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Australian Reflections in a Mirror Clouded by Dust

  • Since the end of the British Empire, which had provided white Australians with points of view, attitudes and stereotypes of the world - including perceptions of their own role in it -, rediscovering an international identity has been an Australian quest. Many turned to European roots; others to the Aboriginal landscape; Blanche d"Alpuget and Christopher J. Koch are two who have ventured into Asia for the culturally and spiritually regenerative materials necessary to redefine Australia in the post-colonial world. They have taken Eastern concepts of "self", and "soul" and forged them with the Australian obsession of fear and desire of contact with the "other" in a looking-glass of hybrid, Austral-Asian myth to reveal the true soul of Australian identity. Along with a brief historical and literary background to the triangular relationship between white Australia, Asia, and the West, this study- goal is to identify some of the Southeast Asian symbols, myths and literary structures which Koch and d"Alpuget integrate into the Western tradition. Central elements include: dichotomies as of personality, righteousness, and virtue; the "Otherworld", where one may approach enlightenment, but at the risk of falling into self-delusion; archetypes of the Hindu divine feminine; Eastern roots of Koch- themes of the "double man"; concepts of the forces of "light" and "dark"; the semiotics of time and meaning; and the central Eastern metaphor of the mirror by which Australia creates interdependent images of itself and of Asia.

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Author:David Sandoz La Breche
Advisor:Norbert H. Platz, Prof. Dr.
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Date of completion:2004/06/08
Publishing institution:Universit├Ąt Trier
Granting institution:Universit├Ąt Trier, Fachbereich 2
Date of final exam:2001/07/11
Release Date:2004/06/08
Tag:Australian Literature; Bhagavad Gita; Indian Philosophy; Post-colonialism; Southeast Asia
Institutes:Fachbereich 2 / Anglistik
Dewey Decimal Classification:4 Sprache / 42 Englisch, Altenglisch / 420 Englisch, Altenglisch

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