Proleptic modernism? A reconsideration of the literature of colonial Queensland
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usan Stanford Friedman argues that modernisms are multiple, polycentric and recurrent. This article takes up her invitation to focus on the circulation of people and ideas that connected modernisms from different parts of the planet by reconsidering two moments in the literature of colonial Queensland as instances of proleptic modernism. The publications of Policy and Passion by Rosa Praed in 1881 in London, and of the ‘The Red Snake’ by Francis Adams in 1888 in Brisbane encapsulate early manifestations of the cultural unease and destabilisation that drove the development of modernism/s as the expressive domain of modernity/ies. Striking thematic and stylistic parallels with the work of canonical modernists — HD in the case of Praed, and Conrad in the case of Adams — suggest not only that modernism began to manifest itself in Anglophone culture much earlier than is generally conceded, but also that the cognitive dissonance generated by the colonial experience was centrally implicated in its development.
© The Author(s) 2016. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported (CC BY-ND 3.0) License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/3.0/) which permits unrestricted distribution and reproduction in any medium, providing that the work is properly cited. You may not alter, transform, or build upon this work.
Australian Literature (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Literature)