The excellent Griffith Review has done us all a great service by opening its archive to make available for a few days selected pieces from its classic edition 48 Enduring Legacies, first published in April 2015 (edited by Julianne Schultz and Peter Cochrane) and reviewed for Honest History by David Stephens.
Among the essays [Stephens wrote], Peter Cochrane notes that ‘never has the Anzac tradition been more popular and yet never have its defenders been more chauvinistic, bellicose and intolerant of other viewpoints’. Cochrane looks at the reasons for the Anzac resurgence and quotes Frank Bongiorno with approval:
“There is a long history of contention over the significance and meaning of the Anzac legend. But once a tradition is defined in more inclusive terms, those who refuse to participate can readily be represented as beyond the pale. To question, to criticise – to doubt – can become un-Australian … Anzac’s inclusiveness has been achieved at the price of a dangerous chauvinism that increasingly equates national history with military history, and national belonging with a willingness to accept the Anzac legend as Australian patriotism’s very essence.”
In the ex-archive pieces, editor Julianne Schultz examines the truism that the blooding of Gallipoli and the Great War ‘made Australia a nation’. Co-editor Peter Cochrane explores the history wars that beset the history of our wars. Clare Wright writes of ‘acts of national forgetfulness [as] inherently aggressive’. Frank Bongiorno tracks the intersections between Anzac and the labour movement. And Laura Jan Shore meditates on more recent grief and war in her poem ‘When I look upon the suffering’. Unlocked until Monday 27 April. (Or you can buy the whole edition or you can subscribe to GR.)
24 April 2019