Seminar: Xavier Herbert

nlaevents 13 November 2015

Little attention is being paid to the works of Xavier Herbert, one of Australia’s outstanding novelists. So why are they so rarely recommended in school text lists? His best-known novels, Capricornia (1938) and Poor Fellow My Country (1975) were judged as highly significant, winning major awards. So, are his novels forgotten or repressed?

In this Keynote lecture and panel, it is timely to reflect, as it is the fortieth anniversary of Poor Fellow My Country winning the Miles Franklin Prize for Australian Literature. Herbert wanted to write the great Australian novel, but there was little glitter in his portrayals of greed, racism and rapaciousness towards Aboriginal women and the land. As a literary figure, he was a great self-stylist, assuming the persona of the bushman crusader. Eager to explore new ways of imagining a more mature Australia, his legacy is overdue for examination.

When: Friday 20 November
Time: 9.30am – 4pm
Where: Theatre, National Library of Australia
Tickets: Free
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