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Hysterical Landscape: Louis Nowra's 'Inside the Island'

By Paul B. Makeham

Abstract

Louis Nowra's fascination with the physical landscape, and its relation to the interior psychological landscape, has been less evident in his most recent work, in which interior settings feature more prominently than in his plays of the 70s and 80s. One of these earlier works, 'Inside the Island' (1980), depends centrally on a transition from interior to exterior locations, tracing a broad movement from a domestic interior to an external rural landscape. Landscape is constructed in this work as the centre of a complex signifying field, such that its representation brings together a range of other discourses concerning the human body, empire, gender and writing. This complexity of landscape representation, however, also leads to a number of tensions within the play as a whole. For in condemning the colonialist project in Australia, the play also re-inscribes, through landscape, the nature/culture dichotomy which has historically sustained colonialism

Topics: 190404 Drama Theatre and Performance Studies, ergot, Australian landscape, Australian drama, Gallipoli, hysteria
Publisher: Dangaroo Press
Year: 1999
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.qut.edu.au:5381

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