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Type: Book chapter
Title: "Washed clean": The forgotten journeys of future maritime arrivals in J.M. Coetzee's Estralia
Author: Rutherford, J.
Citation: Migration By Boat: Discourses of Trauma, Exclusion, and Survival, 2016 / Mannik, L. (ed./s), Ch.5, pp.101-115
Publisher: Berghahn Books
Publisher Place: New York, USA
Issue Date: 2016
Series/Report no.: Studies in Forced Migration; 35
ISBN: 1785331019
Statement of
Jennifer Rutherford
Abstract: Holing captures the inner logic in play in new policies of detention, deterrence, push-back and excision deployed by the Australian Government against asylum seekers arriving on Australian shores by boat. Beyond a pragmatic attempt to limit the economic costs of settlement and rhetorical attempts to garner populist nationalist support, such strategies reveal a will to hole. J.M. Coetzee’s most recent Australian novel, The Childhood of Jesus, provides a powerful allegory for thinking about holing in Australia. The Childhood of Jesus is not “about” Australia’s infamous refugee policy, nor is it simply a novel about Australia; there is no simple key to this allegory. But as a syncretic, polysemous and extended metaphor, the novel creates a cosmos of being in absentia, a place riddled with holes in which we find, amongst other lost possibilities of being, the maritime refugees of today, stateless, faceless, and “washed clean” of their past.
Rights: ©2016 Lynda Mannik. All rights reserved.
RMID: 0030063969
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Appears in Collections:English publications

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