ABR Arts Commentary

Coetzee Colloquium

Shannon Burns
Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Few authors summon the various modes of irony to better purpose than J.M. Coetzee. Typically, before Coetzee gives a reading, the audience can safely suppose that they are in for a good laugh, the odd squirm and cringe, and at least one moment of bewilderment. But there are exceptions to this general rule, and the several hundred people who gathered to hear Coetzee ...

Opera Australia’s Lyndon Terracini responds to Peter Tregear

Lyndon Terracini
Tuesday, 02 September 2014

Peter Tregear’s comments on Arts Update (‘Opera, the art of the possible’) regarding 

Opera, the art of the possible

Peter Tregear
Thursday, 28 August 2014

Hanrahans are scarcely a new phenomenon in the so-called ‘heritage arts’. Classical music in general, and opera in particular, have been publicly declared to be dead or dying for hundreds of years. But when no less an institution than the Metropolitan Opera starts talking openly about a new ‘global crisis confronting the operatic form’, it might be time for ...

In defence of book reviewers in Australia

Peter Rose
Friday, 11 July 2014

Book reviewers and the editors of periodicals that commission them are used to sour assessments of their worth, but Professor John Dale’s article on The Conversation yesterday is in a class of its own.

What a clichéd, ungenerous and discreditab ...

Dear Alex,

You invited us. We – Geordie Williamson, David Malouf and I, representing over 3000 signatories of the Petition to save the Mitchell Library Reading Room (MLRR) and calling for a public meeting t ...

Writers against surveillance

The Editors
Tuesday, 10 December 2013

ABR proudly supports 500 authors around the world in protesting at the infringement of civil rights in the digital age and seeking the creation of an International Bill of Digital Rights.

The initiative called ‘Writers Against Surveillance’ today published a pledge demanding ‘all states and corporations’ respect the right ‘ ...

The Frozen Sea

Peter Rose
Tuesday, 20 August 2013

There was a real sense of occasion at the State Library of Queensland on 15 August when Tony Burke (Minister for the Arts and for Immigration, Multicultural Affairs, and Citizenship) – representing Kevin Rudd – announced the winners of the 2013 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards. Well there might ...

Open letter concerning Fairfax

The Editors
Tuesday, 14 August 2012

 There is, understandably, much umbrage and anxiety in Canberra following Fairfax’s decision to remove its literary editor at the Canberra Times and to rely exclusively on literary reviews and commentaries emanating from Fairfax’s two main broadsheets, The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald – broadsheets that will themselves beco ...

Patrick White in Canberra

Peter Rose
Friday, 20 April 2012

Life-of-PWTo Canberra on 12 April for the opening of a new travelling exhibition, The Life of Patrick White.

First, though, a quick dash that morning to Sydney for a meeting with Bernadette Brennan and Hilary McPhee. The three of us hav ...

Lightness and clarity

by Christopher Menz


The initial idea was for a new front door at the National Gallery of Australia. At least that is how Ron Radford, director of the Gallery, presented it to the one thousand or so guests in his remarks at the official opening of Andrew Andersons’ and PTW Architects’ Stage One ‘New Look ...

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