Literary Studies

Gabriel García Ochoa reviews 'The Man Who Invented Fiction: How Cervantes ushered in the modern world' by William Egginton

Gabriel García Ochoa

The four-hundredth anniversary of Miguel de Cervantes’s death serves as a good reminder of the influence and importance of his oeuvre, and perhaps too of our strange obsession with ...More

Jen Webb reviews 'Release the Bats: Writing your way out of it' by DBC Pierre and 'The Writer’s Room: Conversations about writing' by Charlotte Wood

Jen Webb

Writers have, it seems, an insatiable appetite for reading about writing; and such advice comes in various forms. There are books that promise to teach their readers how to write in any ...

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Kate Burridge reviews 'The Australian National Dictionary, Second Edition' edited by Bruce Moore

Kate Burridge

The appearance of a new dictionary is always exciting, and the publication of the second edition of the Australian National Dictionary is certainly cause for celebration ...

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Bernadette Brennan reviews 'A Companion to the Works of Kim Scott' edited by Belinda Wheeler

Bernadette Brennan

In 2004 Kim Scott delivered the prestigious Herbert Blaiklock Memorial Lecture to a predominantly academic audience at the University of Sydney. Provocatively, he began ...

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Paul Giles reviews 'D.H. Lawrence's Australia: Anxiety at the edge of empire' by David Game

Paul Giles

When D.H. Lawrence arrived in Australia on 4 May 1922, he was so ignorant of the country's actual conditions that he was, as David Game observes ...

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James Ley reviews 'The Daemon Knows: Literary Greatness and the American Sublime' by Harold Bloom

James Ley

As he reminds his readers on numerous occasions in The Daemon Knows: Literary Greatness and the American Sublime, Harold Bloom is now well into his eighties. He has spent a lifetime teaching and writing about literature at Yale University, where he has long claimed to constitute a 'department of one'. The claim is part lament, part affectation, part boast. ... More

Brenda Walker reviews 'The Simplest Words' by Alex Miller

Brenda Walker

In The Simplest Words, Alex Miller's recently published work on his own journey through country, writing, love, friendship, and fatherhood, there is a remarkable scene of levitation. Miller describes his young daughter soaring up his own bookshelves, pas ... More

Ian Dickson reviews 'James Merrill' by Langdon Hammer

Ian Dickson

To his critics, James Merrill was at best a petit maître, a composer of exquisitely manufactured lyrics that reflected his privileged life and over-refined sensibilities. When he won Yale's Bollingen Prize for Poetry, the editorial writer for The New York Times wearily deplored the judges' preference for 'literary' poets. This prompted a sharp res ... More

Susan Lever reviews 'Contemporary Australian Literature' by Nicholas Birns

Susan Lever

From time to time, Australian literature has been fortunate enough to attract the enthusiasm of international critics, from C. Hartley Grattan in the 1920s to Paul Giles, who compared Australian and American literature in his scholarly Antipodean America (2013). Nicholas Birns, a New York academic, tells us that he first encountered Australian writing back ... More

Kerryn Goldsworthy reviews 'Mick' by Suzanne Falkiner

Kerryn Goldsworthy

Late in 1998, the Times Literary Supplement, as was its wont, sent Randolph 'Mick' Stow a book for review. It was Xavier Herbert: A Biography (1998) by Francis de Groen, and Stow accepted the commission with enthusiasm. 'What a ghastly, embarrassing old pillock,' he wrote to his lifelong friend Bill Grono. 'Well, you'll soon read my opinion of him. ... More

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