Life Rarely Tells: An autobiography
Penguin, 838 pp, $8.95 pb
One heady day in the mid-1920s, sculptor and Lindsayite recruit Guy Lynch (brother of the elegaic subject of Slessor’s ‘Five Bells’), held forth in a pub at Circular Quay on his plan for Sydney to become an Hellenic city. The Quay itself he saw as a magnificent ampitheatre for the incarnation of the Lindsay group’s Nietzschean dream of Dionysian joy, as revealed in the vital art affirmed as the salvation from the twin vices of bourgeois philistinism and modernistic decadence, the canon that ran from Shakespeare, Rubens and Beethoven, to Norman Lindsay and Hugh McCrae. He-men would lean against pillars, girls would stroll about, and grand opera would be played amongst forests of statues.
‘We’ll outdo Athens’, Lynch proclaimed over the designs he had sketched on stolen toilet-paper. ‘We’ve got the men, we’ve got the ideas, we’ve got the scenery. All we need is money. What’s that? Does anyone here know what money is? Let’s have a drink and think about it.’