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Type: Theses
Title: Writing the sixties: stardust and golden
Author: McEachern, Douglas
Issue Date: 2016
School/Discipline: School of Humanities
Abstract: The creative work, Stardust and Golden, a phrase taken from Joni Mitchell’s 1969 hit Woodstock, is a novel set in Adelaide in the late 1960s. The story is told by Mark David who, in 2009, recalls this time after an unexpected encounter with an elderly Elizabeth Ryder, the mother of his closest friend from the 1960s. The novel is centred on the lives of two young men balloted for conscription in 1968. Although opposed to the Vietnam War and conscription they are not attracted to the idea of going into hiding as draft resisters or the prospect of two years in jail. They want another solution. Their lives are shaped by a network of social relations centred on a shared student household, a student commune, in North Adelaide, where the residents are involved in 1960s style political and social agitations as well as the insistent pursuit of pleasure, lots of music, some drugs, some alcohol and sex and varying degrees of generational conflicts with parents. Their 1960s do not turn out as they had hoped. Of the two central characters one dies in India having run from the draft and the other is too ill to be inducted. He too, more or less, leaves the country and has a career as a consultant in the oil industry. The second part, the exegesis, focusses on the creative practice and research involved in writing Stardust and Golden. Here the focus is on how authors re-imagine the Sixties as an age of militant opposition to the Vietnam War and conscription and the rise of a counter culture of challenge to convention and authority. The phrase ‘Writing the Sixties’ also captures the essentially fictional construction of the era. Hence the exegesis starts with the novels of the Sixties, tracing different ways in which novels written either at the time or close to it compare with the research and writing strategies of those who seek, from a later vantage point, to re-imagine the Sixties. In this chapter a broad range of novels are used to document the anatomy of a Sixties novel. This forms the basis for an in-depth consideration of the writing strategies John Updike (Rabbit Redux and The Witches of Eastwick) and Philip Roth (American Pastoral) use to create a sense of the Sixties in these novels and how they build their characterisation of the times. The exegesis concludes with an account of the creative practice involved in imagining and realising the novel, with a focus on how research, of both the era and the events themselves and of literary forms and writing strategies, provides the scaffolding for reimagining and creatively re-building the sense of era for Stardust and Golden.
Advisor: Jose, Nicholas
Hosking, Susan Elizabeth
Treagus, Mandy
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Adelaide, School of Humanities, 2016
Keywords: 1960s
anti-Vietnam protests
University of Adelaide
creative writing
Description: Vol. 1 [Creative work]: Stardust and golden -- v. 2 [Exegesis]: Writing the sixties
Provenance: This electronic version is made publicly available by the University of Adelaide in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. Copyright in this thesis remains with the author. This thesis may incorporate third party material which has been used by the author pursuant to Fair Dealing exceptions. If you are the owner of any included third party copyright material you wish to be removed from this electronic version, please complete the take down form located at:
DOI: 10.4225/55/5b0e4515344d5
Appears in Collections:Research Theses

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01front.pdfNovel217.82 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
McEachern2016_PhD_Novel.pdfNovel1.05 MBAdobe PDFView/Open
03front.pdfExegesis115.12 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
McEachern2016_PhD_Exegesis.pdfExegesis435.62 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
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