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Paul Salzman

Paul Salzman taught English for many years at La Trobe University.

Paul Salzman reviews 'A Dictionary of Alchemical Imagery' by Lindy Abraham

December 2001–January 2002, no. 237 01 December 2001
Blessed are the compilers of dictionaries, writers of reference books and encyclopedia entries – how would we access knowledge without them? But if they work in the Australian university system, they are not blessed by the Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs, which awards no research points whatsoever for such activities. Lindy Abraham’s esoteric-sounding dictionary of alchemic ... (read more)

Paul Salzman reviews 'Rain in the Distance' by Suzanne Falkiner and 'Tilly's Fortunes' by Helen Asher

June 1986, no. 81 01 June 1986
These two first novels join the rapidly increasing library of fine and varied fiction being written by Australian women. Pairing them in this review is entirely fortuitous, and it is always possible to construct a comparison between any two books with a little ingenuity. I would want to stress the contrasting ways in which these authors explore very different aspects of female experience. However, ... (read more)

Paul Salzman reviews 'The Life That I Have Lead' by Serge Liberman

May 1987, no. 90 01 May 1987
Serge Liberman is that unfashionable thing, a committed writer. Not committed to a party-line, of course, but to a literature of engagement with humanity. A parable that seems to illustrate his view of the artist’s role is provided by a story entitled ‘The Poet Walks Along High Street’. The poet, Gabriel Singer, walks along a street pointed towards ‘Erehwon Creek’, peopled by allegorical ... (read more)

Paul Salzman reviews 'Vernacular Dreams' by Angelo Loukakis

May 1986, no. 80 01 May 1986
In ‘Partying on Parquet’, the story from Vernacular Dreams chosen by Don Anderson for inclusion in Transgressions, the hapless Steve attempts to hold a party for his HSC tutor Penny. The party is split into two small groups: Penny and her ‘uni friends’ Jan and Greg, and Marina and Pavlos, ‘dumb ethnics like himself whom he had met at Greek dancing class’. Naturally everything goes wron ... (read more)

Paul Salzman reviews 'The Color of the Sky' by Peter Cowan

October 1986, no. 85 01 October 1986
Peter Cowan’s new novel The Color of the Sky is an elliptical, even enigmatic, narrative. Although specifically labelled a ‘novel’, it is a novella in its concision pf narrative explanation; as well as in its length. The layers of event and reminiscence are multifarious enough to fill out a hefty tome but are compressed in such a way that they become almost cryptic messages requiring conside ... (read more)

Paul Salzman reviews 'Avenue of Eternal Peace' by Nicholas Jose

October 1989, no. 115 01 October 1989
This is, above all else, a timely novel. In an afterword describing the Beijing massacre, Nicholas Jose explains that he wrote Avenue of Eternal Peace in 1987. The novel ends with the growing push for democracy, with crowds milling in Tiananmen Square, and with a sense that change might be possible, if precarious. The afterword details the end of such hopes. Jose’s novel therefore has a strange ... (read more)

Paul Salzman reviews 'Stories from the Warm Zone' by Jessica Anderson

July 1987, no. 92 01 July 1987
In her interview with Candida Baker for Yacker 2, Jessica Anderson expresses her dissatisfaction with the covers of a number of her books, citing in particular the glum face on the paperback of The Impersonators and the representation of The Commandant as, in Baker’s words, ‘a Regency romance’. Anderson, who began as a commercial artist, stresses that ‘Design and presentation ... really ma ... (read more)