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Denis Cryle

In his introduction, Queensland academic Denis Cryle writes, ‘Journalism history is bound up, not only with literary history in its contemporary sense, but with cultural history’. So true, yet so little appreciated or acknowledged in this country until very recently; unlike , say, the United States where the interplay of journalism and literature is basic to an understanding of writers ranging from Walt Whitman and Mark Twain last century to Hemingway and John Dos Passos in our own . As it was, it seems to have taken the very different works of the two Helens, Garner and Demidenko/Darville, to bring such issues into public consideration in this country.

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Why do we read what we read? Bookshelves groan with biography, travel, social theory far left corner, cultural studies creeping up the front, Baudrillard in the back door and out the front. Some people’s books get featured in the weekend papers, others go straight into the back of the car and the second-hand shops. Love, sweat and tears … what’s it all for?

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