‘Bloodwood’ and ‘Liminal Spaces, Timeless Places: Abjection, Liminality and Landscape in Australian Gothic Fiction’

Abstract

This creative honours project comprises a work of fiction titled ‘Bloodwood’ and an accompanying exegetical essay, exploring the concept of liminal space within the Australian landscape. It investigates the anxieties and consequences of past trauma that linger within the landscape of modern Australia, exploring themes such as time, connection to nature, trauma and grief. Using Julia Kristeva’s abjection theory, particularly her ideas on liminal space, this work addresses the contentious issue of postcolonial theory within the field of literary studies, as well as the concept of grief as a liminal process. These ideas are explored through the storylines of three interwoven protagonists, as they each navigate their own altered realities following personal trauma or loss, within a shared physical landscape. Abjection, as well as other elements of the Australian Gothic literary genre, is used to convey discomfort and unease within the landscape, linking the three separate protagonists to an established site of trauma. The project also delves into ecocriticism to address ways in which the Australian landscape is viewed and represented within Australian gothic literature. This thesis was conducted using a practice-led research, research-led practice methodology combined with textual analysis of several key works within the genre of the Australian Gothic, analysed using the framework of Kristeva’s abjection theory, which in-turn influenced the writing of the creative piece ‘Bloodwood’

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