'Either feed your belly or nourish your soul': work, artistic aspiration and autobiography in Rosa R. Capiello's Oh lucky country

Carniel, Jessica (2016) 'Either feed your belly or nourish your soul': work, artistic aspiration and autobiography in Rosa R. Capiello's Oh lucky country. Interdisciplinary Literary Studies, 18 (1 (Special Issue)). pp. 130-149. ISSN 1524-8429

Abstract

Written during the tentative first decade of multicultural policy in Australia and set in the 1970s, Cappiello’s Oh Lucky Country (1984) reveals a view of Australian multiculturalism as exploitative of migrants and their ethnic cultures. The protagonist and narrator, Rosa, struggles with her intersecting identities as a migrant and as a writer within this new multicultural paradigm; her migrant status often thwarts her literary ambitions yet, as a migrant who writes, she presents a desirable cultural resource. Her cultural value as a writer is, however, secondary to her economic value as a worker; Rosa struggles against her working class reality, which she sees as taking time away from her true literary vocation. This paper explores the tension between Rosa’s desire to write and her need to work, and the values of these different types of labour within multicultural Australia. It argues that each of Rosa’s identities – writer, worker, migrant – all reflect a sense of isolation and marginalisation from both her host society and her ethnic community. It also examines the text’s generic categorisation as autobiographical fiction, with a particular consideration of how autobiographical writing by migrants is received popularly and critically.


Statistics for USQ ePrint 29072
Statistics for this ePrint Item
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 / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Arts and Communication
Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2016 05:00
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2016 05:00
Uncontrolled Keywords: Australian literature; migrant writing; autobiography; Italian Australian
Fields of Research : 20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2002 Cultural Studies > 200208 Migrant Cultural Studies
20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2002 Cultural Studies > 200209 Multicultural, Intercultural and Cross-cultural Studies
20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2005 Literary Studies > 200502 Australian Literature (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Literature)
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9502 Communication > 950203 Languages and Literature
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/29072

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only