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I do not approach writing this essay with any relish. In fact, I have consistently and resolutely been putting it off, secretly relieved when the bulk of Ross's own writings took a while to reach me and even when the retina in my left eye came away, obviating any chance of my getting down to work for several more months. The year 2010 has been a painful one. My close colleague, Bill Thorpe, died just before it began and during the year I lost two other long-tenn female friends. This all comes, they say, with the territory of ageing. Either you go yourself, knocked down somewhere in the valley of your sixties or seventies, or you helplessly watch your peers – your acquaintances and loved ones – being carried off by some rampant malignancy: one figure after another photo-shopped forever out of the group portrait of your life.
Spread your wings my angel of hope and show me the way to the country, where we lived before, to the nation, where blood is being shed for freedom's sake. Only then, we will begin to live in the people's country.
On 23 and 24 March 1919, a period of civil unrest in Brisbane was sparked by the flying of the international workers' flag. These events are now referred to as the Red Flag March and Riots. The red flag – the flag of the trade unions – had become tinged with radicalism due to its association with the Russian Revolution. On 19 September, the government reacted to the use of the red flag by extending the May 1918 War Precautions Regulation 278, which prohibited the display of the Sinn Fein colours. This change prohibited the display of the red flag on the grounds that it was the flag of an enemy country. The Russians who were arrested for flying red flags at the Red Flag march were arrested under Regulation 27BB.
This article had its genesis in a family photograph of my paternal grandmother's parents, Rowland and Rebecca Walton (see Figure 1). I knew little about them apart from their English origins, but their appearance was intriguing: definitely stalwart pioneers, but what kind of pioneers? Popular cultural knowledge in Australia provides one central image of the pioneer, summed up concisely by Katharine Susannah Prichard: ‘It will be a nation of pioneers, with all the adventurous, toiling strain of the men and women who came over the sea and conquered the wilderness.’ Prichard's notion was directly inspired by a painting, The Pioneer (1904) by Frederick McCubbin (1855–1917), described by Tim Bonyhady as ‘one of the most influential paintings of the emigrant experience in Australia’. Utilising a triptych fonnat, it recounts (in the words of a contemporary reviewer) ‘its own legend of the useful toil, the homely joys, and destiny obscure of the pioneer, who does not live, as the rude cross in the third panel indicates, to see the growth or share in the prosperity of the fine city seen in the background of the panel’.
Some of the guests at the opening of the Queensland Art Gallery's exhibition Vida Lahey: Colour and Modernism on 16 October 2010 expressed their consternation when Lahey's most famous work, Monday Morning, was not included. Despite it being one of the icons of the Gallery's collection, it remained on display in the permanent collection galleries – a choice that was quite deliberate.
The apparent resuscitation of Queensland print and literary culture in the decade after the fall of Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen in 1987 and the National Party in 1989 can be seen to be the product of three factors: an over-statement of the dereliction of literary life in Queensland under Bjelke-Petersen, and perhaps a corresponding overstated case for its contemporary recovery; the effectiveness of government and institutional mechanisms of support; and the professional development and networking of writers and other print culture agents. Together, these factors have contributed to a transformation of the profile and scale of literary activity in Queensland and to a renegotiation of the place of Queensland literature in the national context.
Despite the current preoccupation with globalisation, literary criticism remains heavily focused on national cultures. In the context of Australian literature, comparisons are regularly made with the literatures of other British Commonwealth nations, but surprisingly infrequently with that of Britain's first and most successful colony, the United States. This article explores thematic and cultural connections between the work of American-born modernist poet and novelist H.D. (1886–1961) and the Australian-born postmodern novelist Janette Turner Hospital (born 1942). It suggests that the transnational phenomenon of ecstatic Protestantism, which originated in northern Europe and was disseminated widely around the globe along the channels of commerce and colonisation, has been a key influence in shaping the literary imaginations of these writers. Indeed, Protestantism – far from being a spent or reactive force – continues to generate new forms of modernity as its emphasis on transformation is exported from somewhat inward-looking religious communities into broader cultural domains.
During the Global Financial Crisis of 2009, many commentators drew parallels with the Great Depression of the 1930s. While the suffering of those Australians affected by the recent economic turmoil cannot be dismissed, the impact of the Global Financial Crisis on the nation as a whole was modest compared with that of the Great Depression. The levels of unemployment that were reached during the Depression, and the ensuing poverty and social turmoil, would be unlikely to occur today on the same scale due to welfare provisions set in place by government and charitable institutions.