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Australian Literary Journals and the Postcolonial Cultural Cringe


This chapter examines the ways in which the cultural cringe presents an ongoing set of problems for Australian literary journals, and looks at how some journal editors and publishers—as literary intermediaries—respond to and perpetuate the logic of the cringe. I will argue that the cringe persists in a postcolonial form because it is a cultural manifestation of material realities pertaining to both Australia’s colonial history and its current position in the global political order. In this sense, the cringe constitutes a means of reckoning with the status of Australian culture within what Pascale Casanova has termed ‘world literary space’ (2004). This is so because the cringe embodies a set of anxieties about Australia’s relation to global culture—thus making the cringe an inherently transnational phenomenon. Literary journals, despite their small readerships, remain a key cultural site for both shaping and debating the notion of Australian literature, and thus also present a unique locus for understanding the persistence of the cultural cringe.

As Ken Gelder and Rachael Weaver have noted, Australian journals have always been situated in transnational contexts (2014). Even a colonial journal such as the Melbourne Journal advertised itself as providing ‘Over 150 pages of the best Australian, English, and American Novels’, which indicates that its editors ‘recognised that mixing local and imported content was still the most economical way to attract broad colonial readerships’ (Gelder and Weaver 2014, 12). Gelder and Weaver also note the irony that the colonial journals’ nationalistic ‘investment in “Australian literature” as an identifiable field of writing’ occurred amidst a great deal of ‘transnational literary circulation’ (2014, 12). In this sense, journals’ discussions about Australian literature have always been shadowed by comparisons— whether explicit or implicit—to other national literatures.

Phillip Edmonds, in his survey of literary journals between 1968 and 2012, argues that even in the late 1970s and early 1980s— typically viewed as a golden era of Australian literary production— ‘the “cultural cringe” lurked’ behind the ‘upsurge of the local’ (2015, 51). He examines how several journals positioned themselves as international journals in ways that signalled continued anxieties about the quality of local culture. Edmonds discusses how the journal Helix was described as ‘being comparable with the most attractive literary publications to be found anywhere in the world’ and examines how Scripsi conducted interviews with major international writers, such as Northrop Frye, Basil Bunting, and Gary Snyder, as a means of transferring the symbolic capital of established overseas authors to its local content (2015, 51). On the face of it, these gestures may simply indicate a preference for internationalism, rather than the anxieties of the cringe. But journals in the US and the UK don’t need to position themselves as international in this way, and no benefit would necessarily accrue from such framing. In this sense Helix and Scripsi’s leveraging of symbolic capital from overseas only makes sense in a cultural field where there is a perceived lack of such capital within the national sphere; their internationalism takes place within the cultural matrix of the cringe.

As I have previously noted, it has become increasingly common to assert that the cringe no longer applies to contemporary Australian cultural products (2013, 90–2). Susan Johnson’s Sydney Morning Herald article ‘Measuring the Cultural Cringe’, for example, argues that, for people of her sons’ generation, ‘the cultural cringe has disappeared’ (2010). Nick Bryant in the Griffith Review argues that the cringe is dead because Australia is currently ‘punching above its weight in the arts and culture’ (2012, 94). The claims asserted in these works of cultural journalism also (perhaps surprisingly) reflect scholarly positions on the cringe. Graham Huggan, for example, argues that the cultural cringe ‘is now considered by most Australians to be an irrelevant issue’ (2007, 27), while Ken Gelder and Paul Salzman argue that Australia is no longer ‘riven by cultural cringe, but … enabled by cultural incorporation’ (2009, 113). My point in listing these perspectives is not to engage at length with these various and often complex claims, which present different and nuanced accounts of changes to Australians’ perceptions of the value of their own culture. Rather, I want to suggest that, despite the proliferation of these obituaries, many of the core anxieties of the cringe continue to haunt Australian cultural production and affect the ways that intermediaries, such as literary journals, position themselves within the cultural field.

While the cringe continues to affect contemporary cultural production, I also want to argue that its form and contexts have been altered by historical change. In order to do this, it is necessary to briefly re-examine A.A. Phillips’s own account of the cringe and examine several notable scholarly accounts that have sought to situate Phillips’s notion in relation to larger cultural, social and political forces. As I have argued elsewhere (2013, 98–9), the transnational nature of the cringe is already evident in Phillips’s account since, for him, the cultural cringe was grounded in Australia’s history as a colonial nation; Phillips views the cringe as a subjective, psychological manifestation of Britain’s material and cultural hegemony over Commonwealth nations: ‘in the back of the Australian mind, there sits a minatory Englishman … that Public School Englishman with his detection of a bad smell permanently engraved on his features … whose indifference to the Commonwealth is not even studied’ (Phillips 2012, 84). Australia’s subjugation to British rule was so ingrained, that most educated Australians ashamedly viewed their own culture from the (imagined) perspective of the hegemon.

For Phillips, the cringe was not to be resisted through a knee-jerk nationalism that valorised all things local—a position that he characterised as the ‘cringe inverted’ (2012, 81)—but rather through the studied rejection of colonial anxieties that resulted in making ‘needless comparisons’ between Australian and overseas culture (2012, 81). In Phillips’s view, shaking off the cringe was a necessary corollary of creating a robust local culture without advocating for a reductive nationalism. Here, as Rollo Hesketh has argued, Phillips’s position reflects a program for the creation of national culture articulated by W.A. Amiet in a 1941 Meanjin article: ‘Rule 1. Get rid of the inferiority complex … Rule 2. Get it clear that ours is a literature, not a branch of literature … Rule 3. To obtain “national” results, don’t harp on the “national”’ (2013). In this sense, Phillips critiques the cringe to advance a national culture, but this nationalism is forged out of an understanding of Australia’s relationship to other nations and cultures in ways that stop it from becoming simple jingoism.

Sneja Gunew has further analysed the relationship between Phillips’s concept of the cultural cringe and Australia’s status as a colonial nation. Gunew argues that Phillips’s desire to slough off a subaltern mentality is itself a complex response to colonisation, since ‘white Australia has always been riddled with anxious cultural debates concerning its national identity’ (1990, 103). This is so because ‘white settlement initially took the form of penal colonies’, which produced a view of Australia as a ‘postlapsarian’ rather than an Edenic nation; for Gunew, the cringe represents a desire ‘to confirm a coming of age’ of the colony, which, after an extensive project of nation-building, can finally be recognised as a ‘New Eden’ (1990, 103). From this perspective, Phillips’s account of the cringe is restorative and ameliorative in ways that cannot be easily separated from the project of colonialism itself; both the cringe and Phillips’s critique of it remain inevitably tied to Australia’s colonial history. Gunew even suggests that the valorisation of certain forms of multiculturalism—and particularly of the post WWII European migration (as opposed to other non-Western waves of migration)—reinforces the notion of Australia as a newly cosmopolitan nation that has surpassed its uncertain origins in ways that extend rather than contradict the ameliorative discourse of colonialism (1990).

Bruce and Judith Kapferer have mapped the persistent cultural effects of the cringe by translating Phillips’s notion into Bourdieusian terms. They argue that, for Australia, symbolic capital is ‘generated in a world outside and beyond the nation’ in the same way as economic capital; as a result, the ‘owners and controllers of the means of cultural production are always positioned elsewhere’ (1997, 82). From this perspective, the anxieties that motivated the cringe in a colonial era have been transposed into the postcolonial by the interweaving of economic and cultural exchange. Though Australia may no longer be subordinate to British colonial power in a direct way, it is still effectively a net importer of overseas culture, with the result that its local institutions lack the symbolic capital of those in the UK and the US. As the Kapferers note, this imbalance in symbolic capital—which the cringe historically indexed in relation to high culture—is also reinforced through consumption patterns of popular culture, which is largely dominated by television and cinema ‘emanating from the United States’ (1997, 80).

The Kapferers’ account of the cringe as a representation of the unequal transnational exchange of symbolic content is particularly useful because it enables the analysis of Phillips’s concept within the Bourdieusian, mediating ‘world literary space’ envisioned by Pascale Casanova (2004). For Casanova, this space is ‘a parallel territory, relatively autonomous from the political domain, and dedicated as a result to questions, debates, inventions of a specifically literary nature’ which is also ‘a market where non-market values are traded, within a non-economic economy’ (2004, 71–2). Here, Casanova’s notion of world literary space is informed by Bourdieu’s concept of ‘fields’, which are systems of social positions whose various power relationships are internally structured (Bourdieu 1993, 37–40). Fields are autonomous insofar as they operate according to their own rules and hierarchies; while social positions in the literary field are influenced to some degree by external factors within the field of power, such as wealth or inherited status, the literary field cannot simply be reduced to these factors.

I would argue that the notion of the cultural cringe serves as both a manifestation and a partial contestation of Casanova’s notion of a ‘world literary space’. On the one hand, the cringe takes seriously the notion of a global market for culture that is based on non-economic notions of literary value; Phillips’s concern, in fact, is that Australian works are automatically presumed to have less literary value. From this perspective, the cringe then seems to characterise Australia’s view of itself within the world literary space. Put more simply, the contemporary form of the cringe constitutes an acknowledgement of the fact that—particularly within the Anglosphere in which Australian culture circulates—Australia is a secondary or tertiary cultural market, which still does not compete on equal terms with the US or the UK. Indeed, the links between this self-perception—which is articulated in relation to non-economic values—and Australia’s subordinate economic and military position in relation to the US and UK, suggests that the world literary space may not always be as autonomous from political and economic realities as Casanova suggests.

Interestingly, one recent, popular reflection on the persistence of the cringe explicitly examines it in reference to Casanova. In his Los Angeles Review of Books essay ‘Letter from Australia’, Sam Twyford-Moore, who is both a former director of the Emerging Writers Festival and a co-editor of the short-lived journal Cutwater, argues that Casanova’s World Republic of Letters constitutes a European attempt to ‘decentre America in the literary world’ (2012). But Twyford-Moore suggests that, while European nations may have the residual symbolic capital to resist the lure of American cultural institutions, ‘countries such as Australia are not in the same position to make such a radical move’ (2012). The implication is that, while the long history of European countries as cultural centres imbues them with a certain symbolic capital that can resist US institutions, Australia still lacks an immanent belief in its own culture, which makes it far more susceptible to run a deficit in cultural exchanges. This belief is often reinforced by overseas depictions of Australian culture; in a recent examination of Australian art and culture in The New York Times, for example, Damien Cave described Australia as ‘a country where the demand for culture is greater than the supply’ (2017). It’s interesting to note that Cave’s language here explicitly draws on the vocabulary of international trade and posits Australia as a net importer of overseas culture.

Twyford-Moore’s essay presents an account of the way that the cultural cringe affects contemporary writers, while also arguing that its key reference is no longer the UK, as it was for Phillips’s generation, but rather the US. In a pointedly confessional moment, he states:

Like do you guys get how hard we are trying to impress you? I am sorry to break out of essay-voice and address this so directly, but I need you to understand how much this means and how it can be thrown back in our faces. I was aware, for instance, of the way that Australians look to Americans for cultural confirmation from a very early age. (2012)

Twyford-Moore then discusses a variety of prominent Australian artists, including the novelists Geraldine Brooks and Peter Carey, and the actor Geoffrey Rush, who have established themselves in the US. Much of his point seems to be that, once established in the US, such artists are automatically lionised in Australia, and are seen as having surpassed those who attain merely local success. There is, of course, good reason to view these claims with some suspicion: Carey’s literary reputation, for example, surely derives as much from the local reception of his early work as it does from his later overseas accolades. But, despite such hyperbole, I would argue that Twyford-Moore does make an important observation.

Twyford-Moore notes an imbalance in local and overseas symbolic capital, and implies that this unequal valuation constitutes a new form of the cultural cringe. Not only are Phillips’s ‘needless comparisons’ between Australia and overseas evoked, but also, he argues, a hierarchy of value is established: success in the US is more significant than local success—and Australians view Australian institutions as possessing less symbolic capital than US institutions. This symbolic deficit produces material effects, since ‘It becomes necessary for writers to travel to these other centres to pursue greater opportunities’ (2012). At the same time, Twyford-Moore’s version of the cringe differs from its earlier manifestations; rather than being a psychological internalisation of colonial realities, the current form of the cringe stems from an explicit awareness of the uneven exchange of symbolic capital between Australia and larger anglophone nations like the US and the UK.

I suggest that contemporary Australian literary magazines operate with an awareness of this uneven exchange of symbolic capital, and it affects the way they engage with successful overseas institutions and artists. These journals are often unhappy with this state of affairs, but I will argue that their internationalist gestures often indirectly reinforce Australia’s perceived inferiority in cultural exchanges. There is, however, an added complication that must be noted in regards to literary journals. Because of what Phillip Edmonds has described as their uncertain status as commodities continually struggling against the odds (2015, 1), literary magazines are typically beholden to their stakeholder groups in specific ways; as Edmonds points out, these stakeholders form a local community of some form or another, being either a coterie of like-minded writers, a specific geographic region, or a group of politically like-minded Australian readers. Australian literary journals are also overwhelmingly—indeed, almost entirely— purchased by Australian readers, and they thus often exhibit nationalist tendencies in some form or another, while also incorporating work from overseas authors that will be more readily marketable to a local audience. In this sense, the market that contemporary journals operate in is not so different from the colonial market that Gelder and Weaver describe (2014); the desire for local culture and overseas culture must be carefully balanced to draw readers’ interests.

But there is also a key difference between the colonial period and now, since the nationalism of the contemporary Australian reading class now manifests within a cosmopolitan sphere, albeit one that contains internal contradictions. Many of Australia’s current literary journals are explicitly transnational in their outlook, but this transnationalism is balanced with an understanding of the fact that, for Australian cultural producers, internationalism is always a fraught enterprise that threatens to re-establish hierarchies of value in line with cringe-thinking. I would argue that this double-bind constitutes what might be called the ‘postcolonial cringe’: contemporary artists and institutions recognise the imbalance of local and overseas symbolic capital and desire to resist it, but, at the same time, must also harness the aura or symbolic value of overseas institutions and connections to further their own symbolic capital in the literary field. This is done in a self-aware manner that utilises these connections while still maintaining an essentially nationalist belief in the value and importance of local literature and local literary culture. But the attempt to hold these positions in tension produces a series of interesting contradictions. I will now examine two instances in which the contradictory logic of the postcolonial cringe becomes explicit in contemporary literary journals.

The internationalist outlook of the Melbourne-via-Brisbane publication The Lifted Brow is already evident in its self-description as a ‘quarterly attack-journal from Australia and the world.’ The phrasing here is instructive, since it displays a cosmopolitanism that is refracted through nationalism (since Australia literally comes first). While it positions itself as an explicitly Australian journal, its cosmopolitan temperament and overseas content recalls the Melbourne Journal’s claim to present ‘the best Australian, English, and American Novels’. This balance has been borne out in that The Lifted Brow has published a significant amount of fiction by comparatively high-profile overseas authors (such as Tao Lin), and also attached itself to high-profile overseas institutions. For example, The Lifted Brow publisher, Sam Cooney, undertook an extended consultation with US journal McSweeneys in 2014 in order to help develop plans for the Australian magazine. Cooney has also appeared at the Ubud Writers Festival. But The Lifted Brow’s fraught relationship with overseas institutions was highlighted in late 2015 when two of the magazine’s regular contributors (one of whom later served as an editor of the journal) had articles published in The New Yorker, resulting in the following The Lifted Brow Facebook post on October 3, 2015:

Sure, one could say that The New Yorker is just another magazine and that we shouldn’t put it up on some kind of pedestal, especially when we already spend enough time in Australia craning our necks looking from overseas at The New Yorker and other establishment publications as though they and they alone represent the real test for a writer, when in fact in Australia we have several publications that could and do stand toe-to-toe with The New Yorker and any other magazine or journal in terms of quality. But in reality only writers who are among the most talented and hard-working in the entire world are published by The New Yorker, simply because the publication is itself a self-fulfilling prophecy (because every writer out there would and does try to jump at the chance at seeing their byline in that distinct Adobe Caslon Pro font), and so it is excellent to see recognition of two Australian writers whose brilliance and seriousness and indefatigability we have known about for many years. (2015)

This post presents a contradictory and hedged set of claims that I would suggest can be seen as representative of the simultaneously nationalist and cosmopolitan tendencies that The Lifted Brow tries to balance. On the one hand, it asserts a nationalist position that resonates with Phillips’s own views on overseas cultural products: despite its aura, The New Yorker is simply another publication and one whose ‘quality’—however such a term might be measured—is no greater than many Australian publications. The Lifted Brow makes this point by arguing that The New Yorker should not be put ‘up on some kind of pedestal’ given both Australians’ tendencies to place undue value on overseas publications (an acknowledgement of the continuing cringe) and the existence of local journals that could stand ‘toe-to-toe with The New Yorker … in terms of quality’ (2015).

But this nationalist assertion is trumped or overmastered by material facts borne of the awareness of Australia’s inferior symbolic capital; The Lifted Brow argues that it is an achievement to be published in such a magazine because ‘every writer out there would and does try to jump at the chance at seeing their byline in that distinct Adobe Carlson Pro font’ that is famously associated with The New Yorker. While The New Yorker is thus not inherently better, its status as a destination publication for writers around the globe makes it a ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’ whose quality is assured by the fact that—as The Brow’s post claims—all writers are desperate to publish in it (2015). Given this status, then, it is appropriate to celebrate the appearance of two Australians in a publication that has global visibility, even if such a celebration participates in the logic of the cringe.

What’s interesting about this is how The Lifted Brow simultaneously attempts to celebrate the publications of its own writers in a prominent US magazine (thereby appropriating some of its aura) while also seeking to refute the sort of cringe-thinking that presumes The New Yorker is automatically a superior publication in terms of quality. The gesture is unsuccessful insofar as the claim of equal local quality is effectively undermined by more material exigencies: because The New Yorker is universally viewed as being a superior magazine, the result is that it is a superior magazine, and the fact that Australians are published within its pages thus constitutes a news-worthy event. Here, the editors of The Brow seem to take a position similar to that articulated by Twyford-Moore: while Australia may contain writers of the highest quality, Australia’s inferior position in cultural exchanges means that its institutions are simply not able to compete with high-status institutions overseas. While this position may be true, it still contains a fatalism, or negativity, that reflects the postlapsarian tendencies Gunew noted as constitutive of the colonial nature of cringe-thinking (1990).

My suggestion is that the postcolonial cultural cringe takes this form: while local publications are not seen as inferior, cultural producers still make needless comparisons between overseas and local publications. The comparisons always have a negative character, since the inevitable conclusion is that Australian journals cannot compete with institutions attached to major cultural centres overseas. Even if the notion of Australia’s inherent inferiority has been dispatched, the hierarchical geography of margin and centre persists, and the effective inequality of Australian culture is maintained. While this particular Facebook post does not and cannot capture the totality of The Lifted Brow’s practices of cultural mediation, I would nonetheless argue that it is exemplary in indicating both the persistence and the contradictory form of contemporary anxieties about Australia’s global cultural position.

At the same time, it is hard to imagine The Brow being as excited about an author’s publication in a well-regarded, smaller journal, such as Praire Schooner. Rather, the postcolonial cringe only appears in relation to overseas institutions with large stores of symbolic capital and a high profile (or what, in Bourdieusian terms, would be called social capital, which is to say the capacity to motivate or influence a large number of agents in the field). So publication in The New Yorker remains particularly significant for The Lifted Brow contributors, and has been so for other authors as well; elsewhere, I have examined the role that publication in The New Yorker has had on the career of Australian author Cate Kennedy, for example (2013, 95).

Another journal that has navigated the terrain of the cosmopolitan cringe in an interesting way is Island magazine. After the Tasmanian government pulled its funding for Island in 2012, the magazine was revitalised by a series of editors (Dale Campisi (2012), Matthew Lamb (2013–15), and Vern Field and Geordie Williamson (2016–present)), who sought to market the magazine to a broader audience and intervene more actively in national cultural disputes. The magazine has approached this intervention in a variety of ways. Matthew Lamb, for example, took a strong position on the idea that writers needed to support local literary journals, and instituted a policy whereby writers who were not already subscribers would receive part of their remuneration in the form of a subscription. In 2015, the journal—which had been encouraged by the Tasmanian State Government in 2011 to move wholly online—decided to cease all forms of digital publication, and double its printrun. Both decisions—though perhaps seemingly insignificant to those unfamiliar with literary journals—constituted a significant break with standard practices. Alongside these changes, the magazine’s design was also updated, and its covers since 2013 have largely comprised photographs of single individuals—a point that I will return to in a moment.

Island’s case is also made more complex because of its location in Hobart, Tasmania—quite a distance from the major urban centres of Melbourne and Sydney, where Australian publishers and other literary institutions are typically located. In other words, Island not only needs to balance the competing logics of transnationalism and a (cosmopolitan) literary nationalism, but must also maintain a regional focus that plays to local readerships and separates it from the Melbourne and Sydney literary scenes. The magazine has confronted these issues in a variety of ways under the direction of its editors. Its recent partnership with the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) is appropriate, in this sense, since both entities seek to navigate a similar and difficult terrain—simultaneously foregrounding their Australian-ness, their Tasmanian locality, and the internationally ‘elite’ nature of their contents.

Island demonstrates its adherence to a Tasmanian locality through a variety of means. For one, almost every issue since 2012 has contained articles on Tasmanian literature, history, culture, or social issues, which signal the journal’s regional placement. More recently, its editors produced a special collection of essays formatted just like the magazine, with a cover featuring a photo of the 2017 Tasmanian Australian of the Year, Rosie Martin; the collection also served as the culmination of a two-year partnership with Martin’s charitable organisation, Chatter Matters, which helps ‘to raise awareness of the lived-experiences of those who have not been able to learn to read easily’ (Chatter Matters 2016).

Island has also signalled its investments in national literary culture in a number of ways: the magazine shifted into book publishing in 2015 (something that The Lifted Brow also did in 2016) to publish 350 copies of David Ireland’s The World Repair Video Game. The publication constituted Ireland’s first novel since 1997 and served to help rehabilitate the reputation of an Australian author who had won three Miles Franklin Awards in the 1970s, but who had lapsed into obscurity. The initiative was successful: The World Repair Video Game was shortlisted for the 2016 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards, despite its small printrun. This comprised a significant intervention in Australian literature for Island on top of its normal publication of fiction and poetry by Australian writers, as well as various forms of criticism on Australian writing.

But these interventions at the local and national level have also been accompanied by Island’s clear attempts to position itself as an international magazine. Island has done this through its publication of high-profile international writers such as Teju Cole, but its international positioning is perhaps most explicit and notable in what may be the journal’s most significant paratext: its cover. Over the last several years, Island has chosen to put photographs of a variety of comparatively well-known international artists on its covers, including overseas authors, artists and musicians, such as Neil Gaiman, Marina Abramovic and PJ Harvey. This is an extremely unusual gesture for an Australian literary journal, and it clearly serves a variety of purposes: on the one hand, such figures potentially attract readers beyond Island’s traditional audience; on the other hand, much like The Lifted Brow’s self-reflexive acknowledgement of the cringe, these covers present an intentional framing of Australian content among better-known international artists. Indeed, the consciousness of these choices is made clear by the fact that Island also chooses to present covers of lesser-known local personages (such as Rosie Martin, or the writer Fiona Wright) and well-known Australian artists (such as Nick Cave and DBC Pierre).

In other words, like the The Lifted Brow, Island is aware that Australian culture—even today—does not compete on even terms with overseas culture. The magazine, therefore, leverages the popularity of overseas artists, writers, and musicians to increase sales and help consecrate its local content, at the same time pursuing a cosmopolitanised, nationalist agenda that promotes local writing in a variety of ways. That the magazine must do this is indicative of Australia’s unusual position in the Anglosphere, since similar journals in the US or the UK would not need to promote their connections with overseas artists in the same way. Both Island and The Lifted Brow are selfaware literary journals that understand the still-pervasive logic of the cultural cringe in its current fatalistic, postcolonial, cosmopolitan form. But while they seek to resist the cringe in their various programs to support and elevate national culture, they also inevitably use the cringe to their own material advantage by foregrounding international content and connections in ways that grow both readerships and the symbolic capital of the journals. Transposed into Bourdieusian terms, one could argue that these journals’ self-reflexive understanding of the cultural cringe’s continued relevance in shaping the field of Australian literature and culture enables them to play the game more effectively, thereby increasing these journals’ influence through symbolic and social capital. They thus engage in contradictory practices that simultaneously resist and re-inscribe Australia’s position of inferiority within anglophone cultural exchanges: these contradictory practices constitute a new manifestation of what I have termed a postcolonial cultural cringe.

Works Cited

Bourdieu, P 1993, The Field of Cultural Production: Essays on Art and Literature, ed. R Johnson, Columbia University Press, New York.

Bryant, N 2012, ‘The Cultural Creep: Australian Arts on the March’, Griffith Review, vol. 36, Winter, pp. 94–104.

Casanova, P 2001, The World Republic of Letters, Harvard University Press, Cambridge.

Chatter Matters, Project: Island Magazine, Viewed March 3 2017,

Cave, D 2017, ‘The Fall and Rise of Australian Culture’, The New York Times, June 14,

Edmonds, P 2015, Tilting at Windmills: The Literary Magazine in Australia, 1968–2012, University of Adelaide Press, Adelaide.

Gelder, K & Salzman, P 2009, After the Celebration: Australian Fiction 1989– 2007, University of Melbourne Press, Melbourne.

Gelder, K & Weaver, R 2014, The Colonial Journals: And the Emergence of Australian Literary Culture, University of Western Australia Press, Crawley, Western Australia.

Gunew, S 1990, ‘Denaturalizing Cultural Nationalisms: Multicultural Readings of “Australia”’, in HK Bhabha (ed), Nation and Narration, Routledge, London, pp. 99–120.

Hesketh, R 2013, ‘A.A. Phillips and the “Cultural Cringe”: Creating an “Australian Tradition”, Meanjin, vol.72, no. 3, Viewed February 10 2017,

Huggan, G 2007, Australian Literature: Postcolonialism, Racism, Transnationalism, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Johnson, S 2010, ‘Measuring the Cultural Cringe’, The Age, January 22,

Kapferer, B & Kapferer, J 1997, ‘Monumentalizing Identity: The Discursive Practices of Hegemony in Australia’, in D Palumbo-Liu & HU Gumbrecht (eds), Streams of Cultural Capital: Transnational Cultural Studies, Stanford University Press, Stanford, pp. 79–96.

The Lifted Brow, Facebook page, March 1 2017, viewed March 1 2017,

Phillips, AA 2012, ‘The Cultural Cringe’, in R Manne & C Feik (eds), The Words That Made Australia, Black Inc. Agenda, Collingwood.

Stinson, E 2013, ‘In the Same Boat: Transnationalism, Australian Short Fiction, and the New Cultural Cringe’, in E Stinson (ed), By the Book? Contemporary Publishing in Australia, Monash University Publishing, Clayton, Victoria.

Twyford-Moore, S 2012, ‘Letter From Australia’, Los Angeles Review of Books, June 25, Viewed February 12,

Publishing Means Business

   by Aaron Mannion, Millicent Weber and Katherine Day