Tuesday, 26 January 2010

On this day...

Australian Day is traditionally celebrated in honour of the first landing of the first fleet in 1788, and the hoisting of the British flag. It follows that the day also celebrates the culture of the country, including the vast array of literature it has produced. Early written works often fell into the category of daring, reflecting the pioneering spirit of pushing the outback frontiers and accurately preserving the Australian dialect. The next advancement, came in the shape of the explosion of poetry. The boom included Henry Lawson, the first Australian writer to receive a state funeral, and Adam Lindsay Gordon, the first and only to be honoured with a monument in Poet's Corner. Yet, naturally, Australia's most famous literary names are to be found in prose. Patrick White, founder of an eponymous award, received the Nobel Pize for Literature in 1973 and six years later followed his most famous work, 'The Twyborn Affair'. Another, and probably the most well known, Australian author, is Thomas Keneally, author of Booker Prize winner 'Schindler's Ark'; later adapted for the film 'Schindler's List'.

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