Diane Stubbings

Diane Stubbings

Diane Stubbings is a writer and critic based in Melbourne. Her plays have been shortlisted for a number of Australian and international awards, and staged in Sydney, Melbourne and New Zealand. She has written for The Australian, The Canberra Times and the Sydney Review of Books, and her study of Irish Modernism was published by Palgrave. Diane is currently undertaking practice-based graduate research at VCA, University of Melbourne, investigating intersections between science and theatre.

Diane Stubbings reviews 'Daisy & Woolf' by Michelle Cahill

July 2022, no. 444 25 June 2022
Diane Stubbings reviews 'Daisy & Woolf' by Michelle Cahill
Daisy Simmons – twenty-four years old, the wife of a major in the Indian Army, mother of two children, ‘dark [and] adorably pretty’ – is an ephemeral presence in Virginia Woolf’s fourth novel, Mrs Dalloway (1925). Clarissa Dalloway’s former lover, Peter Walsh, has travelled to London from India to secure a divorce so that he might marry Daisy. From a mere handful of references, we are ... (read more)

‘The Sound Inside: Textual healing’ by Diane Stubbings

ABR Arts 30 May 2022
‘The Sound Inside: Textual healing’ by Diane Stubbings
On paper, American playwright Adam Rapp’s The Sound Inside is an intriguing piece of writing. Bella Baird, a professor of creative writing at Yale University, ‘emerges from the darkness’ onto a nondescript stage and introduces herself. She speaks in the ‘heavily embroidered, figurative’ sentences that she dissuades her students from using, a liberty she allows herself standing here, alon ... (read more)

Diane Stubbings reviews 'The Colony' by Audrey Magee and 'The Leviathan' by Rosie Andrews

June 2022, no. 443 23 May 2022
Diane Stubbings reviews 'The Colony' by Audrey Magee and 'The Leviathan' by Rosie Andrews
Two new novels probe national myths and histories, offering insights into the political and religious forces that continue to shape contemporary conflicts. Set during the height of the Troubles, Irish writer Audrey Magee’s The Colony begins with English artist Mr Lloyd travelling to a remote island off Ireland’s west coast, ‘a rock cutting into the ocean, splitting, splintering, shredding t ... (read more)

Diane Stubbings reviews 'Skin Deep: The inside story of our outer selves' by Phillipa McGuinness

April 2022, no. 441 23 March 2022
Diane Stubbings reviews 'Skin Deep: The inside story of our outer selves' by Phillipa McGuinness
In Skin Deep: The inside story of our outer selves, Australian writer Phillipa McGuinness gathers some impressive facts about skin. A square centimetre contains, among other things, six million cells, two hundred pain sensors, and one hundred sweat glands. The skin of an individual weighing seventy kilograms ‘covers two square metres and weighs five kilograms’. A YouTube channel where you can ... (read more)

Diane Stubbings reviews '12 Bytes: How artificial intelligence will change the way we live and love' by Jeanette Winterson

October 2021, no. 436 22 September 2021
Diane Stubbings reviews '12 Bytes: How artificial intelligence will change the way we live and love' by Jeanette Winterson
In her novel Frankissstein (2019) – a reimagining of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818) that embraces robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), and transhumanism – Jeanette Winterson writes, ‘The monster once made cannot be unmade. What will happen to the world has begun.’  This observation might have served as an epigraph for her new book, 12 Bytes. Comprising twelve essays that rumina ... (read more)

Diane Stubbings reviews 'An Insider’s Plague Year' by Peter Doherty

September 2021, no. 435 19 August 2021
Diane Stubbings reviews 'An Insider’s Plague Year' by Peter Doherty
The collective dislocation that followed the advent of Covid-19 generated (and continues to generate) a slew of books intended to make sense of the turmoil. Encompassing Slavoj Žižek’s anti-capitalist treatise Pandemic! (2020) and books for children such as Eoin McLaughlin and Polly Dunbar’s While We Can’t Hug (2020), the responses have ranged from considered attempts to apprehend the pand ... (read more)

Diane Stubbings reviews 'A Trip to the Dominions: The scientific event that changed Australia' edited by Lynette Russell

April 2021, no. 430 23 March 2021
Diane Stubbings reviews 'A Trip to the Dominions: The scientific event that changed Australia' edited by Lynette Russell
Founded in 1831, the British Association for the Advancement of Science (BAAS) sought to redress impediments to scientific progress that arose in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars, determining that the BAAS would ‘give a stronger impulse and more systematic direction to scientific inquiry … [and] promote the intercourse of cultivators of science’. ... (read more)

Diane Stubbings reviews 'There Are Places in the World Where Rules Are Less Important Than Kindness' by Carlo Rovelli, translated by Erica Segre and Simon Carnell

March 2021, no. 429 22 February 2021
Diane Stubbings reviews 'There Are Places in the World Where Rules Are Less Important Than Kindness' by Carlo Rovelli, translated by Erica Segre and Simon Carnell
In a recent interview, Italian physicist Carlo Rovelli confessed that the book he would most like to be remembered for is The Order of Time (2018), a work in which time, as it is commonly understood, ‘melts [like a snowflake] between your fingers and vanishes’. The Order of Time, Rovelli admits, only pretends to be about physics. Ultimately, it’s a book about the meaning of life and the comp ... (read more)

Diane Stubbings reviews 'Metazoa: Animal minds and the birth of consciousness' by Peter Godfrey-Smith

January–February 2021, no. 428 17 December 2020
Diane Stubbings reviews 'Metazoa: Animal minds and the birth of consciousness' by Peter Godfrey-Smith
One of the blessings of Covid-19 lockdown was discovering the wildlife cameras streaming on the internet in real time. With a click it became possible to observe brown bears catching salmon in Alaska, sea lions clambering on and off a rocky beach in British Columbia, and white-bellied sea eagles nesting in an eyrie high in bushland on Sydney’s fringes. Watching newly fledged eaglets literally st ... (read more)
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