'The Foundations of Culture in Australia' by P.R. Stephensen (1935-36)

I have a persisting sense that the novel sits uneasily in the Australian context, in the Australian landscape ... My impression is that the Australian bush has not been successfully transformed into a Western space fit for established models of writing. It is not a landscape that offers us easy grace, or immediate redemption: it does not have the flavour of settled, European or New World landscapes, against which epics of social progress and personal discovery can be straightforwardly played out. There is always something further in the landscape. It is more a place for tales, for deep-hidden meanings, and symbol-laden fragments - and all this is connected to religion, and the religious centre of gravity of the continent.

Nicholas Rothwell, Dust and Fragments.

A selection from Stephensen's essay The Foundation of Culture in Australia published in 'The Australian Mercury' in 1935.
Between the wars, Stephensen's 'Fellowship of Australian Writers' released a document that advocated disconnection with the United States and stated,
US comics promoted demonology, witchcraft and voodooism, with superman part of a raving mad view of the world.

Stephensen's essay became a major source of inspiration for the Jindyworobak Movement

The Jindyworobak Movement was a nationalistic Australian literary movement whose white members sought to promote Indigenous Australian ideas and customs, particularly in poetry. They were active from the 1930s to around the 1950s. The movement intended to combat the influx of "alien" culture, which was threatening local art.
Starting off as a literary club in Adelaide, South Australia in 1938, the Jindyworobak movement was supported by many Australian artists, poets, and writers. Many were fascinated by Indigenous Australian culture and the Outback, and desired to improve the white Australian's understanding and appreciation of them. Other features came into play, among them white Australia's increasing alienation from its European origins; the Depression of the 1930s which recalled the economic troubles of the end of the 19th century; an increasingly urban Australian population alienated from the wild Australia of the Outback etc.; the First World War and the coming of World War II and also the coming of early mass market media in the form of the radio, recordings, newspapers and magazines. Sense of place was particularly important to the Jindyworobak movement.
Ingamells produced Colonial Culture (in 1938) as a prose manifesto of the movement, "in response to L. F. Giblin's urging that poets in Australia should portray Australian nature and people as they are in Australia, not with the 'European' gaze."
The Foundations of Culture in Australia is a seminal work of Australian 'literary criticism', and no doubts owes a great deal to D.H. Lawrence's Studies in Classic American Literature, especially the chapter 'The Spirit of Place' (see here for a selection), written in 1924. [note: see Stephensen's use of the phrase 'genius of the place' and his 'An Essay on National Self-Respect]. Stephensen became friends with D.H. Lawrence, helping him edit the uncensored version of Lady Chatterley's Lover and using the printing press he set up in England to print a small run for private circulation, upon which he also printed the 'New English' translation he made of Nietzsche's The Antichrist.