Child's Play by David Malouf & Fly Away Peter by David Malouf

by
September 1982, no. 44
Laurie Clancy reviews 'Child's Play' and 'Fly Away Peter' by David Malouf

Child's Play

by David Malouf

Chatto & Windus, 215 pp., $12.95

Buy this book
Book Cover 2 Small

Fly Away Peter

by David Malouf

Chatto & Windus, 134 pp., $9.95

Buy this book

Child's Play by David Malouf & Fly Away Peter by David Malouf

by
September 1982, no. 44

The prolific David Malouf, another of our poets turned novelist, just had two short prose works published within a few months of one another. Although Child’s Play (which also includes two short stories) is set in Italy, where Malouf now resides, and Fly Away Peter in Brisbane where he grew up, the two books are thematically related, not only to each other but to the author’s earlier work.

In his previous novel An Imaginary Life (1978), Malouf had posed the situation of the poet Ovid, banished for life from the Rome he loved but coming to terms with the wilderness around him and discovering that true freedom is internal, lying within the imagination. The protagonist of Child’s Play lives on the other side of Ovid; he has in a sense dispensed with the imagination, as being a source of potential vulnerability:

‘To open to others all that lies beyond the hard surface, the doubts, fears, hesitations, anxieties of the lonely individual, all the soft dark life within ... would be to introduce an element that might entirely destroy us,’ he says of himself and the other members of the cabal.

Laurie Clancy reviews 'Child's Play' and 'Fly Away Peter' by David Malouf

Child's Play

by David Malouf

Chatto & Windus, 215 pp., $12.95

Buy this book
Book Cover 2 Small

Fly Away Peter

by David Malouf

Chatto & Windus, 134 pp., $9.95

Buy this book

From the New Issue

You May Also Like

Leave a comment

If you are an ABR subscriber, you will need to sign in to post a comment.

If you have forgotten your sign in details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to ABR Comments. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.