AA Phillips


John Hanrahan
Friday, 24 July 2020

My first contact with Arthur Phillips was through a note signed A.A.P., attached to a short story that an editor couldn’t find space for. The note pointed out that the story lacked reality, e.g. a child was allowed to sit in a hotel bar. When I finally got to meet A.A. Phillips, it was over a drink. The pleasure at meeting was enhanced by a child at the next table. I ribbed Arthur about this, telling him that he had sinned against the commandments of social realism. He allowed me my small victory (the story is still unpublished) and then told a number of very funny stories against himself. I knew him only slightly, but that minimal acquaintanceship showed him to be as extraordinary and as delightful in his living as he was in his writing.

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Obituary for A.A. Phillips – A man of letters

John McLaren
Friday, 05 June 2020

Arthur Phillips, who died last month at the age of eighty-five, was one of the major figures of the democratic nationalist tradition in modern Australian literary criticism; and his collection of essays, The Australian Tradition (1958; second edition 1966) epitomises the strength of this school. These essays are marked by the perception of the reading behind them, the clarity of the writing in them, and, the enthusiasm for his subject which shows throughout them.

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