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Dan Dixon

Dan Dixon

Dan Dixon is an English academic who teaches at the University of Sydney. He writes about essays, politics, and American literature and culture. His work has appeared in The Guardian, Meanjin, The Sydney Review of Books, and Overland.

Dan Dixon reviews 'The Book of Unconformities: Speculations on lost time' by Hugh Raffles

May 2021, no. 431 17 December 2020
Undertaking fieldwork in Iceland, anthropologist Hugh Raffles was combing a beach when he noticed, and became transfixed by, a ‘large rectangular black stone’. So transfixed, in fact, that he decided to take it back to New York. On his return to his car, everything was in chaos. The alarm went off, piercing the tranquil landscape; the ‘door open’ icon flashed, despite all the doors being c ... (read more)

Dan Dixon reviews 'Spinoza’s Overcoat: Travels with writers and poets' by Subhash Jaireth

June–July 2020, no. 422 26 May 2020
For some of us, love for a work of literature brings with it a desire to learn about the work’s gestation. All the literary theory in the world can insist that a piece of writing is not a question to which the author holds the answer, but whenever a book or poem or essay catches our interest, we want to know more about the person behind it.  For Subhash Jaireth, this desire to comprehend t ... (read more)

Dan Dixon reviews 'Trick Mirror: Reflections on self-delusion' by Jia Tolentino

August 2019, no. 413 04 August 2019
Writers describing the contemporary moment abound. Many do it well, but few do it as shrewdly as Jia Tolentino. With Trick Mirror: Reflections on self-delusion, Tolentino has produced a début collection of essays so insightful and moving that it appears to exist in a genre separate to so much perpetually circulated personal and political writing, the surfeit of which seems to define our era. Sin ... (read more)

Dan Dixon review 'The Best of The Lifted Brow: Volume Two' edited by Alexander Bennetts

January–February 2018, no. 398 27 December 2017
A collection organised around ‘the best’ of anything invites a particular kind of evaluation, a seeking of the criteria that such an elastic adjective might imply. The criteria employed for the selection of essays, fiction, and poetry appearing in The Best of The Lifted Brow, Volume Two seem to be grounded in a desire for intellectual cheekiness and a willingness to embrace creative transgress ... (read more)

Dan Dixon reviews 'Moral Panic 101: Equality, acceptance and the Safe Schools scandal' (Quarterly Essay 67) by Benjamin Law

December 2017, no. 397 24 November 2017
It is rare, in 2017, to return to a long news story’s beginning, to untangle its threads and find how it came to occupy its looming position in the cultural imagination, to learn how the dog-whistle words gathered their energy. Impressively, Benjamin Law’s Quarterly Essay achieves this feat. It is a meticulously researched piece of writing, clear-eyed and forceful. Law makes the unambiguous ca ... (read more)