Hinterland Gothic: Subtropical Excess in the Literature of South East Queensland

Emma Doolan


South East Queensland’s subtropical hinterlands—the mountainous, forested country lying between the cities of the coast and the Great Dividing Range—are sites of a regional variation of Australian Gothic. Hinterland Gothic draws its atmosphere and metaphors from the specificities of regional landscapes, climate, and histories.

In works by Eleanor Dark, Judith Wright, Janette Turner Hospital, and Inga Simpson, South East Queensland’s Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast hinterlands are represented as Gothic regions “beyond the visible and known” (“Hinterland” in Oxford Dictionaries Online 2019), where the subtropical climate gives rise to an unruly, excessive nature.

In Gothic literature, excess is related to the unspeakable or the repressed. Bringing Gothic, postcolonial, and ecocritical perspectives to bear on the literature of South East Queensland’s hinterlands reveals a preoccupation with the regions’ repressed histories of colonial violence, which are written on the landscape through Gothic metaphors.


Hinterland; Australian Gothic; subtropical; excess; postcolonial; ecocriticism

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.25120/etropic.18.1.2019.3679


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