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Point of no return : exploring katabatic narrative and deterritorialisation in the Australian outback novel

By Brendan John Telford


This thesis consists of the novel Brolga and an exegesis examining in what ways the ideas of katabasis and deterritorialisation inform an understanding of descent narratives in contemporary Australian outback fiction. When writing the creative piece, it was observed that Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey was an imprecise model for my manuscript and indeed for many of the contemporary novels I had read written in similar outback settings. On analysis a better fit lies in the idea of a heroic journey from which there is no clear return from the underworld. This narrative form is defined in this thesis as a katabatic narrative. To unpack this narrative trope, the inverse of territoriality, deterritorialisation, is used as a lens to examine the complex thematic and symbolic resonances of the outback in both Brolga and analogous works of contemporary outback fiction

Topics: katabasis, territoriality, deterritorialisation, outback fiction, hero’s journey
Publisher: Queensland University of Technology
Year: 2012
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