Angelaki 26 (2):104-112 (2021)

Abstract
Paradoxically, loss is the only unconditional possession possible in elegy. A deep understanding of this phenomenon is to be found in long prose forms and lyricism of contemporary Australian writers. Turning the history of literature – from the Medieval to the contemporary – into a body of work more relevant to our ecological plight, in Kinsella’s corpus genres are consequences of textual events operating within an organic totality. This totality deconstructs the reference point for elegy: loss as the condition of thought and experience. Sidestepping while matrixially reconfiguring traditional and experimental forms of writing, Kinsella’s engagement with genre exemplifies not only the undoing of the codes that constitute all possible readings of a text; it is an implicit critique of speech acts that tend to “fix” life into static nouns, reflecting our culture’s ideology of appropriation of nature. Within a critical counterpoint to appropriation, Australian writing can be read as both urging readers to remain alert to pastoral precedents yet avoid projecting genre onto texts. To some extent, elegy has been decolonised in Australian pastoral.
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DOI 10.1080/0969725x.2021.1892392
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