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ArtikelTocqueville in the Antipodes? Middling Through in Australia, then and Now  
Oleh: Beilharz, Peter
Jenis: Article from Journal - ilmiah internasional
Dalam koleksi: Thesis Eleven vol. 65 no. 1 (Mei 2001), page 51–64.
Topik: Australia; civility; cooperation; mediocrity; modernity; Tocqueville
Fulltext: 51TE651.pdf (57.14KB)
Isi artikelThe influence of Tocqueville in Australian cultural criticism is powerful, not least in the concern with the question of egalitarian democracy and its propensity to breed mediocrity. This article traces European criticism of Australia as the antipodes or other of Europe through the 19th century, ending with D. H. Lawrence's Kangaroo. It tracks the effect of the mediocrity thesis in local criticism, through Hancock and Horne to the work of Paul Kelly in The End of Certainty. How should we live? The argument is posited that Australia is a kind of alternative modernity or civilization which can still be exemplary; a little mediocrity goes a long way, in a world obsessed with the spirit of inner restlessness prescribed by the endless pursuit of the project of rational mastery.
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