Figures from the Past: Sargeson's Wandering Men and the Limits of Nationalism
Frank Sargeson's repositioning of Henry Lawson as a 'colonial' writer, away from the more familiar categories of nationalism and realism, offers a provocation for re-considering his own short fiction. In taking up that challenge, this essay diverges from recent attempts to trouble the periodization of writing from the 1930s and 40s: rather than arguing that the concerns of cultural nationalism were anticipated in the nineteenth-century, it will make the case that colonial literary forms and cultural formations persist in some of the most familiar works of that later period.
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