Harold Stewart’s By the old walls of Kyoto as a foundational Australian transnational poem
thesisposted on 29.03.2022, 03:12 by Barry Leckenby
The transnational turn in 21st century Australian literary scholarship continues to emphasise and foreground the importance of Australian writers who have lived for extended periods in foreign countries, thereby gaining deeper cultural connections and historical insights through their dual or multinational status. While there are many 21st century authors who fit the transnational model, the relative lack of 20th century authors who may be considered a transnational author has led to the neglect of some early exemplars of Australian transnational writing. Harold Stewart (1916 - 1995) is one such exemplar for his transnational epic poem By the Old Walls of Kyoto (1981), which resulted from his permanent move to Kyoto in 1966. This thesis argues that Stewart’s personal and local interactions with the old city of Kyoto as it faced the pressures of post-war industrialisation directly facilitated an unprecedented major work of Australian-Japanese transnational poetry which is crucial to understanding the cross-cultural history of Australian literature.