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ABR Arts

Book of the Week

On Kim Scott: Writers on writers
Literary Studies

On Kim Scott: Writers on writers by Tony Birch

In this latest instalment of Black Inc.’s ‘Writers on Writers’ series, we have the intriguing prospect of Tony Birch reflecting on the work of Kim Scott. While most of the previous twelve books in this series have featured a generational gap, Birch and Scott, both born in 1957, are almost exact contemporaries. This is also the first book in the series in which an Indigenous writer is considering the work of another Indigenous writer. It will not be giving too much away to say that Birch’s assessment of Scott’s oeuvre is based in admiration. There is no sting in the tail or smiling twist of the knife.



From the Archive

May 2004, no. 261

Sublime Cocktail

The exhibition murmured, with Baudelaire, of Correspondences. Wesfarmers’ collection has a high proportion of major paintings, each warranting close attention. What elated me, however, was the unusual rightness of the play between works of art. It was years since I had seen a non-thematic display (the Sublime is limitless, so hardly a theme) that reached into works of art obliquely and exercised the art of comparison with true inspiration.

From the Archive

April 2011, no. 330

Open Page with Judith Beveridge

I wish we had critics reviewing books who weren’t writers or academics but who were simply passionate readers involved in various walks of life. At present, criticism seems a mixed bag. Some reviewers are terrific, others seem to merely describe rather than come to grips adequately with what they are reviewing.

From the Archive

March 2008, no. 299

The Zola Affair

'Why read Emile Zola?’ asks one of the contributors to this volume. ‘Because his representation of society’s impact on individuals within it memorably depicts what it means to be a human being in the modern world.’ The publication of The Cambridge Companion to Emile Zola, edited by Brian Nelson, Professor of French Studies at Monash University, will be of great assistance in reading and rereading this realist writer, and will doubtless become an indispensable tool for researchers and students.

What do these essays reveal? The fascination which the naturalist novelist Zola (1840–1902) still exercises on his readers because of the profoundly organic nature of his writing. Despite the meticulous planning and the scientific method and framework underlying his enterprise to describe the social and familial milieux (the subtitle of the twenty novels [1871–93] comprising Les Rougon-Macquart is The Natural and Social History of a Family under the Second Empire), Zola’s art stems from its evocative power, its descriptive force, in a word, its ‘excitement’.