Traditional Myths and Problematic Heroes: The Case of Harry Freame

Authors

  • Bruce Bennett, University of New South Wales, Australia

Abstract

This article reconstructs key elements in the life-story of Harry Freame, a Japanese-born Australian who served in both the First and Second World Wars. Freame's courageous role in gathering intelligence as a forward scout at Gallipoli, Turkey, in 1915, was matched by a different kind of bravery in his intelligence work in Sydney and Tokyo in 1940. Yet Freame has received little public recognition for his remarkable feats. The main reasons for this neglect appear to be Freame's mixed-race background and an Australian wariness about praising secret agents and spies. His unusual ethnic origins in a mainly "white‟ Australia and his involvement in secret work made him a problematic hero. In contrast, British and American spies have achieved a mythological status as heroic figures in the public culture of these nations.

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Author Biography

Bruce Bennett, University of New South Wales, Australia

Bruce Bennett is Emeritus Professor of the University of New South Wales, Australian Defence Force Academy. A graduate of the University of Western Australia, Oxford and London, he has published widely on Australian literature and its links with Asia. His books include Homing In (2006), Australian Short Fiction: A History (2002), the Oxford Literary History of Australia (1998) and Spirit in Exile (1991). He is co-editor of the anthology Of Sadhus and Spinners: Australian Encounters with India (2009).

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Published

2010-12-15

How to Cite

Bennett, University of New South Wales, Australia, B. (2010). Traditional Myths and Problematic Heroes: The Case of Harry Freame. Asiatic: IIUM Journal of English Language and Literature, 4(2), 1–13. Retrieved from https://journals.iium.edu.my/asiatic/index.php/ajell/article/view/520

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