Ned Kelly

Mervyn Hartwig mh at SPAMjaspere.demon.co.uk
Thu Feb 15 15:52:01 MST 2001


Rachel, FYI Peter Carey, who lives in NY, has written a novel about Ned
Kelly. Louis Proyject cited a sycophantic review.

>Then he quoted the British-born police commissioner of New South Wales who
>said that Kelly "is a reflection of the black heart of nothingness that
>sits at the heart of the Australian character." In contrast, Mr. Carey
>thinks of him as a representative figure of an underdog culture.

The cop is absolutely right, the novelist wrong.

Patrick White could see it, and D. H. Lawrence, and Christina Stead. But
both Peter Carey's eyes are on his bank account.

The cop speaks the truth, the novelist the myth - about love for the
underdog, egalitarianism, classlessness etc etc. This is the dingo's
cover for the reality of class rule and power.

Kelly was a nihilist and a petit bourgeois thug, a dingo (which is
Strine for 'fox':  'The fox condemns the trap, not himself.' and 'The
fox provides for himself; but God provides for the lion.' - William
Blake.)

I'm not talking about real dingoes and foxes, nor was Blake.

The void at the heart of the Oz character is that of the country in
which the lower middle class, which knows the price of everything but
the value of nothing, is the measure of all things. As in California,
and the world of Mickey Mouse in general, 'there is no there there'.

Apart from Gary and an offspring and friend or two of mine and his, that
cop is probably the only decent person in the country.

Ned Kelly told the schoolmaster, and the schoolmaster told the people,
'Don't dream too loud', and they certainly haven't.

Mervyn







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