James McAuley (Australian Writers)

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9780195533491: James McAuley (Australian Writers)

James McAuley brings the work of this poet and critic face to face with a range of deconstructive and feminist readings--a contentious work, not at home with earlier moral and biographical approaches. But James McAuley--one of the perpetrators of the infamous "Ern Malley" hoax, and a founder of Quadrant--was a lover of debate. He responded intensely to a multitude of struggles, both public and private, and might well have taken up arms against such a construction of his work as this book offers. In the changing world of literary studies McAuley's voice was always a strong one. He has been championed, and derided. Today, readers of his poetry and criticism must also absorb the claims of new theoretical positions, some of which threaten to swamp McAuley's fragile lyrics. McCredden here engages with both deconstruction and McAuley, essaying new readings of the poetry for new generations of readers. Deconstruction, often dismissed as the latest form of high skepticism, is brought within the range of metaphysics. McAuley's apparent dogmatism is examined for its vulnerability, its many-voiced uncertainties. Some readers of McAuley may argue against the "misreadings" of the book, but all readers will be rewarded, surprised, provoked. These are sustained and speculative interpretations of the important body of work, in its many parts left by James McAuley.

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