Contexts and intertexts
in Peter Carey
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In Peter Carey's world, we are all creatures of the shadow lands. His fictions explore the experiences lurking in the cracks of normality and are inhabited by hybrid characters living in between spaces or on the margins. Carey took a circuitous route into literature and writing. In 1964, Carey wrote a novel, Contacts, and was shortlisted in 1965 as an unsuccessful finalist for a Stanford writing scholarship. By 1966, an extract from Contacts appeared in an anthology called Under 25, which also included an early piece by contemporary experimentalist Murray Bail. Carey's work refuses to establish a smooth narrative effect in the 'classic' traditions of European narrative art. Instead, he exploits cross-mixtures which create dislocations, disrupting any supposed norms of fictional practice. The self-consciously fictive tendency of Carey's work echoed in near contemporaries like Dal Stivens and Rudi Krausmann, as well as by Michael Wilding and Bail.

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