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Letters - November 2009

November 2009, no. 316

Letters - November 2009

November 2009, no. 316

Endemic yowling

Dear Editor,

A footnote for Peter Craven. In 1935, the professor of English at the University of Melbourne, G.H. Cowling, declared that an Australian literature was virtually impossible. This enraged Australian writers everywhere, and provoked P.R. Stephensen’s classic The Foundations of Culture in Australia (1936). It is also the only reason anyone remembers Cowling (‘Yowling’, according to Miles Franklin), and a reminder of the then image of English departments and their hangers-on as ‘the Garrison’. J.I.M. Stewart was another. Maybe the problem is endemic.

Jill Roe, Pearl Beach, NSW

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