In everyone’s face
‘You were always in everyone’s face at med school, too.’
It is remarkable to read a reflective piece of writing of this nature from a surgeon in this country (‘Shouting Abortion’ by Linda Atkins, ABR, June 2022). It should not be. Much of what is amiss in this country would be ameliorated by more involvement from professionals at the high end. Instead of burying themselves in their work, let’s hear more from them. So much of politics and advocacy across a range of areas is attended to by middling nobodies like myself, while those who outperformed us in their education are missing in action.
Patrick Hockey (online comment)
This is such an important discussion, and it needs to be out there in the public consciousness. Thank you, Linda Atkins, for lending your voice to this and for all the work you have done in this space.
Sam Abu Hadid (online comment)
East of Suez
In her article ‘Britain’s Atomic Oval’ (ABR, June 2022), Elizabeth Tynan understates the level of commitment of Prime Minister Robert Menzies and his cabinet to what File DEFE/2148 calls the pursuit of ‘Nuclear Capability in Australia’. I have reported in Meanjin (‘How Menzies Begged Macmillan for the Bomb’, December 2019) how Menzies and members of his Atomic Weapons Tests Safety Committee shuttled to London in the early 1960s to lobby for tactical nuclear missiles to be left in Australia as the United Kingdom withdrew from East of Suez. How and why Britain refused is instructive as we contemplate the AUKUS era.
Sue Rabbitt Roff (online comment)
Wagner contra Verdi
In your review of Lohengrin in the June issue, you wrote, ‘At his best, Wagner stirs us, slays us, seduces us as no other composer can – a unique entrancement.’ I am ambivalent about Wagner because of his texts and philosophies, not his music. I would have to say – in the terms which you elaborate – I find Verdi and, emphatically, Mozart much more intellectually and emotionally engaging. And at $800 for a ticket in Premium Reserve, Jonas Kaufmann – notwithstanding his voice, musicality, and intelligence – is absurdly expensive.
John Carmody, Roseville, NSW
Benjamin Huf’s comprehensive review of Joan Beaumont’s book Australia’s Great Depression (ABR, May 2022) draws attention to an aspect of human resilience rarely if ever referred to in the psychiatric and psychological literature. Embedded in the fiscal details of Australia’s Depression-era politics is Huf’s telling reference to the book’s immersion in the Depression movement, highlighting the steely resolve of individuals and groups to be inventive and to transform their hardship via an array of local social and vocational networks. These became a safety net for the dispossessed, the unemployed, and the traumatised. Benjamin Huf’s review provides a significant extra dimension to the literature on human resilience when people are faced with trauma and loss.
Roger Rees, Goolwa, SA
In Stephanie Trigg’s review of Ann-Marie Priest’s My Tongue Is My Own (La Trobe University Press) published in the June 2022 issue, reference was made to ‘the absence of an index’. The finished version of My Tongue Is My Own does contain an index.