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T Counihan

The Sources of Hope edited by Ross Fizgerald

June 1980, no. 21

In his introduction to this collection of essays the editor, Ross Fitzgerald, remarks: ‘Our age is not exactly brimming over with positive affirmation and joyful anticipation.’ One wonders whether or not there has ever been a period of human history which such an assertion would accurately describe, let alone whether this would be a particular occasion for celebration. After all what gives an aggressive advocate of military solutions to current political problems a certain degree of hope may well cause the pacificist the deepest despair. There is no unity and certainly no necessary common goal to what gives diverse groups and individuals their respective sources of hope and pessimism.

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Humphrey McQueen’s new book claims to give an adequate account of the emergence if not the development of modernist paining in Australia up to 1944. In particular he claims to do two things the previous writers in this area have not done or have done inadequately.

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