Westerly Centre

Beyond good and evil

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ISBN 1-920694-63-3


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Essays on the literature and culture of the Asia-Pacific Region.

At the beginning of the 21st century are we balancing on an axis of good and evil? How do the concepts of good and evil operate in the literature and culture of the Asia-Pacific?

In this volume, writers and scholars from the region examine subjects ranging from the Japenese 'evil' of the Second World War to the appropriation of indigenous cultures and the ethics of biographical writing.

Although diverse, the essays share an interest in the conflicts between relativism and fundamentalism, between uncertainty and sureness, that are so much with us in this fast-developing region of the world.



  • Introduction: Tilting on the axis of evil by Dennis Haskell, Megan McKinlay and Pamina Rich
  • Foreword: The international spread of ideas and their impact on societies in our region by Sue Boyd
  • Who moved the literature? Remember the basics by Edwin Thumboo
  • The ground we stand on by Bruce Bennett

Moral values and moral meanings

  • Moral attitudes in Hong Kong writing in English by Agnes Lam
  • They crucified him: Fiction of the prisoner-of-war experience under the Japanese and the prisoner as Christ-figure by Roger Bourke
  • Typical evil? The Japanese represented in Australian war writings by Megumi Kato
  • Destabilising nationalist discourse in Kuo Pao Kin's 'Mama looking for her cat' by Souk Yee Wong
  • Beyond good and evil? Ethics and aesthetics in Rushdie's 'Fury' by Chitra Sankaran

Individual and national memory

  • Exhibiting (Provisional) "Chineseness": Staging hybridity in the Chinese-Australian visual arts context by Dean Chan
  • We are one but we are many?: Representations of Chinese-Australian heritage by Tseen Khoo
  • Diaspora and identity: A comparative study of Brian Castro and Kazuo Ishiguro by Yasue Arimitsu
  • Beyond critical orthodoxy: Theorising multicultural literatures in Australia by Sonia Mycak
  • Plastic Indians and Aborigines: Mobilising Aboriginal identity in a global age by John Eustace
  • Widowed mothers in Bobo Magazine: The representations of women in Indonesian children's literature by Suzie Handajani

A writer's reflections

  • A lecture: After the event by John Romeril
  • Reconfiguring a necessary entrapment: A tale of two grandmothers by Mirian Lo
  • God, the Devil, and me: A memoir by Alf Taylor
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