Chapter 6: The Kadaitcha Sung: Towards Native Slipstream
Chapter 6 The Kadaitcha Sung: Towards Native Slipstream Sam Watson is a well-known activist, lecturer, poet, novelist, playwright and film producer from the Birri-Gubba and Munaldjali nations. He belongs to the generation of Aboriginal activists and spokespeople who paved the way for future generations, with his active engagement in 1960s political activ- ism against the White Australia Policy, the 1967 Referendum, the Gurindji land rights struggle, and more recently, advancing Aboriginal access to legal, medical and housing services. Amidst these political and cultural engagements, Watson wrote The Kadaitcha Sung. The novel was published in 1990 and generated a cornucopia of responses. As a “pre-Master-of-the- Ghost-Dreaming” novel, The Kadaitcha Sung was an Aboriginal literary novum, as there was nothing to prepare the reader for such a hybridity of genres used to speak bluntly about colonisation. Even when Mudrooroo’s Master appeared a year later, in 1991, the magical realist work was an easy read compared to Watson’s The Kadaitcha Sung. This contributed to one of the novel’s distinctive aspects: even though it has long since been out of print, it is still being discussed by new generations of scholars. No other pre- twenty-first-century Aboriginal novel has attracted attention for so long. Before stating what others have said about the novel, it is worth con- sidering the author’s own words about how it came to be, and for whom it was intended. This is revealed in the famous “I Say This to You” interview with Watson, published in Meanjin in 1994, whose purpose...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.