Children's Literature Advancing Australia

John Hopkins University
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Bookbird, 1999, 37 (1), pp. 13 - 18
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Much of Australian literature has been obsessed by the nation's search for its identity. National identity is a part of personal identity: subjectivity-awareness of self as a locus of beingness and meaning-is intricately negotiated from encounters with what Maurice Merleau-Ponty calls "lifeworld.'' A child's life-world may be focused on the house image, the place that, in Gaston Bachelard's words, "shelters daydreaming...protects the dreamer...allows one to daydream in peace.'2 It must also, as Jack Zipes notes, referring to the Marxist idea of communality, focus on the people it contains. Meaning cannot be achieved by a human being alone. The dependence on other beings must be acknowledged if the individual is to raise himself and stride forward in an upright posture toward home, which, as we know, is the beginning of history, a realm without alienating conditions.3
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