The white Australian relationship with landscape is complicated by notions of belonging and ‘unbelonging’; while literary representations are often marked by complex, conflicting emotions. Defining and shaping these relationships are the prepositions with which we characterize separate spaces, each one signalling a different power balance and attitude, linked directly through language to the colonial past. Responding to the poetics of Australian spaces put forward in Jennifer Rutherford’s and Barbara Holloway’s Halfway House, this paper offers the heterotopia as one possible re-conceptualization of Australian space. Heterotopias focus on that which functions above and beyond the everyday, combining internal (emotional) and external (physical) constructions of space to create sites of importance to society. They juxtapose the fixed with the mutable and create a discourse of relation between the various spaces of our world. The cubby is such a space of juxtaposition, closed and intimate in its nature as a highly personal space, and yet simultaneously based within wider social relations and part of a highly normative childhood experience. In examining the cubby as a heterotopic space through a fictocritical remembrance of my own childhood, this paper attempts to represent both the complexity of belonging as a sensation for white Australians and the ‘heterochronic’ reality of the postcolonial nation.
|Journal||Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature|
|Publication status||Published - 2013|