Jack Maggs: Carey’s Homage and Reclamation of Australian Ancestral Identity

Authors

  • Samina Akhtar
  • Muhammad Ilyas Mahmood
  • Gulrukh Raees

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.47067/jlcc.v3i3.63

Keywords:

Jack Maggs, Predecessors, Other, Australian identity, Great Expectations, postcolonial

Abstract

This study is an attempt to portray Peter Carey’s Jack Maggs as an allegory to examine the complicated feelings Australians possess regarding their nation’s origins.  In the novel Carey want to possess, to own and to advocate his ancestor, who was presented as the necessary ‘Other’ in his British predecessor’s Victorian classic Great Expectations. Carey reinvents the liminal convict from the Other into a legitimate and rightful part of Australia's history without diminishing his darkness and attempts to reclaim the Australian convict from within England's History through Jack Maggs' narrative of histories. Carey blends the genres of historical novel, fictional biography and metafiction with an intensively marked intertextuality, borrowing characters and plot elements from Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations. The current study examines the question whether Carey’s account transforms his predecessor’s story from an imperial into an Aussie story? The researchers analysed the novel through postcolonial lenses and conclude that Australian identities should not be restricted by the inheritance of English outlook of the convict and guilty offender. Instead, it is time to position Australia’s English inheritance into Australian histories.

References

Bromley Roger. Narratives for a New Belonging: Diasporic Cultural Fictions. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2000.

Carey, Peter. Jack Maggs. London: Faber & Faber, 1997.

Carey, Peter. Interview with Ramona Koval. ‘The Unexamined Life: An interview with Peter Carey.’ Virtuous Reality. Special issue of Mean jin, 56.3–4 (1997) 667–71.

Hassall, Anthony J. A Tale of Two Countries: Jack Maggs and Peter Carey’s fiction. Australian Literary Studies, 18.2 (1997): 128–35.

Gaile, Andreas, ed. Fabulating Beauty: Perspectives on the Fiction of Peter Carey. Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, 2005.

Daniel, Helen. “Peter Carey,” in International Literature in English: Essays on the Major Writers, ed. Robert L. Ross (New York: Garland, 1991.

Hughes, Robert. The Fatal Shore, Pan Macmillan: Sydney, 1988.

Maack, Annegret. ‘Peter Carey’s Jack Maggs: An Aussie Story?’ In Gaile 2005, 229–43.

McNamara, Francis. A Convict’s Tour to Hell. In Hell and After: Four early English-language poets of Australia. Ed. Les Murray. Manchester: Carcanet Press Ltd., 2005. 12.

Schmidt-Haberkamp, Barbara. ‘The Writing-Back Paradigm Revisited: Peter Carey, Jack Maggs, and Charles Dickens, Great Expectations.’ In Gaile 2005, 245–62.

Terdiman, Richard. Discourse/Counter-discourse: The Theory and Practice of Symbolic Resistance in Nineteenth-century France .Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1985.

Thieme, John. Postcolonial Con-texts: Writing Back to the Canon. London and New York: Continuum, 2001.

Tiffin, Helen. “Post-Colonial Literatures and Counter-Discourse” (1987), in Critical Approaches to the New Literatures in English, ed. Dieter Riemenschneider (Essen: Blaue Eule, 1989.

Woodcock, Bruce. Peter Carey Manchester: Manchester University press, 2003:122.

Meyer, Lisa. “An Interview with Peter Carey,” Chicago Review 43.2 (1997): 76–89.

O’Reilly, Nathanael. “The Voice of the Teller: A Conversation with Peter Carey,” Antipodes 16.2 (December 2002): 164–67.

Gaile, Andreas. “Re-Mythologizing an Australian Legend: Peter Carey’s True History

of the Kelly Gang,” Antipodes 15.1 (2001): 37–39.

Ho, Elizabeth. “Peter Carey’s Jack Maggs and the Trauma of Convictism,” Antipodes

2 (2003): 124–32.

Downloads

Published

2021-09-30

How to Cite

Akhtar, S. ., Mahmood, M. I. ., & Raees, . G. . (2021). Jack Maggs: Carey’s Homage and Reclamation of Australian Ancestral Identity. Journal of Languages, Culture and Civilization, 3(3), 147-156. https://doi.org/10.47067/jlcc.v3i3.63