Dale Collins, Media Man: Australian Interwar Print Culture and the Technologies of Production, Distribution, and Reception Before and After ‘Australian Literature’


  • Victoria Kuttainen James Cook University


Dale Collins, interwar fiction, periodical print culture, vernacular modernism, transnationalism, fame


This article explores Dale Collins as an intriguing gap in the Australian literary record. A prolific writer and a creature of the transnational and Australian interwar periodical press who was subsequently reviled and forgotten, Dale Collins is worthy of attention because of his output alone. But the vicissitudes of Collins’ fame and repute position him as a particularly thought-provoking and revealing case study in relation to new understandings of the literary past. They also potentially open up ways to consider the technologies of the self through which Australian Literature has become coherent to itself in ways that need to be continually reconceptualised, expanded, or worked through.

Author Biography

Victoria Kuttainen, James Cook University

Associate Professor English and Writing


Works Cited

The Advocate. Burnie and Devonport, Tasmania: 1919–.

The Argus. Melbourne: 1848-1957.

Ashcroft, Bill. “Borders, Bordering, and the Transnation.” English Academy Review, vol. 36, no.1, pp. 5-19.

Black, Prudence. “Fashion Takes Flight: Amy Johnson, Schiaparelli and Australian Modernism.” Hecate, vol. 35, no. 1, 2 (January 2009).https://www.questia.com/library/journal/1P3-1949824691/fashion-takes-flight-amy-johnson-schiaparelli-and. Accessed 6 March 2020.

Bode, Katherine. Reading by Numbers: Recalibrating the Literary Field. Melbourne, London, and New York: Anthem Press, 2014.

Boorstin, Daniel. The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America. New York: Atheneum, 1971.

The BP Magazine, 1928–1942. Sydney: Burns Philp Company.

The Brisbane Courier. Brisbane: 1864-1933.

Carter, David and Roger Osborne. Australian Books in the American Marketplace 1840s–1940s. Sydney: Sydney UP, 2018.

Carter, David. “The Conditions of Fame: Literary Celebrity in Australia between the Wars.” Journal of Modern Literature, vol. 39, iss. 1, pp. 170–87.

- - - . “Drawing the Line.” Always Almost Modern: Australian Print Cultures and Modernity. North Melbourne: Australian Scholarly Publishing, 2013.

Carter, Paul. The Road to Botany Bay: An Essay in Spatial History. London: Faber and Faber, 1987.

Collins, Dale. Bright Vista. London: Jenkins, 1946.

– – –Jungle Maid. London: Harrap, 1932.

– – –Race the Sun. London: Constable, 1936.

– – – Race the Sun “Complete Book-Length Novel.” 6 February 1937. The Australian Women’s Weekly. 1933—1982. Trove. Accessed 6 March 2020. National Library of Australia.

Cronin, Bernard. “Dale Collins,” Obituary. Meanjin [Melbourne.] March 1956, 103–104.

The Daily News Perth: Baldwin King Stirling , 1882-1990.

Daley, Paul. “Decolonising the Dictionary.” The Guardian Australia, 17 February 2019.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/feb/17/decolonising-the-dictionary- reclaiming-history-for-the-forgotten. Accessed 6 March 2020.

Dixon, Robert, and Veronica Kelly, Eds. In Impact of the Modern: Vernacular Modernities in Australia 1870s-1960s. Sydney: Sydney UP, 2008.

Ensor, Jason. Angus & Robertson and the British Trade in Australian Books, 1930-1970: The Getting of Bookselling Wisdom. London: Anthem Press, 2012.

Foucault, Michel. “Technologies of the Self.” Lectures at University of Vermont Oct. 1982, in Technologies of the Self, 16-49. U of Massachusetts P, 1988.

Gabler, Neal. Winchell: Gossip, Power, and the Culture of Celebrity. New York: Vintage, 1995.

Giles, Paul. “English Studies in Australia: Repositioning the Subject,” Australian Literary Studies, vol. 28, no. 1-2 (May-June 2013), pp 26–40.

Griffen-Foley, Bridget. House of Packer: The Making of a Media Empire. St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin, 2000.

Hammill, Faye. Women, Celebrity, and Literary Culture Between the Wars. Austin: U of Texas P, 2007.

Harvey, Melinda, and Julieanne Lamond. ‘Taking the Measure of Gender Disparity in Australian Book Reviewing as a Field, 1985 and 2013.’ Australian Humanities Review 60 (2016). <http://australianhumanitiesreview.org/2016/11/15/taking-the-measure-of-gender-disparity-in-australian-book-reviewing-as-a-field-1985-and-2013/>.

Kirkpatrick, Peter. “Literary Vaudeville: Lennie Lower’s Comic Journalism.” JASAL Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature, vol.16, no. 1, 2016, pp. 1–14.

Kuttainen, Victoria, Susann Liebich, and Sarah Galletly. The Transported Imagination: Australian Interwar Magazines and the Geographical Imaginaries of Colonial Modernity. New York: Cambria, 2018.

Lyons, Martin and Lucy Taksa. Australian Readers Remember: A Oral History of Reading 1890–1930 Oxford UP, 1992.

Mead, Philip. “Fifty Years of Australian Literary Studies.”

Humanities Australia, 5 (2014), pp. 89-93.

Matthews, Jill Julius. Dance Hall & Picture Palace: Sydney’s Romance with Modernity. Sydney: Currency Press, 2005.

Roderick, Colin. 20 Australian Novelists. Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1947.

Sayers, Stuart. “Collins, Cuthbert Quinlan Dale (1897–1956),” Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/collins-cuthbert-quinlan-dale-5735/text9707, published first in hardcopy 1981, accessed online 6 March 2020.

Schickel, Richard. Intimate Strangers: The Power of Celebrity. New York: Doubleday, 1985.

Smith, Michelle. “Mainstream Magazines, Middlebrow Fiction, and Leslie Gordon Barnard’s ‘The Winter Road.’” Studies in Canadian Literature, vol. 37, no. 1, pp. 7–30.

Thomson, Robert, and Leigh Dale. “Books in Selected Australian Newspapers, December 1930.” Resourceful Reading: The New Empiricism, eResearch and Australian Literary Culture. Ed. Katherine Bode and Robert Dixon. Sydney, NSW: Sydney UP, 2009. 119-41.

Turner, Graeme. Understanding Celebrity. London and Thousand Oaks: SAGE, 2004.

The Triad. Sydney: 1915-1927.

Woollacott, Angela. Race and the Modern Exotic: Three “Australian” Women on Global Display. Clayton, Vic.: Monash UP, 2011.