Nettie Palmer’s South to South: Australia, Chile and Writing the Nation
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This article explores Australian writer and critic Nettie Palmer's presentation of the figure of Gabriela Mistral and vision of Latin American literature more generally. It compares changing experiences of women writers in the early twentieth century in Australia and in South America and connects these changes to their role in defining and developing concepts of national literature. Salter's proposal for finding both national and international literatures via the echoes and resemblances between texts and authors is used as a starting point for identifying fruitful points of comparison in the specific case of Palmer and Mistral as well as the limits of the Australia-Chile association. The complex role of gender and race in the construction of postcolonial aesthetics is linked to differences and similarities in the colonial histories of the two nations and the instability of women's identification with the evolving national discourse of the time.