Undefined Australian Vocabulary in Arthur W. Upfield's Detective Fiction

Andrew Milnor, Glenn Bartle Professor of Social Theory, State University of New York at Binghamton and George P. Landow, Professor of English and Art History, Brown University

A standard postcolonial technique that embodies the "empire writing back" involves using local additions to standard English without defining them. The author thus emphasizes that those at the cultural center — in this case readers in the U. K. -- have to learn about the former colonies in the same way that they have been required to learn about the Imperial center. Here are some words a popular writer of detective fiction employees in two of his novels:

Unless otherwise noted, the words are quoted from Body at Madmen's Bend. Those words with a "w" come from Sands of Windee.


Upfield, Arthur W. Body at Madmen's Bend. Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1963.

Upfield, Arthur W. Sands of Windee. Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1958.

Postcolonial Web Singapore OV Arthur W. Upfield

Last modified 21 July 2003