Barracuda's Freak Bodies and Elite Swimming in Australia

Article


Gildersleeve, Jessica and McDonald, Janet. 2022. "Barracuda's Freak Bodies and Elite Swimming in Australia." Journal of Australian Studies. 46 (1), pp. 98-111. https://doi.org/10.1080/14443058.2022.2027806
Article Title

Barracuda's Freak Bodies and Elite Swimming in Australia

ERA Journal ID34876
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsGildersleeve, Jessica (Author) and McDonald, Janet (Author)
Journal TitleJournal of Australian Studies
Journal Citation46 (1), pp. 98-111
Number of Pages14
Year02 Jan 2022
PublisherRoutledge
Place of PublicationAustralia
ISSN0314-769X
1444-3058
1835-6419
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/14443058.2022.2027806
Web Address (URL)https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14443058.2022.2027806
Abstract

This article considers the way in which elite swimming in Australia constitutes a system of identity to frame the privileging of heterosexuality, able-bodiedness and hypermasculinity in Christos Tsiolkas’s novel Barracuda (2013) and its television adaptation (2016). It argues that the two versions of the story offer very different sporting narratives: a migrant, working-class, gay body in the novel, the complexity of which is never fully realised on screen. The article shows how the television adaptation of Barracuda reshapes the novel’s atemporal structure into a linear progression of rise, fall and redemption, and that under these narrative conditions Daniel Kelly’s body becomes simply object, rather than embracing the subjecthood he is permitted in the novel. The effect is one of compulsory normalisation and erasure: of Danny’s queer body, of Dennis’s and Martin’s damaged bodies, and of the consequences of Danny’s criminal act. This process parallels similar attitudes towards Australia’s most elite athletes and the public ownership of their body narratives.

KeywordsChristos Tsiolkas; Barracuda; body; sport; adaptation; queer
Contains Sensitive ContentDoes not contain sensitive content
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020369999. Other creative arts and writing not elsewhere classified
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Byline AffiliationsSchool of Humanities and Communication
School of Creative Arts
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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'We're all strangers': post-war anxiety in Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap
Gildersleeve, Jessica. 2014. "'We're all strangers': post-war anxiety in Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap." Clues: a journal of detection. 32 (2), pp. 115-123. https://doi.org/10.3172/CLU.32.2.115
Muddy death: fate, femininity and mourning in Jean Rhys's Good Morning Midnight
Gildersleeve, Jessica. 2010. "Muddy death: fate, femininity and mourning in Jean Rhys's Good Morning Midnight." Wisker, Gina and Dodgson-Katiyo, Pauline (ed.) Rites of passage in postcolonial women's writing. Amsterdam, Netherlands. Rodopi. pp. 227-244
Three perspectives on a collaborative, whole-of-program process of curriculum change
Hammer, Sara, McDonald, Janet and Forbes, Melissa. 2014. "Three perspectives on a collaborative, whole-of-program process of curriculum change." Journal of Teaching and Learning for Graduate Employability. 5 (1), pp. 47-62.
The spectre and the stage: reading and ethics at the intersection of psychoanalysis, the neo-Victorian, and the gothic
Gildersleeve, Jessica. 2013. "The spectre and the stage: reading and ethics at the intersection of psychoanalysis, the neo-Victorian, and the gothic." Australasian Journal of Victorian Studies. 18 (3), pp. 99-108.
Gender, memory and illness in Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea
Gildersleeve, Jessica. 2010. "Gender, memory and illness in Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea." McClinton-Temple, Jennifer (ed.) Encyclopedia of themes in literature, volume 3. New York, NY. United States. Facts on File. pp. 901-904
Her story: Liza's England (The Century's Daughter)
Gildersleeve, Jessica. 2011. "Her story: Liza's England (The Century's Daughter)." Wheeler, Pat (ed.) Re-reading Pat Barker. Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. pp. 25-41
Regarding violence in Pat Barker's Double Vision
Gildersleeve, Jessica. 2009. "Regarding violence in Pat Barker's Double Vision." Peer English. 4, pp. 32-46.
Monstrous child: Rosamond Lehmann's war writing
Gildersleeve, Jessica. 2011. "Monstrous child: Rosamond Lehmann's war writing." Philament. 17 (17), pp. 1-11.
Jean Rhys's Tropographies: unmappable identity and the tropical landscape in Wide Sargasso Sea and selected short fiction
Gildersleeve, Jessica. 2011. "Jean Rhys's Tropographies: unmappable identity and the tropical landscape in Wide Sargasso Sea and selected short fiction." eTropic: electronic journal of studies in the tropics. 10, pp. 32-38.
Trauma, memory and landscape in Queensland: women writing 'A New Alphabet of Moss and Water'
Gildersleeve, Jessica. 2012. "Trauma, memory and landscape in Queensland: women writing 'A New Alphabet of Moss and Water'." Queensland Review. 19 (2), pp. 205-216. https://doi.org/10.1017/qre.2012.23
QUE project
McDonald, Janet. 2005. QUE project.
Cultural Catchments Project
McDonald, J.. 2006. Cultural Catchments Project. Toowoomba, Australia.
Fostering an interdisciplinary learning environment through core 3rd-year courses in a revised BCA
McDonald, Janet. 2009. "Fostering an interdisciplinary learning environment through core 3rd-year courses in a revised BCA." Wilson, Stephanie and Watson, Karin (ed.) Curriculum development in studio teaching. Sydney, Australia. Australian Learning and Teaching Council Limited. pp. 29-36
Boys at gender-play inside the muscular Christian ideal
McDonald, Janet. 2007. "Boys at gender-play inside the muscular Christian ideal." Boyhood Studies. 1 (1), pp. 84-94.
Living data in the Lower Balonne: cultural enablement or cultural imposition?
McDonald, Janet. 2007. "Living data in the Lower Balonne: cultural enablement or cultural imposition?" Studies in Learning Evaluation Innovation and Development. 4 (1), pp. 79-90.
Queering the representation of the masculine 'West' in Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain
McDonald, Janet. 2007. "Queering the representation of the masculine 'West' in Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain." Gay and Lesbian Issues and Psychology Review. 3 (2), pp. 79-85.
Comfort the disturbed.... disturb the comfortable: queering pedagogy and transmutations
McDonald, Janet. 2007. "Comfort the disturbed.... disturb the comfortable: queering pedagogy and transmutations." Beyond Tolerance: 2007 Diversity in Education One Day Conference. Lismore, Australia 24 Aug 2007
Balancing the 'town and gown': the risky business of creating youth theatre in regional Queensland
McDonald, Janet. 2006. "Balancing the 'town and gown': the risky business of creating youth theatre in regional Queensland." International Journal of Pedagogies and Learning. 2 (2), pp. 6-13.
Playful trangressions: male drama teachers in elite boys' schools
McDonald, Janet. 2006. "Playful trangressions: male drama teachers in elite boys' schools." Kiernander, Adrian, Bollen, Jonathan and Parr, Bruce (ed.) What a man's gotta do?: masculinities in performance. Armidale, NSW, Australia. University of New England. pp. 136-151
Muscular christians and drama faggots: observing a queering pedagogy beyond the binary in all-boys schools
McDonald, Janet. 2007. "Muscular christians and drama faggots: observing a queering pedagogy beyond the binary in all-boys schools." Journal of Artistic and Creative Education. 1 (2), pp. 5-23.
Que-rious impositions: reflections on the pedagogy at the core of a regional youth theatre in Queensland, Australia
McDonald, Janet. 2005. "Que-rious impositions: reflections on the pedagogy at the core of a regional youth theatre in Queensland, Australia." NJ Drama Australia Journal. 29 (2), pp. 83-90.