Literary Studies

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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Jan McGuinness reviews 'A Writing Life: Helen Garner and her work' by Bernadette Brennan

Jan McGuinness
27 April 2017

Who is the I in Helen Garner’s work? This is the question Bernadette Brennan probes by canvassing more than forty years of Garner’s writing and her seventy-four-year existence More

Tali Lavi review 'Behind the Text: Candid conversations with Australian creative nonfiction writers' by Sue Joseph

Tali Lavi
27 March 2017

What’s in a name? Academic Sue Joseph interviews eleven Australian non-fiction writers, a varied group which includes Paul McGeough, Doris Pilkington Garimara, and Kate Holden. Joseph is on a quest to uncover whether Australian ‘creative non-fiction’ exists here, as it does in other countries, and to understand what the term signifies to her subjects.

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Gillian Dooley reviews 'Australian Literary Studies' edited by Julieanne Lamond

Gillian Dooley
27 March 2017

Until 2015, Australian Literary Studies was still a printed artefact. It appeared in the mildly erratic pattern endemic to Australian humanities journals, which depend on busy people finding time for the rewarding but often unrewarded task of editing. Nevertheless, despite rising production costs and increasing competition from the online world, it remained ... More

Paul Giles reviews 'The Oxford History of the Novel in English: Volume 9: The world novel in English to 1950' edited by Ralph Crane, Jane Stafford, and Mark Williams

Paul Giles
23 March 2017

The latest instalment in the Oxford History of the Novel in English is notable for having one of its editors based in Australia and the other two in New Zealand. As these editors admit in their introduction, this volume is ‘something of a hybrid when set alongside the other eleven volumes that make up the series’, since it is organised partly by historical date, ... More

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