The Great Australian Novel
From the early 2000s, Tim Winton’s Cloudstreet has been hailed as The Great Australian Novel. It is that rare beast: a book that is loved by critics, the reading public and fellow writers alike. Why is that? What makes Cloudstreet a text that tells us something about ourselves as Australians? Cloudstreet, of course, is a mix of (contested) history, loyalty, belonging , community and brokenness. It is about ‘a great continent of a house’ that stands for the nation, and Winton makes us feel and laugh and cry and think and marvel in both the language and our own place in this country. So what is he saying exactly, and do we still feel this book is about us? Or are there other novels that can lay claim to the title Great Australian Novel?
Today, we will talk about Cloudstreet itself. What does Winton do in this book and why have generations of Australians responded to it the way they have? Do we still feel that Cloudstreet's Australia is our Australia now, or have things changed? What makes a book into The Great Australian Novel? I also
want to invite you to bring your own candidate and tell us why your pick deserves a place in our national pantheon.
PLANNED LEARNING OUTCOMES
By the end of this course, students should be able to:
- understand better what makes Australia tick, and why.
- know more about Tim Winton and about his epic novel.
- hear about alternatives that, maybe, capture the modern Australia better.
<p>From the early 2000s, Tim Winton’s <em>Cloudstreet</em> has been hailed as The Great Australian Novel. It is that rare beast: a book that is loved by critics, the reading public and fellow writers...