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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

November 2007, no. 296

What Happened To Gay Life?' by Robert Reynolds by Robert Reynolds

I recently watched a DVD of The Big Chill (1983). The film’s melancholy over the lost radicalism of the 1960s pervades What Happened to Gay Life?, Robert Reynolds’s new book. One might guess that a book about gay – once synonymous with happy life might feature a bit of glitter and laughter, but this is not the book’s point.

From the Archive

March 2011, no. 329

Irfan Ahmad: The Cambridge Companion to Muhammad by Jonathan E. Brockopp

In A Fundamental Fear (1997), Bobby Sayyid wrote about the spectre of Islam haunting the West. Important to this ‘hauntology’ is Muhammad: the last prophet of Islam. From the English chronicler Venerable Bede, Thomas Aquinas, and Martin Luther to the Pentagon’s defence intelligence secretary, William Boykin, many have depicted Muhammad as the obverse of everything the West and Christianity regards as good. In Summa contra Gentiles, Aquinas wrote that Muhammad ‘gave free rein to carnal desire’ and ‘those who believed in him from the outset were … beastlike men’. Striking is the parallel drawn by Luther: ‘The coarse and filthy Muhammad takes all women and therefore has no wife. The chaste pope does not take any wife and yet has all women.’ In TheChurch and the Political Problem of our Day (1939), Karl Barth, regarded as ‘the most important theologian since Thomas Aquinas’ by Pope Pius XII, made a peculiar observation: ‘It is impossible to understand National Socialism unless we see it in fact as a new Islam, its myth as a new Allah, and Hitler as this new Allah’s prophet.’ To the American evangelicals, he is a ‘demon-possessed paedophile’ (all unreferenced quotes from Frederick Quinn’s The Sum of All Heresies, 2008). The latest example is The Truth about Muhammad: Founder of the World’s Most Intolerant Religion (2007) by Robert Spencer.

From the Archive