Commentary

Inga Clendinnen: An Appreciation by Jay Winter

Jay Winter

Inga Clendinnen, who died in Melbourne on 8 September 2016, was an historian whose primary research interest was the exploration of the social conditions of extreme violence in different periods and societies. She was born Inga Vivienne Jewell, the youngest of four children, in Geelong in 1934. Her father had a cabinet and furniture workshop, the income of which he ... More

Whatever it takes: A chronicle of failure and deceit in the Chilcot Report by Ross McKibbin

Ross McKibbin

The publication of the much-delayed Chilcot Report on the origins and consequences of Britain’s participation in the Iraq war has had its resonances, but they would have been more profound had it been published two or three years ago. It is hard on John Chilcot that his Report has had to compete in the public mind with Brexit and Donald Trump. Furthermore, in a ge ... More

The City of Palaces by Gabriel García Ochoa

Gabriel García Ochoa

Describing Mexico City without tripping over a cliché is not easy. Vibrant, colourful, dangerous, loud, exhilarating, rich in history and gastronomic delights, it’s all been ...

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Episode #12 The City of Palaces by Gabriel García Ochoa

Gabriel García Ochoa reports back from Mexico following the US election in his article 'The City of Palaces' which appears in the January-February issue of Australian Book Review. ... More

Hydra as intimate theatre by Paul Genoni

Paul Genoni

In late 1963, Rodney Hall – an aspiring but unpublished poet and novelist – travelled through Greece’s Saronic islands with his wife and their infant daughter. Shortly after ...

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'The god of cheaper prices: New threats to our literary culture from the Productivity Commission' by Colin Golvan

Colin Golvan

The federal government has been promoting the innovation economy, but is considering recommendations for legal reform which will undermine the financial and cultural interests ...

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'Bobbin Up by Dorothy Hewett' by Nicholas Jose

Nicholas Jose

'Bobbin Up was written in 1958 during eight weeks of the coldest Sydney winter on record', recalled Dorothy Hewett in her introduction to the Virago Modern Classics reprint of her ...

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'The debate over 18C' by David Rolph

David Rolph

It is not often that a legislative provision leaves the pages of the statute books and enters everyday conversation. Statutory interpretation rarely enters public consciousness ...

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'On John Foster' by John Rickard

John Rickard

When Take Me to Paris, Johnny was first published in 1993, the AIDS crisis seemed to be at its worst. Many of us had friends and acquaintances who were dying. One began to notice men who, thin and haggard, one feared were suffering from AIDS (women victims being relatively few in number). There was no sign of the drug therapies that would, towards the end o ... More

'Letter from New Orleans' by Kevin Rabalais

Kevin Rabalais

The streets of New Orleans double as scented gardens for the blind. Round any corner in the Vieux Carré – known to most as the French Quarter – and experience the assault of sensory details. It might start with a spicy tang of boiling seafood, crawfish, or shrimp or crabs plucked from the amphibious Louisiana land. Maybe it's frying beignets or praline mixture ... More

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