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Joseph 2c: The Place as resistance to the nation’s future

March 26, 2011

Dreamhunter - Elizabeth Knox

Some more of the really good stuff from Laura Joseph’s argument around Elizabeth Knox’s Dreamhunter:

“Centered around a magical place of discontinuous space and time, the Dreamhunter novels dream into existence a space outside of the cartographic space and historical time of nation. This spatial and temporal resistance at the core of the duet is forged from the underside of national modernity.”[1]

“Dreamhunter mobilizes The Place, as the dead underside of the colonial nation of Southland, to carve out a space of resistance to a totalitarian state. The Place is a space of suspended temporality: in The Place, ‘leaves don’t fall from the trees here unless someone walking by brushes them off. Nothing is alive, and nothing is dead’ (Knox, Dreamquake 451). In its stopped and overturned time, The Place is outside the linear temporality of the nation. ‘[O]nly continuous from the outside, not from within’ (Knox, Dreamhunter 165) and ‘out of the world of longitude and latitude’ (10), the Place eludes the nation’s institutional gaze in its resistance to being coherently mapped. Institutional control is further circumvented through the Place’s use of dreams as appeals toward civil disobedience.”[2]


[1] Joseph, Laura: “Dreaming Phantoms and Golems: Elements of the Place Beyond Nation in Carpentaria and Dreamhunter” Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature : JASAL (Special Issue: Australian Literature in a Global World) 2009, 1-10.

[2] Joseph, Laura: “Dreaming Phantoms and Golems: Elements of the Place Beyond Nation in Carpentaria and Dreamhunter” Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature : JASAL (Special Issue: Australian Literature in a Global World) 2009, 1-10.

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