Literary Studies

James Ley: The endless vagaries of the novelists

James Ley
21 March 2012

Here are some of the interesting things you may learn if you read John Sutherland’s Lives of the Novelists:

that James Fenimore Cooper was expelled from Yale for training a donkey to sit in the professor’s chair

that Evelyn Waugh once attempted suicide but was prevented from drowning by a passing shoal o ... More

Ruth Starke reviews 'Inside Creative Writing'

Ruth Starke
21 March 2012

Graeme Harper is a big name in the academic field of creative writing. He was the first in Australia to be awarded a doctorate in creative writing (UTS, 1993) and followed that with a PhD from the University of East Anglia; he has held professorships in creative writing in the United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States. He edits journals and writes textbooks o ... More

Evelyn Juers reviews two new books on Dickens

Evelyn Juers
26 February 2012

This is how Claire Tomalin closes her Dickens biography: ‘He left a trail like a meteor, and everyone finds their own version of Charles Dickens’, followed by a long list of types. I consider Dickens the surrealist, or thesentimentalist, but then I pick Dickens the tireless walker. And I concede, with Tomalin, that regarding h ... More

Simone de Beauvoir (edited by Margaret A. Simons and Marybeth Timmermann): 'The Useless Mouths' and Other Literary Writings

Colin Nettelbeck
22 February 2012

Gems and oddities from Simone de Beauvoir

Colin Nettelbeck

 

‘The Useless Mouths’ and Other Literary Writings
by Simone de Beauvoir (edited by Margaret A. Simons and Marybeth Timmermann)
University of Illinois Press (Footprint Books), $69 hb, 408 pp, 9780252036347

 

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John Fuller: Who is Ozymandias?

Chris Wallace-Crabbe
22 February 2012

Shadowland

Chris Wallace-Crabbe

 

Who is Ozymandias? And Other Puzzles in Poetry
by John Fuller
Random House, $36.95 hb, 256 pp, 9780701184575

 

Those who write about poetry these days don’t go in much for lightness. More often their solemnity spring ... More

Melinda Harvey reviews Margaret Atwood's 'In Other Worlds'

Melinda Harvey
20 January 2012

As contemporary author fan bases go, Margaret Atwood’s must be among the broadest. She is read at crèches, on university campuses, and in nursing homes. Feminists, birders, and would-be writers jostle to see her perform at literary festivals. Yet despite an Arthur C. Clarke Award and, in her own words, ‘three full-length fictions that nobody would ever class as ... More

Chris Flynn and Peter Carey on the challenging times for mid-list authors

Chris Flynn
26 September 2011

British author Glen Duncan released his eighth novel this year, the title of which, The Last Werewolf, is fairly self-explanatory. Although a much more philosophical (and entertaining) read than one might imagine in our current supernaturally-dominated ‘box-office’ novel landscape, Duncan’s book was a marked departure from an author better known for h ... More

R.S. White on 'The King and I''

R.S. White
23 August 2011

Literary critics used to adopt a persona claiming disinterested separation from the text being analysed. Critical theory, in particular post-colonial and gender studies, eroded this stance, showing that criticism is always self-interested, concealing or inadvertently revealing tacit assumptions stemming from the critic’s biography, class, gender, and political per ... More

Fiona Capp: My Blood's Country

Felicity Plunkett
08 June 2011

The dummy’s arm

Felicity Plunkett

 

My Blood’s Country: In the Footsteps of Judith Wright
by Fiona Capp
Allen & Unwin, $27.99 pb, 217 pp, 9781741754872

 

Late in My Blood’s Country, Fiona Capp describes a dream that Meredith McKinney ... More

Shirley Walker reviews 'Nine Lives'

Shirley Walker
04 May 2011

Susan Sheridan’s Nine Lives, a ‘group biography’, analyses the life stories and literary achievements of nine Australian women writers. The purpose, according to Sheridan, is not only to rediscover the life story of each, but also, by exploring their publishing and aesthetic context, to create a ‘fresh configuration’ of our literary history.

... More
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