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The Representation of Dance in Australian Novels

The Darkness Beyond the Stage-Lit Dream

Melinda Jewell

This book is an analysis of the textual representation of dance in the Australian novel since the late 1890s. It examines how the act of dance is variously portrayed, how the word ‘dance’ is used metaphorically to convey actual or imagined movement, and how dance is written in a novelistic form. The author employs a wide range of theoretical approaches including postcolonial studies, theories concerned with class, gender, metaphor and dance and, in particular, Jung’s concept of the shadow and theories concerned with vision. Through these variegated approaches, the study critiques the common view that dance is an expression of joie de vivre, liberation, transcendence, order and beauty. This text also probes issues concerned with the enactment of dance in Australia and abroad, and contributes to an understanding of how dance is ‘translated’ into literature. It makes an important contribution because the study of dance in Australian literature has been minimal, and this despite the reality that dance is prolific in Australian novels.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

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CHAPTER ONE Introduction: defining dance and its representation .............................. 1 CHAPTER TWO Corroborees and surveillance ............................................................. 33 CHAPTER THREE Performance dance: moving in the house of mirrors .......................... 63 CHAPTER FOUR Social dance, class and gender .......................................................... 101 CHAPTER FIVE Haunted by the old world: migration and the dance of death in Australian novels ............................................ 147 CHAPTER SIX Terpsichore in the everyday: turning the world upside down ........... 181 CHAPTER SEVEN Dance as metaphor ............................................................................ 211 CHAPTER EIGHT Writing about dance .......................................................................... 245 CHAPTER NINE Coda: gazing at the shadow .............................................................. 283 x WORKS CITED Primary sources ................................................................................ 297 Secondary sources ............................................................................ 307 BIBLIOGRAPHY Primary sources ................................................................................ 335 APPENDICES Appendix 1: Social dance in Australian novels ............................ 345 Appendix 2: Examples of the metaphor of dance in Australian novels ................................... 356 Appendix 3: Categorisation of tenors portrayed using the metaphor Of dance ................................... 386 INDEX ................................................................................................ 391 xi LIST OF TABLES Table 1: Words used other than ‘dance’ when the concept of dance is used to portray non-dance activities ...... 219 Appendix 1: Social dance in Australian novels ............................ 345 Appendix 2: Examples of the metaphor of dance in Australian novels ....................................................................... 356

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