Oscar and Lucinda (1988)
in Peter Carey
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Oscar and Lucinda uses a large-scale fabulatory form to interweave the fantastic and often painfully absurd adventures of extravagant fictional characters with the actual events of national or international history to create a gigantic teeming canvas. The use of an historical narrative was a new element in Peter Carey's repertoire as his hybrid post-modern and post-colonial approach addressed the nineteenth-century past directly for the first time. The video The Most Beautiful Lies caught him half-way through writing Oscar and Lucinda. His working title was 'Holy Ghosts' and the video shows him introducing the book with reference to a faded weatherboard church set on the flood plains of the Bellinger River. Carey used the haunting quality of this image to point out how deeply imbued with Christian culture his life and Australian history has been.

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