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Andrew Fuhrmann

This long-anticipated first volume of Robert Crawford's biography of T.S. Eliot, the first with permission from the Eliot estate to quote the poet's correspondence and unpublished work, highlights the Young Eliot as – not least in the achievement of his poetry – always an Old Eliot. And yet the picture of Eliot as a child and adolescent is detailed. In Young ...

To highlight Australian Book Review's arts coverage and to celebrate some of the year's memorable concerts, operas, films, ballets, plays, and exhibitions, we invited a group of critics and arts professionals to nominate their favourites – and to nominate one production they are looking forward to in 2016. (We indicate which works were reviewed in Arts Up ...

Leading arts critics and professionals nominate some of their favourite performances for 2014.

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Books of the Year is always one our most popular features. Find out what our 41 contributors liked most this year – and why.

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12 November 2014

It is a romance of simplicity and much tenderness. There are two people, and they are in love. Their love is tested, but hope triumphs in the end.

Anne (Helen Morse) is in her sixties, a grandmother, still doing piece work to support herself while babysitting for her daughter. She begins a relationship with Majid (Yomal Rajasinghe), a much younger man of a d ...

Dozens of critics impress me, but the critic who made the greatest impression is John Dryden. Everything began with Dryden. It was his Essay of Dramatic Poesy (1668) that first inspired me to write about the theatre. Through Dryden I discovered a way of doing criticism that was more than description and analysis; here was criticism that was also the dramatisation of a contest and an exploration of competing positions; a form that was alive, like art itself, and where honest enquiry meant more than judgement.

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Goats are ubiquitous in the work of Patrick White. Start looking for them and they appear everywhere, staring out, page after page, with wise, tranquil eyes, pellets scattering like secrets into dust.

White bred goats, of course, Saanen goats, or tried to, while living at Castle Hill, and it is clear that the goat-mind made a profound impression. ‘One day I’m going to write a novel about goats with human beings to make it appear more “moral”,’ he wrote to his American publisher in 1953, ‘but only to enjoy the great luxury of writing about the goats.’ And he nearly did, two years later, when he wrote of a doomed explorer coming upon a desolate interior populated only by wild goats, descendants of a fabled Ur-goat:

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Andrew Fuhrmann’s acclaimed Fellowship essay on the theatre of Patrick White closely examines these brilliant, problematic plays and draws on interview material with key directors closely associated with White.

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Griffith Review 41 edited by Julianne Schultz

September 2013, no. 354

And so Griffith Review is ten. It’s a credit to the publishing smarts of founding editor Julianne Schultz that the journal is now a fixture on the cultural landscape, alongside the country’s older literary journals. Griffith is the vantage not of the outraged so much as the frustrated, a reliable forum for passionate criticisms aimed at the inadequacy of political discourse in contemporary Australia. This inadequacy is what Schultz calls the ‘shrill negative timidity and lack of ambition’ in the way political, economic, social, and environmental challenges are framed in public debate. For instance, in one of the liveliest pieces in this issue, Melissa Lucashenko rails against the stereotyping of our urban poor. She writes this as one herself now living in cheap housing in Logan City, Brisbane, one of Australia’s ten poorest urban areas. Quoting Orwell, she finds a kind of relief, being at last genuinely ‘down and out’. It gives her a more nuanced, compassionate perspective the desideratum of all Griffith contributors on debates around housing, drugs, and domestic violence.

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The Cherry Orchard

28 August 2013

Writing to his brother in 1889, Anton Chekhov advised: ‘Try to be original and as clever as possible in your play, but do not be afraid of appearing stupid. Freethinking is essential, but to be a freethinker one must not be afraid to write nonsense.’

I thought a lot about nonsense during the Melbourne Theatre Company’s ne ...

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