This thesis is as much my product as it is, in various ways, the creation of a number of people to whom I offer thanks and my gratitude.
I owe the historical orientation, no less than the diplomatic vision, and the first contact with Paul Carter’s work to Prof. Simon During and Dr. Ken Gelder, respectively. I am indebted to Dr. David Bennett for a few very useful suggestions, and to Dr. Irina Grigorescu-Pană for the first glimpse of Australian literature. For beneficial comments, advice and support, thanks to my fellow postgraduates Kelly Farrell, Amanda Claremont, Robert Beardwood, Ioana Petrescu, Michelle Borzi, Jonathan Carter and Blair Mahoney.
I am particularly grateful to Jude and Glen Walker, and to Mr. Quin for their exceptional kindness and for the homely atmosphere they created for me; to Bradley Crouch, Irina Dumitrescu, Lucy Edwards, Chris Foley, Allan Horsfall, Janine King, Tudor Stancu, and Dr. Gail Tulloch for their friendship, support, and good company. Above all, I thank my parents, my brother, Mihaela Rusu and Simona Combi for having constantly encouraged and counseled me from a distance.
Smaller, but still important aspects of my approach have been shaped by the merely coincidental impressions of “ordinary people”. I thank, therefore, Sra Dolores Molina González for reminding me that literature is a bit like Simón Bolívar’s eyes in a mirror; Edgardo García for remarking that Australia, like Britain, is an island; and the two Aboriginal women at the Uluru-Kata Tjuta Cultural Centre for the meaning of silence.
Last but not least, I am grateful to The University of Melbourne for offering me the opportunity to study in Australia.