The Neo-Buddhist Writings of Lafcadio Hearn: Light from the East by Antony Goedhals offers radical rereadings of a misunderstood and undervalued Victorian writer. It reveals that at the metaphysical core of Lafcadio Hearn’s writings is a Buddhist vision as yet unappreciated by his critics and biographers. Beginning with the American writings and ending with the essay- and story-meditations of the Japanese period, the book demonstrates Hearn’s deeply personal and transcendently beautiful evocations of a Buddhist universe, and shows how these deconstruct and dissolve the categories of Western discourse and thinking about reality – to create a new language, a poetry of vastness, emptiness, and oneness that had not been heard before in English, or, indeed, in the West.
Australian Theatre after the New Wave, Julian Meyrick charts the history of three ground-breaking Australian theatre companies, the Paris Theatre (1978), the Hunter Valley Theatre (1976-94) and Anthill Theatre (1980-94). In the years following the controversial dismissal of Gough Whitlam’s Labor government in 1975, these ‘alternative’ theatres struggled to survive in an increasingly adverse economic environment. Drawing on interviews and archival sources, including Australia Council files and correspondence, the book examines the funding structures in which the companies operated, and the impact of the cultural policies of the period. It analyses the changing relationship between the artist and the State, the rise of a managerial ethos of ‘accountability’, and the growing dominance of government in the fate of the nation’s theatre. In doing so, it shows the historical roots of many of the problems facing Australian theatre today.
“This is an exceptionally timely book... In giving a history of Australian independent theatre it not only charts the amazing rise and strange disappearance of an energetic, radical and dynamically democratic artistic movement, but also tries to explain that rise and fall, and how we should relate to it now.”
Prof. Justin O’Connor, Monash University
“This study makes a signiﬁcant contribution to scholarship on Australian theatre and, more broadly… to the global discussion about the vexed relationship between artists, creativity, government funding for the arts and cultural policy.”
Dr. Gillian Arrighi, The University of Newcastle, Australia
This volume explores the complex aesthetic, cultural, and memory politics of urban representation and reconfiguration in neo-Victorian discourse and practice. Through adaptations of traditional city tropes – such as the palimpsest, the labyrinth, the femininised enigma, and the marketplace of desire – writers, filmmakers, and city planners resurrect, preserve, and rework nineteenth-century metropolises and their material traces while simultaneously Gothicising and fabricating ‘past’ urban realities to serve present-day wants, so as to maximise cities’ potential to generate consumption and profits. Within the cultural imaginary of the metropolis, this volume contends, the nineteenth century provides a prominent focalising lens that mediates our apperception of and engagement with postmodern cityscapes. From the site of capitalist romance and traumatic lieux de mémoire to theatre of postcolonial resistance and Gothic sensationalism, the neo-Victorian city proves a veritable Proteus evoking myriad creative responses but also crystallising persistent ethical dilemmas surrounding alienation, precarity, Othering, and social exclusion.