Non Fiction

Dion Kagan reviews 'Out of Shape'

Dion Kagan
Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Much has been said about our tendency to feel bad about our bodies, but not quite in the way Mel Campbell goes about it. The fit of clothes is a more interesting, if more elusive, cultural story than the predictable outrage over fashion’s ever slimmer bodies or recent storms about ‘plus size’ models. Out of Shape addresses these controversi ...

Andrew Fuhrmann reviews 'Griffith Review 41'

Andrew Fuhrmann
Wednesday, 28 August 2013

And so Griffith Review is ten. It’s a credit to the publishing smarts of founding editor Julianne Schultz that the journal is now a fixture on the cultural landscape, alongside the country’s older literary journals. Griffith is the vantage not of the outraged so much as the frustrated, a reliable forum for passionate criticisms aimed at the i ...

Bronwyn Lea reviews 'Six Different Windows'

Bronwyn Lea
Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Seen through one window, Paul Hetherington’s Six Different Windows appears to be a collection of poems concerned with the death of art. Such a theme is perhaps not surprising given that Hetherington, in addition to his seven books of poems, edited three volumes of Donald Friend’s diaries for the National Library of Australia, the last of which was s ...

Anthony Lynch reviews Luke Davies's 'Four Plots for Magnets'

Anthony Lynch
Wednesday, 28 August 2013

In 1982 a young Steve Kelen published a slim volume by an even younger poet by the name of Luke Davies. Four Plots for Magnets was a chapbook of thirteen poems written mostly when the poet was eighteen and nineteen. Published by Glandular Press, an outlet established by Kelen and the painter Ken Searle in 1980, this ‘sampler’ (as Kelen later calls i ...

Graham Oppy reviews 'A Frightening Love'

Graham Oppy
Tuesday, 27 August 2013

The main aim of this book, which is written by a philosopher for other philosophers, is to take them to task for their failings. As Andrew Gleeson writes in his preface, ‘overall the book is a case study in the dissociation of a certain way of doing philosophy from its subject matter’.

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Jay Daniel Thompson on 'Philosophy in the Garden'

Jay Daniel Thompson
Tuesday, 27 August 2013

P hilosophy in the Garden is the latest book from philosopher and social commentator Damon Young. The text contributes to existing studies of the cultural and personal significance held by gardens. Young begins by noting that gardens ‘can console, calm and uplift’, as well as ‘discomfit and provoke’. This range of responses adds to ...

Lyndon Megarrity reviews 'W. Macmahon Ball'

Lyndon Megarrity
Tuesday, 27 August 2013

William Macmahon Ball (1901–86) was many things: an academic, a diplomat, a writer, and what we would now refer to as a ‘public intellectual’. As Ai Kobayashi’s new study of this fascinating man ably demonstrates, Ball was predominantly an educator. In the classroom, through books, and in the media, Ball encouraged his audience to reflect more deeply a ...

Colin Nettelbeck on 'Silences and Secrets'

Colin Nettelbeck
Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Kay Dreyfus was inspired to write about the Weintraubs Syncopators after seeing a German documentary at the Melbourne Jewish Film Festival in 2000. The film recounted the story of this interwar dance and variety band, which had earned fame in Josef von Sternberg’s The Blue Angel (1930), and later used a European tour to escape from Hitler’s jazz- an ...

Alex O'Brien reviews 'Mr Snack and the Lady Water'

Alex O'Brien
Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Much travel is unpleasant (with over-expectations, too many tourists, and long distances from Australia), but even the sedentary or timorous persist with it in some ‘misguided duty to culture’, as Brendan Shanahan describes in his first collection of essays, Mr Snack and the Lady Water. Assembling journeys from the mid-1990s until now, Shanahan reco ...

Nick Hordern reviews 'Australia’s Asia'

Nicholas Hordern
Tuesday, 27 August 2013

The launch last October of the Gillard government’s White Paper Australia in the Asian Century was quite a show; in Pakistan it would have been called a tamasha – to use the lovely Urdu word for a song and dance. A flock of officials, business figures, commentators, and consultants looked grave and prophetic as they preached the importance of ...

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