Water from the Moon: Illusion and Reality in the Works of Australian Novelist Christopher Koch

by Jean-François Vernay

Table of Contents




CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTION: Writing his way to fame

CHAPTER II. THE BOYS IN THE ISLAND: ‘The things which I have seen I now can see no more’ (Wordsworth)

2.1. The Boys in the Island or the rise of a poetic novel

2.2. The Boys in the Island as a lyrical novel

2.3. Schizophrenic Francis and his private inner world

2.4. The Bildungsroman: From illusion to disillusion

2.5. Francis Cullen as the archetypal antihero

CHAPTER III. ACROSS THE SEA WALL: The ‘Edenic urge’ (McAuley)

3.1. Multifaceted Asia: literary representations of the East

3.2. The “Bridge Party”: When West Meets East

3.3. “Only connect”: the culture-clash theme

3.4. Dubious identities: The Art of Characterization

CHAPTER IV. THE YEAR OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY: ‘All the world’s a stage…’ (Shakespeare)

4.1. The malaise of in-betweenness: “So you're a hybrid”

4.2. The Year of Living Dangerously as a palimpsest

4.3. “Shadow Play”: the manipulation game

4.4. Fictional Reality Strikes Back: Realism and the Historical Novel

4.5. A Baroque-inspired Weltanschauung

4.6.The Art of Fiction

CHAPTER V. THE DOUBLEMAN: “…an age of divisions” (Koch)

5.1. Textus absconditus: The Doubleman as a “modern fairy tale”

5.2. The Double motif: The divided self

5.3. God and other gods: “The Will to Believe”

5.4. Turning a blind eye to reality

5.5. Plato’s Cave allegory and the postcolonial dilemma

CHAPTER VI. HIGHWAYS TO A WAR. ‘The past is not even dead’ (Faulkner)

6.1. From Legenda to Muthos

6.2. In search of heroes

6.3. Superstitions and the omnipotence fallacy

6.4. History and the haunting past: “The past is alive, and full of juices”

CHAPTER VII. OUT OF IRELAND: The Utopian project

7.1. Tasmania in the days of yore

7.2 Down Under or the Antipodean theme

7.3. Australia Felix : The Utopian Project

7.4. Hell on earth: The demoniacal vision and the convict system

CHAPTER VIII. CONCLUSION: More than books – literature





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