Non Fiction

Andrew Fuhrmann: 'Southerly, Vol. 72, No. 2'

Andrew Fuhrmann
Sunday, 28 April 2013

The critical essays collected in this current issue of Australia’s oldest literary journal make for frustrating reading. The theme is true crime, with a focus on the relationship between the sensational and the literary. Topics range from Underbelly Razor to the Jerilderie Letter to Schapelle Corby’s autobiography. Fascinating material, no doubt, but most ...

Anthony Lynch: 'Westerly Vol. 57, No. 2'

Anthony Lynch
Sunday, 28 April 2013

‘Tell me about it: you can trust me. I’m a writer.’ This ‘cautionary joke’ – one of few in this sober volume – cited in an essay by Frank Moorhouse, could be an epigraph for the latest Westerly. Editors Bird and Hughes-d’Aeth asked a selection of writers to share their thoughts on the ethics of writing. The ensuing essays include depictions of ...

Michael Fleming reviews 'New Vampire Cinema' by Ken Gelder

Michael Fleming
Sunday, 28 April 2013

The myth of the vampire entered into European literature as a Byronic hero of the Romantic era. This attractive but evil character appears to have shifted from peasant folklore into the written culture at the same time that Lady Caroline Lamb described Byron as ‘mad, bad and dangerous to know’. That would be a perfect description for the classical vampire. Altho ...

Alison Broinowski reviews 'Desert Passions'

Alison Broinowski
Sunday, 28 April 2013

I once fell out with an intelligent, well-read woman who refused to believe me when I said I had never read a Mills & Boon book. I should perhaps have admitted that the job I had as a student, proofreading stacks of popular novels for an Adelaide publisher, put me off them for life. Now I am grateful to Hsu-Ming Teo for educating me so thoroughly on romantic fic ...

Peter Kenneally reviews 'Confessional Box'

Peter Kenneally
Sunday, 28 April 2013

It’s simple. A young woman, her love for her partner slipping away, looks at their suburb, and him, and their relationship, and writes bronze-clad poetry about it. Then she takes to the bush, describing its towns and picking at its history with the same clear eye she uses to examine her lost love. She combines a photographic exactness with a resounding turn of phr ...

Janna Thompson reviews 'European Aesthetics'

Janna Thompson
Sunday, 28 April 2013

It is possible to imagine a culture that treats art merely as decoration, but to inheritors of the European tradition this idea of art’s function is demeaning. We expect great art to express or reflect the spiritual and philosophical preoccupations of our cultural heritage. No system-building philosopher in modern European history would have failed to incorporate ...

On 13 May 1958 a French military junta seized power in Algiers. Choreographed by Jacques Soustelle, the French governor-general of Algeria, in a deliberate plan to bring down the French government, the putsch led to the return to power of Charles de Gaulle, the collapse of the Fourth Republic, and, after four more years of anguish and prolific bloodshed, the end of ...

Lyndon Megarrity reviews 'Air Disaster Canberra'

Lyndon Megarrity
Sunday, 28 April 2013

On 13 August 1940 a Hudson Bomber travelling from Melbourne crashed near Canberra, killing all ten people on board. Three of the deceased were federal ministers: Geoffrey Street (army minister), Sir Henry S. Gullett (vice-president of the Executive Council), and James Fairbairn (minister for air and civil aviation). Also on board that day was Cyril Brudenell Bingham ...

Chris Wallace-Crabbe : 'Mute Poetry, Speaking Pictures'

Chris Wallace-Crabbe
Sunday, 28 April 2013

Simonides of Ceos is said to have declared that ‘Painting is mute poetry, poetry a speaking picture.’ All of us know something of what he means, about our thirst for information from the arts: and, if you like, our scrabbling for the visible within a text. One half of his mirrored pronouncement is verified by those people who, in an art museum, hurry to the cura ...

Cassandra Atherton reviews 'Hotel Hyperion' by Lisa Gorton

Cassandra Atherton
Saturday, 27 April 2013

The camera ottica in the epigraph to Hotel Hyperion alludes to Lisa Gorton’s artful play with shifting perspectives in this luminescent collection of poetry. The reader is invited to put her eye to the lines of poetry as if to a Galilean telescope or ‘perspective tube’. By looking at the poems through the peephole as ...

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