Literary Studies

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

Elizabeth McMahon reviews 'A History of New Zealand Literature' edited by Mark Williams

Elizabeth McMahon
23 March 2017

A History of New Zealand Literature is a rewarding collection replete with the pleasure of new information that is both strange and strangely familiar. I commend it for both its intrinsic interest and, for Australian readers in particular, as one means of redressing Australia and New Zealand’s mutual ignorance of each other’s literary histories and cult ... More

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

Gabriel García Ochoa
28 October 2016

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
23 September 2016

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
23 September 2016

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
22 August 2016

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
24 May 2016

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
24 March 2016

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
26 February 2016

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
25 February 2016

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

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