Schultz, Julianne, Peter Cochrane, et al.: Enduring legacies

Schultz, Julianne, Peter Cochrane, et al.

Enduring legacies‘, Griffith Review, 48, 2015; available online to subscribers

Update 7 May 2015: Honest History attended a discussion at the National Library with about 150 others. Julianne Schultz, editor of this volume, wrangled contributors Tim Bonyhady, Meredith McKinney, Frank Bongiorno and Peter Stanley. Questions followed.

Bon mots included:

  • the prime minister’s Dawn Service speech this year turned the Anzacs into saints (Bongiorno);
  • nobody who lived then (Gallipoli) is around any more to say ‘No’, to gainsay what we make of it (McKinney);
  • Japan, too, knows all about ‘heroic valorisation of the losing side’ (McKinney);
  • sentimental, emotional approach to commemoration by people today involves imagining what they (our ancestors) felt then (various);
  • those who were actually around then and came back didn’t want to talk about it but we can’t stop talking about it (Stanley);
  • school students are being coached to feel guilty about some things in our history, to feel proud about other things but not to think critically about anything (Bongiorno);
  • Hiroshima in Japan has generated a number of myths, including a suffering myth, but is generally an example of what happens when myths take over from more complex realities (McKinney).

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The volume includes more than thirty contributions, essays, memoirs, poetry and a short story. It is reviewed for Honest History by David Stephens. There were discussion forums in a number of cities, featuring contributors to the book and Barry Jones gave a speech at the Melbourne launch, 22 AprilThe Conversation provided extracts.

Exploring the consequences of Australia’s involvement in war with a critical and inquiring eye, Griffith Review 48: Enduring Legacies assembles a team of scholars, non-fiction and fiction writers, journalists and broadcasters to pose hard questions about why we remember and what we forget. How did the wars shape Australia socially, economically and politically? How did they alter the understanding of Australia’s place in the world and in our region? Did Gallipoli mark the coming of age of the new nation, or did that war devastate its potential? (blurb)

 

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