuality.

Author Biography

Clare Bradford, Deakin University
Clare Bradford is Professor of Literary Studies at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia, where she teaches literary studies and children's literature, and supervises students undertaking MA and PhD programmes. She has published widely on children's literature, with an emphasis on colonial and postcolonial texts and utopian discourses. Her most recent book is Unsettling Narratives: Postcolonial Readings of Children's Literature (2007).
Published
2007-07-25
Section
Articles