Features

‘The product under consideration is Shist.’ So began New Zealand historian Keith Sinclair’s discussion of short histories in 1968. His irreverent diminutive is still occasionally heard among professional historians of a certain age. It is less often recalled that Sinclair was defending the worth of the short history ...

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Rampaging in Melbourne

John Thompson

 

Memoirs of a Young Bastard: The Diaries of Tim Burstall November 1953 to December 1954
edited by Hilary McPhee, with Ann Standish
Miegunyah Press, $59.99 hb, 368 pp, 9780522858143

 

With Tim Burst ...

Australian advocates of a harsh line against asylum seekers arriving by boat often base their arguments on a concern for the protection of human life. Unless we deter boat people, so the reasoning goes, ever greater numbers will set out on the dangerous voyage from Indonesia, and more and more lives will be lost at sea ...

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Sonya Hartnett revisits 'A Difficult Young Man' by Martin Boyd

Sonya Hartnett
Monday, 27 February 2012

Few writers, it could be argued, have ever cannibalised life for their art as ruthlessly and consistently as did Martin Boyd; and few are born into situations which lend themselves so readily to art. Boyd’s working life – indeed, much of his entire existence – was spent trying to unite the past with the present, the old world with the new, himself with the man ...

Sanford Schwartz: The Age of Movies

Philippa Hawker
Monday, 27 February 2012

A sanitised version of a great contrarian

Philippa Hawker

 

The Age of Movies: Selected Writings of Pauline Kael
edited by Sanford Schwartz
The Library of America, US$40 hb, 852 pp, 9781598531091

 

Pauline Kael did not shy away from big statements. She ...

Evelyn Juers reviews two new books on Dickens

Evelyn Juers
Sunday, 26 February 2012

This is how Claire Tomalin closes her Dickens biography: ‘He left a trail like a meteor, and everyone finds their own version of Charles Dickens’, followed by a long list of types. I consider Dickens the surrealist, or thesentimentalist, but then I pick Dickens the tireless walker. And I concede, with Tomalin, that regarding h ...

Shirley Walker reviews 'Nine Lives'

Shirley Walker
Wednesday, 04 May 2011

Susan Sheridan’s Nine Lives, a ‘group biography’, analyses the life stories and literary achievements of nine Australian women writers. The purpose, according to Sheridan, is not only to rediscover the life story of each, but also, by exploring their publishing and aesthetic context, to create a ‘fresh configuration’ of our literary history.

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