Non Fiction

Dennis Haskell reviews 'An Unsentimental Bloke'

Dennis Haskell
Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Now and again it is good to remind ourselves that literary history (and I think the history of the other arts) is strewn with the names of those who had great stature in their own time and are now largely forgotten, and with the names of others for whom the reverse is true. William Blake, short of money, went to work for the much more admired poet William Hayley. Th ...

Delys Bird reviews 'Tim Winton: Critical Essays'

Delys Bird
Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Sitting, a few years ago, in the audience at a writers’ festival in the south-west of Western Australia, at a panel session hosted by Jennifer Byrne, I was struck by the widespread reaction to one of the panellists announcing that the book she had chosen to discuss was Tim Winton’s Cloudstreet (now securely canonised as an ‘Australian national classic ...

Brian Matthews reviews 'The Critic in the Modern World'

Brian Matthews
Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Aproaching Thomas Wyatt’s great but notoriously resistant poem ‘They flee from me that sometime did me seek / With naked foot stalking in my chamber’, poet and critic Vincent Buckley wrote, ‘The sense of purposive yet mysterious activity created in this opening stanza is also a matter of its sensuousness … The critical problem is to define this … sensuou ...

Robert Adamson is Poet of the Month

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Which poets have most influenced you?

First encounters sink deep: Shelley, Blake, Hopkins, Yeats. The Revelators in my youth: Rimbaud, Lorca, Hart Crane. The Golden Codgers of middle age: Mallarmé, Emily Dickinson, Lorine Niedecker, Robert Creeley, Robert Duncan, and David Malouf. Life Support: Wallace Stevens and Thomas Traherne. The D ...

Shakespeare’s great contemporary Ben Jonson dressed an actor in armour to open his play Poetaster. The Prologue explained:

If any muse why I salute the stage,
An armèd Prologue, know, ’tis a
dangerous age,
Wherein who writes had need present
his scenes
Forty-fold proof against the conjuring
means

Rachel Buchanan reviews a new biography of David Syme

Rachel Buchanan
Wednesday, 24 September 2014

David Syme made his name and his fortune in newspapers – specifically The Age – and his life’s course might be compared with the workings of a gigantic web offset press.

I have watched such machines at work. They start off slow; the rolls of naked newsprint snake by gently, round and round. When the presses roar to life the noise is astonishing; ...

Bridget Griffen-Foley reviews 'Stop the Presses!'

Bridget Griffen-Foley
Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Fairfax Media, which has churned out millions of words since its beginnings in Sydney in the 1830s, has itself inspired hundreds of thousands of words in the last year or so. First came Colleen Ryan’s Fairfax: The Rise and Fall (June 2013), followed by Pamela Williams’ Killing Fairfax (July 2013). Now comes Stop the Presses! by Ben Hills, a ...

Luke Horton reviews 'Boyhood Island'

Luke Horton
Tuesday, 23 September 2014

In Boyhood Island, the third volume in Karl Ove Knausgaard’s internationally acclaimed My Struggle cycle, we are taken back to where the series began: an island in southern Norway, seven-year-old Karl Ove and his older brother Yngve live under the tyranny of a cruel and taciturn father in the mid-1970s. Unlike the first volume, A Death in the Fami ...

Peter Rose on Erik Jensen

Peter Rose
Tuesday, 23 September 2014
Peter Rose reviews Erik Jensen’s unusual memoir of his relationship with the troubled artist Adam Cullen.

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Peter Mares reviews two titles on asylum seekers

Peter Mares
Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Peter Mares reviews two memoirs which offer new perspectives on the problems faced by asylum seekers.

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