Behind the green door: a story about suffering and hybrid identity in the 1950s and 1960s

Sulway, Nike (2015) Behind the green door: a story about suffering and hybrid identity in the 1950s and 1960s. TEXT: Journal of Writing and Writing Courses, 19 (Special Issue 31). pp. 1-14. ISSN 1327-9556


This paper provides explores the life and work of Elsie Ruth (Lyn) Palmer (1934-1969), an unpublished writer from Melbourne whose experiences as a lesbian writer during the 1950s form a framework for exploring a range of issues around failure, queer identity, and literary endeavour. By examining Palmer’s life and work in the broader context of her times, the paper argues for a re-examination of the current fashion for celebrating or embracing failure, connecting this rhetorical pressure to ‘embrace failure’ with an outdated Romantic notion of the suffering artist, and with suffering as a pre-condition for artistic excellence. The paper explores the ways in which this problematic fetishising of failure ignores the influence and impact of class, gender and sexual identity in the structure of suffering, and its resolution.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Arts and Communication
Date Deposited: 20 Jun 2016 01:39
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2018 03:07
Uncontrolled Keywords: creative writing; queer writing; lesbian; failure; suffering; 1950s
Fields of Research : 19 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing > 1904 Performing Arts and Creative Writing > 190402 Creative Writing (incl. Playwriting)

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