Discourse of difference : Rosa Campbell Praed's My Australian girlhood

Title: Discourse of difference : Rosa Campbell Praed's My Australian girlhood
Author: Klepač, Tihana
Source document: Brno studies in English. 2011, vol. 37, iss. 2, pp. [111]-125
  • ISSN
    0524-6881 (print)
    1805-0867 (online)
Type: Article
License: Not specified license

Notice: These citations are automatically created and might not follow citation rules properly.

The Australian nationalist metanarrative performed "cultural apartheid" over female literary production. Excluded from official discourse and dominant literary genres, women resorted to those available in an attempt to formulate their subjectivity. Hence, their narratives became a means of talking back. Consequently, Rosa Campbell Praed's My Australian Girlhood (1902) demonstrates characteristics of autobiography, travel literature and adventure narrative, and at the same time transgresses the said genres in both their intent as well as their structural characteristics. Additionally, travelling within the colonial context, Praed inevitably participates in the discourses of imperialism, which she is, however, found rupturing as she criticises British racial policy in Australia, thus revealing her writing as double-voiced. As a female colonial writer writing within a masculine realist literary tradition, Praed was othered by contemporary critics who either devalued her writing, or altogether dismissed it as un-Australian, ignoring numerous instances wherein she contributes to the formulation of an 1890s identity. Therefore, to read Praed's text means to be aware of this historically and culturally specific context.