Room Service: Comic writings of Frank Moorhouse
by Frank Moorhouse
Viking, 174p., $19.95 hb
Reading Frank Moorhouse is a bit like learning to cook silver beet in some newfangled way and discovering that for years you’ve been chucking the best bits out.
Most of us, even at this distance from Einstein, are still wanting there to be An Answer, a firm Truth, no matter how complex or ambivalent, to set up against all those other ‘truths’ held just as firmly by everybody else. Moorhouse seems to have known from the start, known it in his bones, that there isn‘t – or at least that if there is, it needs to include all those other truths, to acknowledge that truth is relative, not just from story to story and from character to character, but from moment to moment, from one end of the sentence to the other.
Moorhouse is a long way from your classic patriarchal-style hierarchical thinker, which is what you really need to be if you want to pull one perspective out of the pile, mount it at the top and call it King of the Castle. If anything, his thinking is more like the approach taken by the more palatable of the feminist thinkers, who tend to take the more inclusive, lateral approach where either/or propositions make very little sense.