Non Fiction

Andreas Gaile presents his Rewriting History as Peter Carey’s biography of Australia. Before he gives us the facts of that biography, however, he suggests why Carey cannot write a biography of Australia: ‘there is no “real” Australia waiting to be uncovered. A national identity is an invention ...

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While explorations of Australia at war have never been short on ‘male stories’, the prevalence of the masculine frame may yet increase in coming years as part of the ongoing examination of competing forms of manhood in this country, as evidenced by the upcoming symposium ‘Embattled Men: Masculinity and War’ at the Australian National University. The publicit ...

James Ley reviews 'Heat: 24'

James Ley
19 April 2011

A declaration of interest is in order. I have twice appeared in the pages of HEAT. I am also in the latter stages of a doctorate, which I have been writing for the past few years under the supervision of HEAT’s editor, Ivor Indyk. Under normal circumstances, I would decline to review a new edition of the journal for these reasons. The latest edit ...

When Bouvard and Pécuchet suddenly become enamoured of landscape design in Flaubert’s novel of 1881, and decide to remodel their own garden, they are bewildered by the ‘infinity of styles’ that are available to them. After much deliberation and research, they decide to install an Etruscan tomb with an inscription ...

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Since the mid 1990s, when Robert Putnam lionised the concept in his famous essay ‘Bowling Alone’, writing on ‘social capital’ has proliferated. It caught the eye of politicians, including then United States President Bill Clinton, and for a while it seemed that everyone was lamenting its decline ...

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In September 1857, after twenty-one years of marriage, Charles Dickens began the eight-month long process of separating himself from his wife, Catherine. At forty-two years of age, Catherine had given birth to ten children and managed Dickens’s large household. Until the mid 1850s she and Dickens seemed to enjoy a happy partnership, yet by 1858 Catherine was exile ...

Uneven realities

Nigel Pearn

 

The elasticity of fiction, the ‘what if’ – in other words, the genre’s very virtues and interests – are often the characteristics that alienate ‘sensible’ readers. To the literal-minded, literature can present as a self-defeating puzzle. All that pretence is exhausting, irrelevant at best, ...

Australians quite like the idea of freedom of speech, except in almost any situation you can think of. We hold that speaking freely is acceptable and commendable except when it is rude, upsetting, unpatriotic, in poor taste, or blocks the traffic.

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‘A peculiar bloke, Jack; you never knew him. You couldn’t get close to him.’ Reg Pollard, who was one of the abler members of the Labor Caucus in the 1940s, confessed his puzzlement to Lloyd Ross as Curtin’s biographer gathered personal testimony ...

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That Patrick White is thought of as an Australian writer is, though regrettable, undeniable. Two problems follow: the first being that he tends to be presented by his critical custodians in an almost comically restricted way, as though White’s works needed to be measured and justified only by Australian standards and terms of comparison ...

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