Natural Imaginings: The Literature of the Hinterland

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Title Natural Imaginings: The Literature of the Hinterland
Author McKay, Belinda
Book Title By the Book: A Literary History of Queensland
Editor Patrick Buckridge and Belinda McKay
Year Published 2007
Place of publication St Lucia
Publisher University of Queensland Press
Abstract This chapter explores the shifting literary representations over the past 150 years of Brisbane's hinterland. South-East Queensland – the region encompassed by Coolangatta and the McPherson Range to the south, Cooloola and the Blackall Range to the north, and the Great Dividing Range to the west – represents one of Queensland's most significant literary landscapes. For millennia, its inhabitants elaborated the meaning of the landscape in a rich complex of stories and other cultural practices such as the bunya festivals. Colonisation disrupted but did not obliterate these cultural associations, which remain alive in the oral traditions of local Aboriginal people and, in more recent times, have surfaced in the work of writers like Oodgeroo Noonuccal and her literary successors. European interest in the Moreton Bay region developed slowly. In colonial times, the south-eastern corner of the colony came to be represented in literature as a region of cultural contrasts, in which the urban life of Brisbane was juxtaposed against the natural or rural character of the surrounding region, which was often characterised as a hinterland in the figurative sense of a relatively unexplored and mysterious territory. This contrapuntal representation of South-East Queensland was first elaborated in a number of novels by Rosa Praed. Today, however, the sharp literary contrast between urban and natural environments in South-East Queensland is disappearing as the hinterland's relationship with Brisbane undergoes a radical transformation. Conurbation is obliterating the natural environment and generating a vast suburbia that already stretches from Coolangatta to Noosa, and is now spreading up the river valleys of the Scenic Rim. The longstanding literary dichotomy of 'urban' Brisbane and the 'natural' or 'rural' landscapes of its surrounds is transmuting along with the landscape and economy of South-East Queensland.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Publisher URI http://www.uqp.com.au/Book.aspx/729/By The Book
Chapter Number 3
Page from 92
Page to 110
ISBN 9 78070223 4682
Date Accessioned 2007-06-26
Language en_US
Faculty Arts, Education and Law
Subject PRE2009-Australian and New Zealand
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10072/18369
Publication Type Book Chapters
Publication Type Code b1

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