Native Companion's idea of a national literature
Louise: thank you for this fascinating presentation. I'm interested in this idea of a "national literature" nurtured by protectionist policies, that would simultaneously be in dialogue with international modernism - it seems like an impossible contradiction: how would this literature avoid falling into a narrow provincialism? I'm guessing part of the answer must lie in the unique qualities of the "Australian genius". Does Brady manage to define this? What sets Australian literature apart, in Brady's view?
Tim, hello. My apologies - only just saw this post! Your question is really interesting thank you. Brady is noticeably vague on the issue - as is his literary policy in the magazine. This in itself is both interesting and problematic. He champions 'Australian writers' but he doesn't define what he means by that - does he mean people born in Australia? People who were born outside but have adopted Australia as their home? What about those who were born in Australia but who left and write from overseas? He seems concerned with nationality but as for the content he is oblique. The research that I have done so far (and I have to confess that I am in the early stages) suggests that the magazine has a wide variety of styles by both Australian writers and others. I am going to look forward to investigating this further over the coming months!