Exploration of landscape in Australian literature has been more often than not concerned with the land as backdrop for a heroic quest, or—more commonly—an entity to be wrestled with, conquered and /or subjugated. The landscape has always had a strong, sometimes silent presence in Australian writing, but notably that presence and/or silence has been (largely) imbued with differing degrees of horror, fear, or the “dark” side of the human subconscious or experience. Criticism of Australian literature has also tended to focus on investigating these aspects. In this paper, the work of notable Australian author Alex Miller is the focus, in particular his novel Landscape of Farewell, and the ways in which this work arguably expresses a fundamental shift in the discourse and interpretation of Australian rural landscape, and specifically the relationship between the land and its white inhabitants. This relationship, as argued in the following paper, hinges on the landscape possessing, in Miller’s work, a sense of Being—even a “spiritual” level of personification; and those who journey/quest through (and into) the Space-as-Being reach a point, not of conquest of the land, but of relinquishment of the Self to the land’s right to (and this state of) Being. Inherent in the exploration of these aspects exists, potentially, possibilities of reconciliation and redemption with white Australia’s (often) brutal, colonial past.
"Navigating the Inside-Outside: Explorations of Exile and Silence in Alex Miller’s "Landscape of Farewell.","
Antipodes: Vol. 29
, Article 6.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/antipodes/vol29/iss2/6