The Hidden Culture: Folklore in Australian society by Graham Seal

Reviewed by
May 1989, no. 110
Robin Gerster reviews 'The Hidden Culture: Folklore in Australian society' by Graham Seal

The Hidden Culture: Folklore in Australian society

by Graham Seal

Oxford University Press, $25 hb, 180 pp, 019554919

The Hidden Culture: Folklore in Australian society by Graham Seal

Reviewed by
May 1989, no. 110

Graham Seal, author of this invaluable new survey of Australian folklore, hopes this book will ‘explode the pernicious and persistent myth that Australia has no folklore’, a cultural lie he illustrates on the opening page by trotting out a familiar scapegoat in the form of a visiting Englishman carping about the lack of folksong in this country. This seems to me to base the book on an unnecessary and even false premise. Most Australians, I would have thought, are aware either consciously or subconsciously of a national body of folklore – it’s just that assiduous nationalists have hacked away the corpus by single-mindedly promoting the paraphernalia of the bush mythology: the pioneers, the bushrangers, the heroes and anti-heroes of sport and war.

Robin Gerster reviews 'The Hidden Culture: Folklore in Australian society' by Graham Seal

The Hidden Culture: Folklore in Australian society

by Graham Seal

Oxford University Press, $25 hb, 180 pp, 019554919

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