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    Epic fantasy and global terrorism
    GELDER, KEN (Rodopi, 2006)
    There are many cues for an article like this, which looks at J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings - and in particular, the recent films of the trilogy, directed by Peter Jackson - alongside recent commentaries on, and anxieties about, the rise of global terrorism and the ‘war on terrorism’. There have already been links drawn between these events and literary texts, of course: for example, Jason Epstein has compared the United States, in its pursuit of terrorists, to Melville’s Ahab. But a more relevant cue comes from an article in the New Left Review by Mike Davis, which situates the aeroplane bombings of the World Trade Centre buildings in New York on September 11th 2001 in the context of fantastic images of the fire-storming of Lower Manhattan in a work by H.G. Wells, War in the Air, published eighty-four years earlier in 1907. Under zeppelin attack by Imperial Germany, ‘ragtime New York’, as Davis describes it, ‘becomes the first modern city destroyed from the air’. Davis is one of a number of commentators on S11 who reads the reality of the event through the logic of fantasy, as if it was a moment of terror, or terrorism, that made it impossible to distinguish between the two: ‘the attacks on New York and Washington DC were organised as epic horror cinema with meticulous attention to mise en scene. Indeed, the hijacked planes were aimed to impact precisely at the vulnerable border between fantasy and reality’ (p.37). That phrase - ‘the vulnerable border between fantasy and reality’ - also resonates with anxieties about terrorist activity itself, planned and executed (in this case) from within the borders of the US, and so speaking to America’s own sense of border vulnerability: of the possibility that the outside is already or always inside.
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    The postcolonial uncanny: on reconciliation, (dis)possesion and ghost stories
    GELDER, KENNETH DOUGLAS ; JACOBS, JANE MARGARET (Melbourne University Publishing, 1998)
    It is time to introduce the concept of the ‘uncanny’ and to say something about its value in relation to postcolonial Australia. This concept comes into modern thinking through Sigmund Freud’s influential essay, ‘The “Uncanny”’, an essay published in 1919, four years after Durkheim’s The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life. Freud’s primary concern is certainly with the psyche, but the essay is also about one’s sense of place in a modern, changing environment, and it attends to anxieties which are symptomatic of an ongoing process of realignment in the post-war modern world. In brief, Freud elaborates the ‘uncanny’ by way of two German words whose meanings, which at first seem diametrically opposed, in fact circulate through each other. These two words are: heimlich, which Freud glosses as ‘home’, a familiar or accessible place; and unheimlich, which is unfamiliar, strange, inaccessible, unhomely. An ‘uncanny’ experience may occur when one’s home is rendered, somehow and in some sense, unfamiliar; one has the experience, in other words, of being in place and ‘out of place’ simultaneously. This simultaneity is important to stress since, in Freud’s terms, it is not simply the unfamiliar in itself which generates the anxiety of the uncanny; it is specifically the combination of the familiar and the unfamiliar—the way the one seems always to inhabit the other. In postcolonial Australia, and in particular after the Mabo decision in 1992, Freud’s ‘uncanny’ might well be applied directly to those emergent (that is, yet-to-be established) procedures for determining rights over land. In this moment of decolonisation, what is ‘ours’ is also potentially, or even always already, ‘theirs’: the one is becoming the other, the familiar is becoming strange.
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    Australia, community, and the "illegality" of fiction: the unknown industrial prisoner and bloodfather
    GELDER, KEN (University of Queensland Press, 1993)
    Unlike a number of contemporary Australian novelists (Thomas Keneally, for example, or David Malouf), David Ireland always uses Australia as a frame for his work: his fiction is never set anywhere else. In constructs communities which operate within that frame in various ways, allowing Ireland to suggest through them was "Australia" might be.
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    Epic fantasy and global terrorism
    GELDER, K. (Rodopi, 2006)
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    After the Celebration: Australian Fiction 1989-2007
    GELDER, K. ; SALZMAN, P. (Melbourne University Press, 2009)
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    Australian Gothic
    GELDER, KENNETH (Routledge, 2007)
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    Subcultures: Cultural Histories and Social Practice
    GELDER, KENNETH (Routledge, 2007)