Old friendships and close collaborations between author and subject can be either a blessing or a curse in biography – a tightrope between discretionary tact and open fire. Both call for intimate but balanced subjectivity, especially where virile egos are concerned. The Boy from Brunswick, a massive tome with sixty chapters and 540 pages, offers a bit of everything ...... (read more)
Brian Matthews reviews 'Antipodean Perspective: Selected Writings of Bernard Smith' edited by Rex Butler and Sheridan Palmer
The editors begin their introduction to Antipodean Perspective with some ground clearing: ‘The putting together of a series of responses to an important scholar’s work is a classic academic exercise. It is undoubtedly a worthy, but also necessarily a selective undertaking. In German it is called a Festschrift …... (read more)
It’s absurd to pretend that we are or ever have been no more than exiled Europeans … forever condemned to inhabit some irrelevant, Antipodean limbo.’ This statement encapsulates Joan Kerr’s determination to rewrite established codes of Australian art history and to expand the lexicon of its cultural heritage ...... (read more)
A conversation is an interactive exchange usually of a spontaneous nature. Janet Hawley’s essays are a mix of journalistic intention, conversational ruminations, observations, enquiries, and a gentle goading of her subjects about the ‘twin crucibles’ of creativity – the personality of the artist and what occurs in his or her sanctum, the studio. Assumi ...