Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/2440/131955
Type: Thesis
Title: Kookaburra: anti-tales of laughing doom
Author: Mitchell, Gretta Jade
Issue Date: 2021
School/Discipline: School of Humanities : English and Creative Writing
Abstract: Volume 1. is a creative response to the aesthetics of black humour. Taking as its catalyst André Breton’s Anthologie de l’humour noir, the writing is broken into three major sections: ‘summer school texts’; ‘philosophy in the dark’; and ‘contra/diction: forget me’. Formally, each section is divergent from the others while all are guided by situationist détournement. Together they detail a dark vision of an hostile dystopian Australia. Kookaburra’s quest, born out of despair, to learn how to laugh within the abysmal alienation of twenty-first century doom takes many incongruous detours: from feminist surrealism, through anarchic postmarxism and dialectical idealism, to ultra-left social media memes and melancholic black metal. As a research project on the aesthetics of black humour, the writing takes a stance against sentimentality — its mortal enemy — against corruption morally masked, against ideology as invisible. Imagining a hard-won laughter in the face of horrors and hurt, Kookaburra is a fraught nightmarish text, non-didactic and bound solitarily by the anti-ethics of its dark aesthetics where only a desperate recourse to form can save us from the scandal of content, where experimental writing is understood to be the perpetual amoral subversion of prevailing regimes. Volume 2. functions as an implicit narrative addendum to further problematise the writing by elucidating creative research through intellectual obfuscation and philosophical nihilism. Like the novel, the exegesis is an experimental text of black humour aesthetics; unlike the novel, it is a self-negating academic exercise, one that calls upon dialectics in order to think against its own thought.
Advisor: Prosser, Rosslyn
Samuelson, Meg
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Adelaide, School of Humanities, 2021
Keywords: Black humour
alienation
post Marxism
doom
anti-novel
experimental writing
Provenance: This thesis is currently under Embargo and is not available.
Appears in Collections:Research Theses

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