Authority and Influence: Australian literary criticism, 1950–2000 edited by Delys Bird, Robert Dixon and Christopher Lee

by
May 2001, no. 230

Authority and Influence: Australian literary criticism, 1950–2000 edited by Delys Bird, Robert Dixon and Christopher Lee

UQP, $30 pb, 401 pp

Authority and Influence: Australian literary criticism, 1950–2000 edited by Delys Bird, Robert Dixon and Christopher Lee

by
May 2001, no. 230

The problems that have bedevilled Australian literary criticism and literary history over the last twenty years have been worldwide. Histories, even quite short ones, now have to be written polyphonically, by committees of dozens of contributors. It is taken for granted that no single person could cover the whole field and the variety of critical perspectives, movements, genres, institutions and ideologies involved. One of the recurrent phrases of recent years has been ‘pushing the boundaries’; but histories, surveys, theses, articles all depend on demarcation lines. That is why the notion of a ‘canon’ has been useful, though, of course, a canon needs to be constantly questioned and revised so as not to become stagnant and restrictive.

Vivian Smith reviews 'Authority and Influence: Australian literary criticism, 1950–2000' edited by Delys Bird, Robert Dixon and Christopher Lee

Authority and Influence: Australian literary criticism, 1950–2000

edited by Delys Bird, Robert Dixon and Christopher Lee

UQP, $30 pb, 401 pp

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