Thea Astley makes Something out of Nothing
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This paper explores Thea Astley's use of a single word and its derivatives. The word is 'nothing'-which recurs constantly, and with significant empasis, at key points in many of her novels. It is argued that the word carries complex, but relatively fixed significance for Astley, and that the appeal of the word to her imagination is the power of nothing(ness) to convey the presence of uncontrolled physical and moral spaces.The paper suggeststhat representations of nothingness lie deeply entrenched in the Australian imagination as a spectral presence.
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