Rather than any of her more mature writing, Miles Franklin’s debut romance, My Brilliant Career, has been cemented into the canon of Australian literary nationalism. The novel received ambivalent immediate responses upon its publication in 1901 for its unflattering representation of the author’s kin and society. Subsequent criticis...m soon accepted Franklin’s oeuvre as part of the dominant male discourse of late nineteenth-century Australia, but after the 1970s her writing came under new scrutiny from a feminist aspect. Recently, she has been placed in a long tradition of female writing and discussed for gendered ventures. Nonetheless, however dedicated a feminist Franklin later became, she did not yet search for women’s greater self-realization in her debut but for her own identity and place in the world as an adolescent. This article argues that although Franklin’s classic has become an icon of both nationalist and feminist literature, the dichotomy of these readings can best be appeased through the adolescent ramps of its protagonist. It is an adolescent novel, in which a growing voice argues with her superiors, peers, and self, thereby exploring her authorial, gendered, and national identity. (GTE)
On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation, this essay surveys the various visions of society Canada has lived through until recently. Monocultural, bicultural and multicultural models of political identity alternated to clash over the constitution, thereby making it impossible for Aboriginal peoples and t...he Québécois to deliver nationalist arguments through the wall of liberal egalitarianism. The failure of the Meech Lake Accord (1987) pushed the country towards a federal and identity crisis inasmuch as it failed to reconcile the interests of national minorities with the interest of the nation as a whole within one legal framework. Continuing clashes over the constitution, especially in the Charlottetown Accord (1992), show that inherent cleavages in the body politic have survived, so multiculturalism has only been a partial solution to a population management problem. (GTE)
Mann, Jatinder. The Search for a New National Identity: The Rise of Multiculturalism in Canada and Australia, 1890s-1970s. Interdisciplinary Studies in Diasporas 2. New York: Peter Lang, 2016. 339 pages. ISBN 9781433133695. Hb. $88.24.