Decolonising the Mind of the Antipodean Author: Gothic Tropes and Postcolonial Discourse in Peter Carey’s My Life as a Fake
This article analyses Peter Carey’s novel My Life as a Fake (2003) through the lens of genre fiction, focusing on how the Gothic mode combines with key concepts in postcolonial studies. Intertextual references to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus (1818) and analogies with Stephen King’s The Dark Half (1990) and “The Importance of Being Bachman” (1996) are investigated to contextualise Carey’s postcolonial Gothic. Furthermore, taking a cue from Frantz Fanon and Oswaldo de Andrade’s theoretical studies, I argue that the main characters of this novel display attitudes that allegorically reflect the stages through which the national literature of a former settler colony is shaped.
Keywords: Peter Carey • Cultural cannibalism • Decolonisation • Intertextuality • Australia • Postcolonial Gothic