Explorations No 9 – Dec 1990


BRIAN HUBBER, The Victorian Customs Department and Respectable Limits of Taste: Émile Zola and Colonial Censorship

The author details the steps taken by Alfred Deakin when Chief Secretary of Victoria in the late 1880s to have some of Zola’s works prohibited and vendors guilty of selling them prosecuted. When legal opinion was obtained, it became obvious that the novel selected as a test case (Thérèse Raquin) “would not be held to be obscene within the meaning of the Act”. Deakin then sought the assistance not only of the Police but also the Customs Department to have copies of Zola’s books confiscated when attempts to import them were made. Using the Customs Act to censor books soon became common practice at both State and Federal levels.

Keywords: literary censorship, Customs Act, Emile Zola, Alfred Deakin, booksellers

C.W. NETTELBECK, A Contemporary French Artist in Australia

This is an interview with Monique Frydman, a French painter who spent several months in Melbourne in 1986-87 as part of an exchange programme of French and Australian artists.

Keywords: French-Australian Artists Exchange, Baudoin Lebon, Ian Howard, French Ministry of Culture, Victoria College, Prahran

BRONWYN OLIVER, A Contemporary Australian Artist in France

In this personal narrative an Australian sculptor tells the story of her two and a half months in Brest, on the Atlantic Coast, as part of an exchange programme of French and Australian artists.

Keywords: sculpture, artists exchange, Brest


Jules S.C. Dumont D’Urville, Two Voyages in the South Seas (translated and edited by Helen Rosenman), reviewed by Edward Duyker

K.A. Lodewycks, The Belgians in Australia, reviewed by Edward Duyker

Edward Duyker, Of the Star and the Key: Mauritius, Mauritians and Australia, reviewed by James Cowan