On Pacification and Perspective: The International Referents of an Australian Artwork and a Novel

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Walton, Robyn
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Abstract
This is a piece of creative non-fiction merging art commentary, literary analysis, and a personal account of the writer’s research. Changes across time in the writer’s understanding of an Australian painting – Breakfast Piece (1936) by Herbert Badham – are examined, with the writer’s slowness to comprehend the painting’s overt allusion to the Italian invasion of Ethiopia (Abyssinia) highlighted. The writer’s discovery that Breakfast Piece was reproduced on the covers of a 1985 edition of Eleanor Dark’s 1945 novel The Little Company and a 1991 edition of Elizabeth Harrower’s 1966 novel The Watch Tower provokes an analysis of these authors’ treatment of international geopolitical affairs and local gender relations.
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Australian art, Australian literature, Eleanor Dark, Herbert Badham, WW1, WW2, book covers, interwar years, reception studies
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