Responses to war in Australian fiction have not been confined to military conflict, to so-called war novels. Much of the work of David Malouf, of his poetry and fiction, and Les Murray's verse novel, The Boys Who Stole the Funeral, show in different ways how war has indirectly affected the shaping of Australian experience. In these works war is used more as metaphor and analogy than as fact. In this paper, then, I shall concentrate not on literature about warfare but on the ways in which the chosen writers use war as a means of exploring the divisiveness they see within both the individual and society.



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