NO FULL TEXT AVAILABLE. Access is restricted indefinitely. ----- My DCA thesis, Verandahs, is a novel. More specifically, a ‘fictional memoir’, or a ‘ficto-critical text’, it crosses between memoir and novel, narrative, essay, and cultural history. 1 explore notions of place and space, drawing on the work of Bachelard, Foucault, de Certeau, and others. I have used the verandah as a metaphor for in-between spaces, liminal zones, drawing on ideas from Victor Turner to Rebecca Solnit, and architectural histories from Anthony King and Philip Drew. The grandfather character, Monty, is based on my maternal grandfather, an Englishman who served in the Indian Army and later emigrated to Australia. I created a fictional narrative about his life, and a fictional narrator, whose experience reflects mine, to tell his and Lil’s stories. The story of Lil, the great-aunt, is a fiction, the woman’s story that was necessary to create a balance. Verandahs are an important feature of Queensland houses. When I started to read etymological dictionaries and architectural histories, I found that verandahs, like my grandfather, came to Australia, via British colonial life, from India.
This text moves between urban and rural Queensland, Sydney, India and the Northwest Frontier of Pakistan. It juxtaposes my grandfather’s colonial experience of India with episodes from a post-colonial history of Queensland, and refers to Queensland’s colonial history. For the account of my grandfather’s time in India and other chapters on India, I have drawn on accounts of the Raj as well as postcolonial history and theory.
This book comes out of my interest in writing about Queensland, where I grew up. I write about Queensland's particular sense of space, and how European culture was recreated in the subtropics. Writing about place, I acknowledge the history and culture of the Aboriginal people of Queensland. I have written against the grain, re-imagining Queensland’s contradictory history of resourcefulness, racism, radicalism, conformism, extremism, wild dreams and blatant opportunism. Here are images and fragments from a half-lost and half-repressed history, richer and more diverse than the notions of the Queensland where I grew up in the 1950’s and 1960’s, and lived through the Bjelke- Petersen era of politics, might suggest. I have incorporated exegesis material into this text.