James Ley

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

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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) ...

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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 ...

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Why Dylan Matters by Richard F. Thomas

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May 2018, no. 401

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 ...

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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.

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First Person by Richard Flanagan

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November 2017, no. 396

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 ...

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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 ...

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 ...

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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. ...

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

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