Literary Studies

Bruce Moore reviews 'That’s the Way It Crumbles: The American conquest of English' by Matthew Engel

Bruce Moore
06 December 2017

Matthew Engel has written for many years in The Guardian and the Financial Times, on topics ranging from politics to sport, and between 1993 and 2007 he produced editions More

Des Cowley reviews 'The Library: A catalogue of wonders' by Stuart Kells

Des Cowley
06 December 2017

In 2002, journalist Guy Rundle published a piece devoted to the little-known visit by Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges to Melbourne in May 1938. During his ten-day stay, Borges spent t More

Nicholas Jose reviews 'A New Literary History of Modern China' edited by David Der-Wei Wang

Nicholas Jose
30 November 2017

In his searching introduction to this immense volume, the editor, Harvard scholar David Der-Wei Wang, refers to the ‘architectonics of temporalities’ by which the project re-maps and r More

Andrew Fuhrmann reviews 'A Long Saturday: Conversations' by George Steiner and Laure Adler

Andrew Fuhrmann
24 November 2017

In the late 1950s, when he was a fellow at the Princeton Institute for Advanced Learning, George Steiner overheard the legendary J. Robert Oppenheimer, at that time head of the Institute, More

Colin Nettelbeck reviews 'A History of Modern French Literature: From the sixteenth century to the twentieth century' edited by Christopher Prendergast

Colin Nettelbeck
30 August 2017

On the acknowledgments page of this vast compendium, Christopher Prendergast describes the creation of the work as an ‘arduous task’ and the book itself as an ‘unwieldy vessel’. One can sympathise with the difficulty of presenting as a history of five centuries of French literature what would more accurately be described as a chronological anthology of essay ... More

Tony Hughes-d’Aeth reviews 'The Fiction of Tim Winton: Earthed and sacred' by Lyn McCredden

Tony Hughes-d'Aeth
30 May 2017

Tim Winton is embarrassing to Australian literary critics. It is not that it is impossible to form adequate literary judgements about the nature of his work. It is simply that any judgements one might form seem so totally irrelevant. Winton’s work makes plain a certain disconnect between the interests and imperatives of Australian literary criticism and those of t ... More

Delys Bird reviews 'Like Nothing on this Earth: A literary history of the wheatbelt' by Tony Hughes-d’Aeth

Delys Bird
29 May 2017

In his Epilogue to this major study of the West Australian wheatbelt and its writers, Tony Hughes-d’Aeth describes his work. With no ‘exact precedent’ in Australian scholarship, it is ‘best thought of as an amalgam of literary history, literary sociology and literary geography’. To achieve this, Hughes-d’Aeth traces the idea of the wheatbelt through inte ... More

Shannon Burns reviews 'Edge of Irony: Modernism in the Shadow of the Habsburg Empire' by Marjorie Perloff

Shannon Burns
30 April 2017

In her introduction to Edge of Irony, Marjorie Perloff claims that in order to ‘understand Modernism ... we have to read, more closely than we have, the deeply ironic war litera More

Paul Kildea reviews 'The Novel of the Century: The extraordinary adventure of Les Misérables' by David Bellos

Paul Kildea
28 April 2017

Visiting the actor Simon Gleeson in 2014 a few months after he was cast as Jean Valjean in a new production of Les Misérables, I was startled by the bulked-up friend who met me f More

Colin Nettelbeck reviews 'The Némirovsky Question: The life, death and legacy of a Jewish writer in 20th century France' by Susan Rubin Suleiman

Colin Nettelbeck
27 April 2017

When Irène Némirovsky’s Suite Française appeared in 2004, it was a huge success, in France and throughout the English-speaking world as well ...

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