Essays

Geordie Williamson explores the personal and wondrous world of critic and poet Clive James in his Notebook 2006–2014.

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It has been raining all week, persistent drizzle unlike the brief downpours that are more typical of Beirut. The city is slumbering. I am staying with my parents. My father goes out less often. My mother is snuggled under the blankets. She hopes the war won’t happen. The kettle is boiling like a purring cat. The house is quiet. Rain is the soporific of cities.

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The ‘place in the city’ of Fr Edmund Campion’s latest pilgrimage into Australian Catholic life and history is St Mary’s cathedral, Sydney. Campion spent six years here as a young-priest working in the shadow of both the cathedral and the august Normal Cardinal Gilroy.

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