James Ley

Books of the Year 2018

Michelle de Kretser, et al.
Monday, 26 November 2018

To celebrate the best books of 2018, Australian Book Review invited nearly forty contributors to nominate their favourite titles. Contributors include Michelle de Kretser

... (read more)

Krapp's Last Tape (fortyfivedownstairs) ★★★★1/2

James Ley
Monday, 05 November 2018

Krapp’s Last Tape was first performed in 1958, which places it towards the end of Samuel Beckett’s middle period: those fruitful postwar years during which he wrote his major plays, Waiting for Godot (1952) and Endgame (1957), and the three extraordinary novels known collectively as the ‘Molloy Trilogy’ (1951–58) ...

... (read more)

When the bloated and pocky corpse of literary studies is finally thrown from the battlements of the ivory tower in a futile attempt to appease the unappeasable forces of neoliberal corporatism, the thoughts of the incorrigible few who thought it was a worthwhile intellectual pursuit ...

... (read more)

There was a certain predictability to the arguments that flared when Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2016. For the most part, they were variations of the arguments that have shadowed him from the beginning of his career, twisted echoes of a million late-night dormitory discussions about whether ...

... (read more)

2017 Books of the Year

Australian Book Review
Sunday, 26 November 2017

To celebrate the best books of 2017 Australian Book Review invited nearly forty contributors to nominate their favourite titles. Contributors include Michelle de Kretser, Susan Wyndham, James Ley, Geordie Williamson, Jane Sullivan, Tom Griffiths, Mark Edele, and Brenda Niall.

... (read more)

James Ley reviews 'First Person' by Richard Flanagan

James Ley
Wednesday, 25 October 2017

The literature of the modern era contains any number of stories about doppelgängers, divided selves, alter egos, obsessive relationships, and corrosive forms of mutual dependence. The enduring appeal of these doubling motifs is that they give a dramatic structure to abstract moral and psychological conflicts, but they can also ...

... (read more)

James Ley reviews 'The Choke' by Sofie Laguna

James Ley
Thursday, 24 August 2017

The Choke is full of holes. I mean that literally, which is also to say (since we are talking about a novel) symbolically. It contains any number of insinuating references to wounds, ditches, gaps, and voids. The primary implication of these can be grasped if one recalls that ‘nothing’ was Elizabethan slang for female genitalia. Sofie Laguna’s narrato ...

James Ley reviews 'Zero K' by Don DeLillo

James Ley
Monday, 23 May 2016

Among Don DeLillo's sixteen previous novels, White Noise (1985) is commonly held up as the apotheosis of his satirical vision, while his postwar epic Underworld ...

... (read more)

As he reminds his readers on numerous occasions in The Daemon Knows: Literary Greatness and the American Sublime, Harold Bloom is now well into his eighties. He has spent a lifetime teaching and writing about literature at Yale University, where he has long claimed to constitute a 'department of one'. The claim is part lament, part affectation, part boast. ...

Books of the Year 2015

Robert Adamson et al.
Monday, 23 November 2015

Jennifer Maiden's The Fox Petition: New Poems (Giramondo) conjures foxes 'whose eyes were ghosts with pity' and foxes of language that transform the world's headlines

... (read more)
Page 2 of 4