Gallipoli

by

Probably need to watch the film again. And see that dire mini-series “Anzacs”. And watch a production of “One Day in the Year.”

Meanwhile, here’s a cracking quote…

Gallipoli in April has become part of the itinerary of the global stream of young backpackers: not so much the sombre commemoration of the bloody birth of a nation, as a celebration of personal mobility and the assertion of an autonomous individuality not bound by inherited honour codes or encumbered by a sense of debt to the long dead. From the perspective of the Howard Government, this is populist nationalism that has gone ferally off-message….
At Gallipoli, the image has been unhitched from the government’s ends. The coherent national myth is running adrift, like the idea of national belonging itself, unmoored from the nation by the dislocating pressure of neo-liberal globalism. Instead of locating the backpackers as Australians and setting up a feeling of national belonging, the experience of collectivity called out by Gallipoli is channeled into carnival, spectacle and bodily pleasure, more consistent with the market system of world tourism than with the socially conservative version of pilgrimage.
Matthew Ryan “Politics by Other Means”
Page 2 of Arena 88 April-May 2007

And this, from an Arena I didn’t know I had (issue 86, 1989), a review article called “The Heroic Theme in Australian War Writing” by John Murphy

“Drawing his inspiration from Paul Fussell’s brilliant study of British war literature, The Great War and Modern Memory, Gerster asks why, when the dominant response of British writers to the mechanical carnage was to see it as a closure, an exhaustion of an epoch and of a civilization, not to mention the exhaustion of realist/heroic literary forms, in Australia the same carnage was read as affirmation, as celebration of heroic deeds, and as a major fillip for hte heroic literary genre developed in the 1880s. His answer is understandably inconclusive: the experience was rendered as nationalism, as confirmation of racist stereotypes and of ‘the culture’s essential insularity.’

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