D. J. O’Hearn

D.J. O'Hearn worked at Melbourne University and was a presenter of The Book Show for many years on SBS Television.

D. J. O’Hearn reviews 'Amy’s Children' by Olga Masters

May 1987, no. 90 01 May 1987
D. J. O’Hearn reviews 'Amy’s Children' by Olga Masters
Each person’s death diminishes us all, but the death last year of Olga Masters has removed from us, and our literature, a talent that had too little time to flourish. To speak of too little time seems idiotic unless we understand that this mother of seven, who also had to work part-time as a journalist, was, like so many women of her era, simply not free to sit and write that most solitary of o ... (read more)

D.J. O’Hearn reviews 'Memory Ireland: Insights into the contemporary Irish condition' by Vincent Buckley

May 1985, no. 70 01 May 1985
D.J. O’Hearn reviews 'Memory Ireland: Insights into the contemporary Irish condition' by Vincent Buckley
It is often the case that a well-informed outsider can light on structures, habits of thought and patterns of behaviour which, to the people living them out, are neither perceived nor understood. Vincent Buckley, who describes himself as a ‘loving outsider’, has visited Ireland on numerous occasions and lived there for long periods over almost thirty years. If he is an outsider, he is certain ... (read more)

D.J. O’Hearn reviews 'Confessions Of a New Boy' by Donald Horne

September 1986, no. 84 01 September 1986
D.J. O’Hearn reviews 'Confessions Of a New Boy' by Donald Horne
The autobiographer faces a real problem: the self. ‘Which self?’ may also be the reader’s question and it may also be the question of the autobiographer. Should one write about the known self, the self vaunted or scorned by others, the public one, parts of which can be found in archives, on record, in the books and conversations of friends and enemies? Or should it be the private self, the s ... (read more)

'James Joyce in Australia' by D.J. O'Hearn

June 1982, no. 41 01 June 1982
'James Joyce in Australia' by D.J. O'Hearn
If James Joyce had ever visited Australia it is unlikely that he would have come up with anything like D.H. Lawrence’s Kangaroo. For one thing, as with most Irishmen, his interest in landscape was negligible; for another, his sense of play and his myopia would not have allowed him to romanticise the great Australian bush, much less the suburban sprawl. He might have felt somewhat at ease in the ... (read more)

D.J. O’Hearn reviews 'The Penguin Best Stories Of D’Arcy Niland' by D’Arcy Niland, selected with introduction by Ruth Park

September 1987, no. 94 31 March 2020
D.J. O’Hearn reviews 'The Penguin Best Stories Of D’Arcy Niland' by D’Arcy Niland, selected with introduction by Ruth Park
There is a lot of work still to be done on the place of the yarn in our culture. Has its pre-eminence to do with the roving outback life, with traditions of taciturnity, with an inability to cope with the size of our land? Or has it more to do with the rapid urbanisation of this country and a need to celebrate and protect myths, an abiding sense of nostalgia? Or are there more pragmatic, economic ... (read more)

D.J. O’Hearn reviews 'Velvet Waters' by Gerald Murnane

December 1990–January 1991, no. 127 01 December 1990
D.J. O’Hearn reviews 'Velvet Waters' by Gerald Murnane
I have walked long and often with this writer man, travelled with him on trains, listened to him give exact references on the Melways map, noted him noting his whereabouts and those places about and abutting his whereabouts, and I am still uncertain why his work interests me so much, unless it be that the geography of the imagination is the first and the last landscape of grasslands to be explored ... (read more)