Quodlibet: The Australian Journal of Trans-national Writing

Volume 1, March 2005

Barbara Baynton: Liar or Truth-teller

Rosemary Moore, University of Adelaide, Australia

Keywords: Barbara Baynton; parentage; bush tradition; Bush Studies; inequity between the sexes; Human Toll

Baynton's parentage is obscure. The family legend conflicts with what is known of her origin. She is accused of being a highly imaginative woman with no strict regard for the truth and, as a liar, is deemed to be an unsuitable feminist icon. Her novel, Human Toll, throws light on the enigma surrounding her life, and her preoccupations in this narrative of a young girl's development illuminate the themes of Bush Studies. Taken together, these fictions indicate a desire to bear witness to truths about family relationships that could not be publicly acknowledged, yet clamour to be heard. Baynton's characteristic narrative strategies thus reveal her difficulties in writing as a woman within a system of oppression in which suppressed truths could only be indirectly acknowledged.

Baynton has acquired a literary reputation as a woman who writes against the bush tradition, who is openly critical of the masculinist bias of her time. However, although it is generally accepted that fiction is a form of lying – or a way of telling the truth in fictional form – her achievement has been diminished because she is regarded as a liar.

In the memoir of his grandmother, Henry Gullett, wrote that she was 'a highly imaginative woman with no strict regard for the truth'.1 Because she told contradictory stories about her past to the family he concluded that 'it seems as if the truth to her was what she chose to believe it might be at any given moment, and of course it would vary with her moods.'2

Lucy Frost argues that Baynton's talent was developed through her 'affinity with pain.'3 She warns us against accepting Baynton's iconic status 'for having fractured the rose coloured lenses through which Australians peered reverently at their pioneer mothers' because 'the woman herself was no truth-sayer.'4 It is not just her falsification 'that makes her difficult to come to terms with, but the direction that impulse took' in later life, in 'pretending away the experiences which made her writing possible.'5 She concludes that the '"new light"” cast on the true facts of her identity by Sally Krimmer, 'should caution us against embracing Baynton as a heroic feminist truth-sayer.'6

Elizabeth Webby perpetuates this view in her introduction to Bush Studies, commenting that 'ironically, for a writer primarily praised for her realism, Baynton invented a highly romanticised version of her parentage, as well as understating her age by five years' and speculates that she 'was compensating for what appears to have been three emotionally unsatisfactory marriages of her own.'7

According to her daughter Baynton claimed that '"unreason is a woman's greatest weapon!”'"8 Thus she appears to have accepted the existence of contradiction herself. However, as Sissela Bok observes in her book on Lying: Moral Choice inPublic and Private Life, 'lying requires a reason, while truth telling does not.'9

According to Krimmer and Lawson, (as well as Gullett), Baynton's mother, Penelope Ewart, married her first cousin, Robert Ewart, the son of a linen manufacturer in Derry around 1855.10 She broke his heart by going off with a lover, Captain Robert Kilpatrick, met en route to Australia whilst her husband was confined to his cabin due to ill health. Thus the children, Elizabeth, Sarah, John, David, Robert, Mary Ann, and Barbara were all illegitimate. Gullett, however, believed that because Robert Ewart died three years before Barbara was born, that she was legitimate and was thus the most favoured child in the family, but sadly the case appears to be otherwise. The last child, James, born in 1860, receives the entry illegitimate on his birth certificate and acquires his mother's name, Ewart.

According to the biography by Penne Hackforth-Jones, Elizabeth Ewart married a farm labourer, John Lawrence, before sailing for Australia on the Royal Consort, arriving in 1840 in the hope of achieving a better future.11 Since a certificate registered in Murrurundi in 1862 records the marriage of Elizabeth Lawrence, widow, to Robert John Lawrence, bachelor, it seems that what is consistent to the two genealogies is the idea of a marriage within a close-knit family. In trying to reconcile this story with that which Baynton told of her mother's romantic affair, Hackforth-Jones speculates that being unable to divorce, Robert Kilpatrick – no longer the glamorous Captain of the Bengal army, but merely a carpenter who arrived some months before – took on John Lawrence's name to enable them to live 'as man and wife.'12 Only when Robert Ewart died were the pair able to marry in 1862. Since Baynton claimed to have been born in 1862 and not in 1857 as was the true case, it is clear that she knew she was illegitimate and wished to disguise the fact.  Indeed, the various marriage certificates which Krimmer and Lawson cite in their introduction to the Portable Australian Authors edition of Baynton's work indicate her illegitimacy, since the identity of her father is questionable. Her father's name is cited variously on her marriage certificates as both John Lawrence and as Robert Lawrence Kilpatrick. In claiming different fathers Baynton indirectly casts doubt on her own paternity. Thus, her lie is a disguised form of truth-telling.

As Sissela Bok indicates, 'Deception...can be used in self-defense, even for sheer survival. Its use can also be quite trivial, as in white lies.'13 It would once have been common for women to lie about their age. To claim to be a widow instead of a divorcée is an understandable white lie, given that divorce was not an acceptable option at the time when Baynton was granted a divorce on the grounds of desertion, 1890. 'That others lie excuses deception when deception 'is a strategy for survival in a corrupt society.'14 Bok's observation has relevance because Baynton depicts a society so unequal that men could get away with murder, rape, and incest without being brought to book, whereas women, who were treated on a par with animals, were left, as it were, holding the can. Since it is her most extensive piece of work, it is helpful when considering the consistency of Baynton's themes – and the terror her work evokes – to look more closely at her novel Human Toll.15

The question of illegitimacy is central to her protagonist's development. We are not told directly that Ursula is illegitimate, but everything in the book suggests it. The novel begins with the discovery of a secret which cannot be divulged. Boshy, 'secretly styled "The Lag"”, or "One-Eye"”,' discovers an old shepherd's secret hoard of gold, hidden in a basil belt.16 He decides to bury the gold in pickle bottles beneath a corpse, probably that of Ursula's mother, who was buried within sight of the house at Merrigulandri. The violation involved in disinterring a coffin in order to find the hidden treasure, makes grave-robbing into a metaphor for sexual violation, just as the notion of a woman's hidden treasure stands for her most prized possession, her virginity. When Ursula's Aunt dies, her former employee, Jim, literally robs '"old Shiel's"'” grave of a 'delapidated porcelain wreath' in order to provide Fanny, the maid servant he has deflowered, with a floral tribute to place on their employer's grave. She thus brands him a 'grave-robber.'17 And we are told at the outset that 'a night-ghouling Chinaman, in his hunt for this hoard' had already gone to 'the dauntless but fruitless length of disinterring and stripping poor old Baldy' in his quest for the gold.18 Boshy's hysterical reaction to the possibility that someone else might discover his precious secret is more understandable once it becomes clear that the gold, while having a material existence, is also a metaphor, and that a woman's treasure, her reputation, is dependent on her sexual status. The fact that Baynton describes events within a realistic framework as well as within a symbolic framework enables the reader to see hidden connections which in turn permit Baynton to suggest ideas which she cannot openly articulate.

The child Ursula, given her mother's name, Ewart, is introduced to the reader through her discovery of her father's death, a fact which Boshy tries vainly to hide from her. That he wears her father's boots and has given his own boots to the Aboriginal servant, Queeby, gives the game away. It is also an indication of Boshy's intention to take over the child's care and to establish a new regime, wiping the old slate clean.  But the child, whom he refers to as Lovey, is obsessed with the question of how and why she came into the world. Her question, '"w'y am I?"”' elicits a disquisition from Boshy on the nature of love in which he distinguishes a true lover from a seducer, and explains the nature of marriage to the child.19

"An' nanadsome young feller fancies some good-lookin' young woman; well, then, Lovey, Gord nur ther devil nur no one won't keep 'em apart, an' they never rests till they gets spliced – that's they ties a knot wi' their tongues wot they can't undo wi' their teeth. Married, that is, an' then they 'as a liddle girl like you.”"20

In this context it is significant that Boshy claims that he does not know whether her parents were married or not.

"Neither ov 'em ever said world ov mouth ter me ez they was [married]. I on'y know 'e picked 'er up in some towen, w'en 'e went down wi' some sheep, an' w'en they come 'ere I arst no questions, so's they tell me no lies, fer she'd an eye in 'er 'ead thet 'ud coax a duck – a nole duck – off ov the water."”21

Thus her mother resembles the second mate in Squeaker's Mate. Though Boshy says '"I see nothin' wrong wi'er frum ther day 'er come to ther day she died"”,' the fact that Ursula in maturity has a captivating eye like her mother's provokes his hysterical attack.22 Ursula herself accepts the common belief that bad blood will manifest itself from generation to generation and that a daughter will be like her mother. '"Gord in 'eaven 'elp you"”' Boshy reflects '"if they wusn't married, for nut one acre, nur one 'oof orn this 'ere place ken yer claim or touch.”'"23 Yet, either way, as a girl she will miss out. '"Even s'posin' they was married, an' you a gal, blest if I think you could touch it”.'"24 Nevertheless, like the Virgin Mary, Boshy has 'pondered in his heart' the mystery of this child's birth.25

Boshy has possession of the Boss's papers, but it doesn't occur to him to read them until it is too late, when their neighbour, Cameron, comes over and claims possession of the child. This authoritative and powerful man claims to have the marriage certificate of Ursula's parents, but we are never told how he snaffles the papers in question. Boshy finds that there is no possibility of contradicting Cameron's views and, despite his claim to have weaned and raised the child, is helpless to prevent her removal. In the course of his defense of his rights he tells how he christened the place to which he arrived as a swaggie '"Gi' Away–Nothin' 'All."”' When he and his mate, Pat, having gone days without meat, came upon a widow who had shot a steer they set about to skin and dress the meat only to be denied a feed and to be told 'I gi'e away nothing.'26 It is an aspect of the book's strategy not to give anything away either, yet also to obsessively pursue the discovery of hidden truths. And when Boshy, whose life remains a mystery to his friends and acquaintances, claims that his name is not his real name, he throws doubt on the identity of others besides himself, saying: '"my name is no more Boshy than thet young man is Yerhoo Pormer.”'"27 Nothing is quite what it seems.

Ursula is taken away from Boshy in order to be schooled. She is sent to live with her Aunt Maria along with her nephew, Cameron's son, Andrew. The world for her is anthropomorphic 'for to hold her there must be a human strain', but it is also a part of her socialization to be educated through particular stories.28 Thus, her introduction to the Church on her first Sunday in town constitutes a force that shapes her destiny. It is on this day that she is effectively silenced. Her Aunt, whom she associates with Maria Monk, as a potential victim of sexual assault is being courted by a parson named Mr Civil. When Ursula holds back the small coin Andrew has given her to put in the offertory plate, she sticks out her tongue at Mr Civil for attempting to teach her that a woman's lot is to give and not to receive. He promptly hits her chin with his fist and catches her tongue between her teeth, causing it to bleed.  She is branded a limb of the devil, forced to hold her tongue, and imprisoned without food for the rest of the day.  When she is discovered singing and nursing a doll which Andrew has slipped through the skylight to her to relieve her loneliness, she is categorized as a girl who in the future will be a source of trouble. Mr Civil suspects her of using offertory money to pay for the doll, and he also sees her as exhibiting a desire to have and nurse a baby of her own. For the doll is a baby doll whose swaddling clothes fall off to reveal its nakedness. When she is released she hears the cries of grief from the stricken relatives of a child drowned, it seems to her, in retribution for the sin of having stolen peaches that very Sunday morning. Terrified of punishment herself by a God whose voice is heard in angry thunder, she seeks refuge in the brick oven at the side of the house used for making bread. Thus she transforms herself into a symbol as a bun in the oven.

After this experience Ursula is effectively silenced. Yet her castigation occurs within the context in which Mr Civil violates the trust with which he is invested as the shepherd of his flock and God's representative on earth. He upholds the value of sexual propriety theoretically but has an affair with the local organist after he has married Ursula's aunt and in effect 'murders' Maria for her money. He exemplifies and helps to maintain the double standard visibly at work in the society at large. He gets the servants Fanny and Jim dismissed because they have sex outside marriage, and separates Ursie from Andrew because he regards their relationship as unwholesome. Lest she reveal family secrets to them he prevents Maria's deathbed confession, whilst he provokes her outrage and Andrew's by saying that she should resign her life and wealth to him though they are only God's to dispose. He also brings on his wife's death by forcing her to drink porter in the knowledge that it will kill her.

At this time Ursula has reached sexual maturity. This inhibits her relationship with Andrew from whom she has also been separated by schooling. That their hands meet only over their aunt's dead body indicates that there is a barrier to their marriage. Because she is silent and cannot express her emotion Andrew turns against her, supposing that she has no feelings, but her own sexuality is a problem for her, especially as her relationship with Andrew is thought to be rather incestuous. It is significant that Ursula can only express her love for Andrew after he has married Mina. Though it is a sin to love another woman's husband, adultery is a less heinous crime than incest.

Once her aunt is dead Ursula seems to live in the shadow of death. As 'the two men' bear her coffin – 'the last solemn symbol on their shoulders' – to its resting place, Ursula 'suffer[s] the grotesquely and inhumanly lengthened shadow from the men and their burden to fall on her.'29 Later in the bush she flees in terror from the shadow of an imaginary pursuer and is observed by a man on horseback running 'as though from double danger in double fear.'30 'For already she was experiencing the inequality of her struggle to alter the thing that is' and cannot escape her fate.31

The situation which evolves bears on her illegitimacy and disinheritance in life, and draws to a focal point the suggestion that sexual relationships within the family are too close. Her quasi-father, Mr Civil, becomes her 'self constituted guardian' though Ursula abhors his attentions.32 Like Cameron he gives 'the substance of a conversation with Boshy as his warrant to act as Ursula's guardian.'33 Baynton renders the situation, in which he enters the girl's room at night with the intention of demanding a kiss, symbolically in advance. Once Boshy has returned from the bush to discover that Ursula is now a grown woman who looks at him with the eyes of her mother, he is once again obsessed by the necessity to provide for her. This he plans to do by making her the beneficiary of Baldy's secret hoard which amounts to seventeen hundred and eighty four pounds. The only problem is that he cannot tell her where the gold is hidden, and can only give her hints in the hope that she will guess for herself, which she does not. Knowing that he is aware of the parson's mercenary intentions, Ursula downplays her knowledge that Mr Civil is digging 'from outside the wall near Boshy's bunk-head', for she knows Boshy is 'fear-haunted by a near enemy with a pick and shovel.'34 It is when Boshy reminds Ursula of the story 'about Scrammy 'And a-frightin' the old shep'e'd t' death fer his money'” that he dies of fright himself, having convincingly visualized the theft of Ursula's treasure. Thus Mr Civil is indirectly the cause of the death of both parental figures, each of whom has had a maternal role in relation to Ursula. Before his death Boshy warns her that '"w'at comes over the divil's back goes under 'is belly; an' a narrer getherin' often gits a wide scatterin”'" the moral of which is that the burden of sin is sex and that semen gets a wide scattering.35

Ursula is forced to flee the house in the middle of the night after Mr Civil's abortive sexual assault. She is found next morning by Hugh Palmer, Cameron's son-in-law, whose wife Margaret pays the toll of motherhood, dying in childbirth. Like Mr Civil, Palmer adheres to 'the outward and visible signs of moral ethics' but acts otherwise.36 He takes Ursula to board with the Steins – a household dominated by a particularly designing mother. Their daughter, Mina, has been to school with Ursula.  Although, as an overtly sexual and worldly wise young woman, she appears to be Ursula's opposite, she is in fact her double.  There is no love lost between them partly because they are rivals for the attention of men. Mina taunts Ursula with the fact that her father is unknown. '"W'at are you? An ole Boshy, an' ole Civil, an' Andrer even, if ther truth were known,'" she jeers.37 Since 'there was little in Cameron's possession that had escaped his son-in-law', Palmer appears to have seen Ursula's father's papers.38 He says 'her origin on her father's side [throws] back to the Spanish invasion'.39 Since she has inherited 'the Puritan strain' from her mother, she has a divided inheritance: passionate on the one hand, repressed on the other.40 This story, however, provides the myth. A different truth is revealed indirectly through Mina's heritage.

After Mina is evicted from her home, Mrs. Stein, while she is 'engrossed in active examination of the mortised crevices of the bedposts', has a conversation with her husband:41

"Nise mother you are, I mus' say," he fired at her.
"Andt you 'ave a nise dotter, I mus' say," she retorted.
"Mine. Chrise! Ain't she yous dotter, doo?"”
"No" – shortly. Then challengingly: "Am I der man cat? Vos I ever got aboud?"– most excellently she mewed.
"Vell, 'oo vas? Nod me,"” he defended.
"Yous sister.”'" She replies.42

If we wonder how Mr Stein could be Mina's father and his sister, Brenda, her mother without Mr Stein's knowledge, we have only to recall the story of Lot, brought to bed in a drunken state by his daughters that they might preserve his seed.  In addition to referring to the story of Lot, Baynton portrays Andrew in a hysteric paroxysm on discovering that he has had sex with Mina under the influence of alcohol and has been forcibly married to her by his mother, who has dosed him up for the purpose.

Andrew swears he will never live with his wife and leaves in the night without telling anybody. Mina and Ursula are then packed off to the Merrigulandri to join him in an unhappy menage-à-trois in which Mina taunts Ursula for having sexual feelings she overtly denies. Andrew puts an end to the situation by going to manage another of his father's properties in Queensland and leaving Palmer behind to take care of the place. Ursula has realized for herself that the situation must come to an end. She has thought of departing herself, yet has continued to put it off. Being in love with another woman's husband forces her to acknowledge ' "It's in my blood"”', but she does not understand '"What has come to me?'"” and asks herself '"Why have I changed? What am I doing here?"”'.43 That she communicates her love to Andrew without words as she watches him depart in the night does not save her from Mina's accusations. However, the implications of adultery and incest are followed out through Mina's story.

Palmer is a man on the make who is described as resembling the bull on the Keen's mustard packet, because he is as keen as mustard on a piece of female meat. He has sex with Mina and enrages her by sleeping with an Aboriginal girl, Dildoo, at the same time. However, he has one last big spree after finding where the gold is hidden, having acted on the parson's hunch as to the location of the secret hoard. Ursula finds the broken pickle bottles in Boshy's old hut without realizing what they mean. Having disinterred the body to retrieve the cash, Palmer celebrates his triumph by having sex with Mina, whose drunkenness has been on the increase ever since she has had charge of the household keys. Leaving her room through the window in the early hours of the morning he steps onto an abandoned lamb Ursula is attempting to raise, thus killing it. When day comes he is so drunk he cannot be woken. The sight of his body lying sprawled upon the bed in 'drunken stupefaction' with the blood of the lamb still evident on his 'blood-spattered' foot recalls Ursula's first sight of Jim when, after a drunken spree on a Saturday night, he has had sex with Fanny and isn't ready for church.44 Then with his red necktie slipped above his collar to form a knot like a halter under his left ear he symbolically anticipates the view that indulging in illegitimate sex is a hanging affair.45 The horror that blood arouses in Ursula specifically connects sex with death, and is given prominence in an episode in which she attempts to stir the blood from a slaughtered pig to make blood sausage at the Stein's. Here she is so identified with the pig that she expects to be likewise scalded and bled to purify her body simply because she has arrived at puberty. 

Ursula is disinherited by Palmer's theft, and the note he leaves her telling her where to find some money, together with her father's will, which she does not have time to read, is stolen by Mina. Her own feelings of being disinherited in life as a result of her parentage are reinforced when Mina has an illegitimate child by Palmer, her own brother-in-law. Mina effectively murders the child by smothering it during sleep, and sets out to kill Ursula too when she attempts to save the child in order to mother it herself. The main question in her mind is what she will tell Andrew and she decides she must preserve the child's life at the cost of her own reputation, and that she will claim the child as her own and Palmer's. However, the child is already dead, the victim of its mother's bad behaviour. Though innocent itself, the lamb finds itself in a world of lies, hypocrisy, double standards and double talk, a prey to dingos in sheep's clothing who pretend to play the part of the tame dog.

The story concludes with a powerful rendition of the condition of being bushed. Throughout the story hysteria has been a response to a sense of outrage. The bush offers a symbolic setting in which anger against an outrageous world can be worked out in terms of heat and thirst. It also offers a terrain in which the reality of the biblical stories can be traced out within an authentic Australian setting. There she comes upon 'Christ upon the Cross' , 'a tangle of shredded bark for hair and beard surrounding an eyeless face' and finds that His bark sword which threatens her punishment actually falls clear of her, that Christ calls her name, and that His mercy evokes her penitence.46 Thus she can carry water to the figure of Mina, eyeless, but with 'the familiar pointed teeth ... in the widely gaping mouth' clearly visible in a tangle of red hair.47 Ursula's final words after being exposed to the elements for three days and three nights is to unite the words, 'this woman' with her enunciation of the word 'I'. Their coalescence implies Ursula's ability to speak comes with her acceptance of her own sexuality. Finally, she anticipates the arrival of her true love and saviour, Andrew, with his henchman, Nungi, figured as a centurion and a soldier.

In the poem she recited with Boshy as a child, "The Three Golden Balls"”, three girls were always coaxing their fathers to buy them three golden balls, '"an any of the three of them wot lostes theys goldin balls was to be 'ung'”'".48 One of them loses her ball and seems to see her dear mother coming with it, but her relatives come in droves only to see her hung. The "long list"” of disappointments which follow 'should have been a lasting lesson on the futility of expecting anything from relations or connections.'49 However, in expecting to be saved by a true lover Ursula is imaginatively saved from hanging. Her sexuality is no more a hanging offence than is Mina's, which amounts to a minor stain in view of the sexual double standard.

If the inequality between the sexes in the Australia of Baynton's time was so extreme that it was a license for men to prey upon the weak, we might agree with Bok's assertion: 'That others lie [and] deception is a strategy for survival in a corrupt society.'50Human Toll is an astonishingly powerful and interesting work if one is prepared to work through Baynton's use of dialect and to give due consideration to her method of repeating realistic events in a symbolic register. Bayton's nameless women are generically female. They speak of a situation that is larger than themselves. If they are inhibited, or prohibited, from speaking that which cannot be said, their bodies become an appropriate vehicle for expression. The body of the dead mother speaks to the heavens after she is raped and murdered in The Chosen Vessel when the curlews inform the world of her murder. The broken back of the mate in Squeaker's Mate bespeaks her anger at the back breaking nature of her work when Squeaker does nothing together with the other injuries she has received at his hands. The woman struggling with her own ambivalence toward motherhood in The Dreamer has to confront a birthing experience through the rising waters of the creek and to face the loss of her mother before bearing her own child. Looking down the throat of the old Biddy in Billy Skywonkie is to face the traumatic object of anxiety brought near, which renders her viewer speechless.51 If the authorial voice is missing from the usual narrative of developed consciousness, Baynton's complaint is nevertheless felt. The fractured story line makes it possible for the protagonists to be given different narrative positions, regardless of sex, which opens up the possibilities of expression. Thus it occurs that Baynton's protagonists often find themselves divided between the positions of victim, agent and witness.

Freud's notion of the uncanny is helpful in considering the kind of terror Baynton's work evokes because it brings to light that which should remain hidden.52  It involves a compulsive curiosity, a craving to penetrate behind the veil of appearances to get to a truth which evades articulation.  It arouses those feelings of uncertainty which arise when events occur that make us believe in the omnipotence of thoughts. And it disturbs us when the distinction between reality and imagination is effaced and beliefs appear to take on a real existence. We could say that Baynton bears witness to traumatic events in her life in a way that establishes a crucial form of testimony for her age. The extent to which events are repeated in her work – particularly in relation to rape and murder – show that she is able to construct narratives which bear upon an original traumatic event out of which something is transmitted which transcends personal suffering and becomes evident to all. Thus Baynton proves herself to be a truth-teller of a very rare kind. As Julian Barnes writes: 'Fiction is telling the truth by telling lies, as opposed to telling less of the truth by telling facts. ... When you read the great and beautiful liars of fiction you feel that this is what life is. This is true, even though it is all made up.'53 

Clicking on the note number will return you to the line where the note appears. The line will be at the top of your screen.


1 H.B. Gullett, "Memoir of Barbara Baynton,"” Barbara Baynton: Bush Studies. (Angus and Robertson, 1965, rpt.1980) 5.

2 Gullet, 5.

3 Lucy Frost, "Barbara Baynton: an Affinity with Pain,"” ed. Shirley Walker, Who is She? Imagesof Women in Australian Fiction. (University of Queensland Press, 1983) 56-70.

4 Frost, 56.

5 Frost, 56.

6 Frost, 58.

7 Elizabeth Webby, Introduction, Barbara Baynton: Bush Studies. (Angus and Robertson, 1989) 1, 2.

8 Gullet, 18.

9 Sissela, Bok, Lying: Moral Choice in Public Life. (Vintage Books, 1989) 22.

10 Sally Krimmer and Alan Lawson, eds. Barbara Baynton: Portable Australian Authors. (University of Queensland Press, 1980) ix-xxxi.

11 Penne, Hackforth-Jones, Barbara Baynton: Between Two Worlds. (Penguin Books, 1989).

12 Hackforth-Jones, 6.

13 Bok, 18.

14 Bok, 23.

15 Krimmer, 115-301.

16 Krimmer, 117.

17 Krimmer, 209.

18 Krimmer, 117.

19 Krimmer, 129.

20 Krimmer, 132.

21 Krimmer, 132.

22 Krimmer, 132.

23 Krimmer 132.

24 Krimmer, 133.

25 Krimmer, 143.

26 Krimmer, 141.

27 Krimmer, 144.

28 Krimmer, 184.

29 Krimmer, 210.

30 Krimmer, 183.

31 Krimmer, 225.

32 Krimmer, 212.

33 Krimmer, 232.

34 Krimmer, 223, 222.

35 Krimmer, 229.

36 Krimmer, 212.

37 Krimmer, 240.

38 Krimmer, 235.

39 Krimmer 235.

40 Krimmer, 235.

41 Krimmer, 254.

42 Krimmer, 254.

43 Krimmer, 259.

44 Krimmer, 271.

45 Krimmer, 170.

46 Krimmer, 296.

47 Krimmer, 299.

48 Krimmer, 130.

49 Krimmer, 131.

50 Bok, 23.

51 In his analysis of "The Dream of Irma's Injection"” Lacan views her throat as the ultimate traumatic object – 'the Thing itself'. He notes that 'there's an anxiety-provoking apparition of an image which summarises what we can call the revelation of that which is least penetrable in the real, of the real lacking any possible mediation, of the ultimate real, of the essential object which isn't an object any longer, but this something faced with which all words cease and all categories fail, the object of anxiety par excellence.' Jacques-Alain Miller, ed. Seminar of Jacques Lacan 11: The Ego in Freud's Theory and in the Technique of Psychoanalysis, 1954-55. (Cambridge University Press, 1988) 164.

52 Sigmund Freud, "The Uncanny."” SE 17 (1919) 217-252.

53 BBC World Service, Meridian Writing Front Page, 13 December, 2000.

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