Tasmania, History and Desire in Richard Flanagan’s Wanting (2008).
History has been mostly understood as a collection of facts giving an objective picture of reality. In his novel Wanting, Australian (Tasmanian) author, Richard Flanagan, depicts history as a relative narrative account influenced by the historian´s social and cultural background and status. This paper analyzes narrative techniques Flanagan uses in his novel Wanting to point out an unreliability of the official history of particular regions through his depiction of multiple narrative voices and various genres (letters, diaries) supplementing alternative versions of history. In this connection, Hayden White´s understanding of history as “the narrative” close to literary discourse is used to point out both the unrealiability of the colonizer´s rendering of the “official” history and the history as seen from the perspective of the colonized. At the same time, the metaphor of desire dominating the novel is analyzed as a representation of the emotional and the authentic presented as the opposite to the western rationalistic vision of the world as represented by the official history. In this context then, both Tasmania and Aboriginal culture are understood as an alternative metaphorical space representing the culture of the marginalized and colonized cultures.
Keywords- Tasmania, history, region, desire, narrative, Aboriginal culture, Australia, colonialism.