lundi 27 décembre 2010

Opinion : Panorama du roman australien


“[…] unlike [some] university publications, which compile the work of several contributors who together sought to give a comprehensive view of Australian literature in bulky volumes meant to be reference works, Panorama is a short and single-authored book that reads from cover to cover like a riveting novel. In fact, it would seem that Vernay intended—and managed—to share his enthusiasm for Australia’s national literature as much as he sought to impart the sound knowledge he acquired over ten years of research. Passion shows through each page of this carefully argued text.”

“The value of Vernay’s contextual study is at least threefold. First, it provides the basis for an original analysis, that is, an introduction to Australian literature that keeps away from the typical catalogue of résumés and biographies. The author does dwell on a remarkable author, a major work, a controversial affair or a literary prize here and there, in well-defined inserts, indulging in “close-ups” to satisfy the reader’s curiosity. Also, he does provide the reader with useful tools (two chronologies, a bibliography and an index) which permit direct access to key information. Yet the point remains: Vernay’s essay is no simple collection of literary facts. The second and third reasons for the value of Vernay’s approach to literature are intimately linked, both relating to the bridge the author has constructed between literature and the world. On the one hand, readers primarily interested in literature will be presented with not only novels but also the contexts in which these were written and published. This also means that those who wish to find out more about a specific period or literary movement can use the book to identify corresponding Australian references. On the other hand, readers with a general interest in Australia will have a chance to acquire solid knowledge of Australian novels while (re)discovering the country through its writers’ eyes. No doubt, Panorama du roman australien will appeal to people with different needs or expectations, which makes its potential readership quite broad.”

Source: Ludivine Royer, Postcolonial Text 5: 4 (2009).

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BEST WISHES, Jean-François.

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