Non Fiction

Alexander Howard reviews 'English as a Vocation'

Alexander Howard
28 November 2013

Christopher Hilliard’s meticulously researched and richly detailed English as a Vocation: The Scrutiny Movement opens with a historical anecdote regarding an after-hours, postwar negotiation ‘between literary analysis and popular culture’ undertaken in that most evocative of English holiday destinations: Scarborough. In these opening lines, ...

Ian Donaldson reviews 'Shakespeare Beyond Doubt'

Ian Donaldson
28 November 2013

It was not until the middle years of the nineteenth century, so far as we can tell, that anyone seriously doubted that the man from Stratford-upon-Avon called William Shakespeare had written the plays that for the past two and a half centuries had passed without question under his name. In the early 1850s, however, a private scholar from Connecticut named Deli ...

Gay Bilson reviews 'One Soufflé at a Time'

Gay Bilson
28 November 2013

Not everyone’s father sends his daughter a brace of pheasants while she is studying economics at Cambridge. With a choice of two gas rings on which to cook them, Anne Willan eviscerated and plucked the birds, then used one gas ring to cook a pheasant casserole and the other to make a caramel custard that she ‘steamed over a galvanised tin laundry bucket’. She ...

There aren’t any Australian poets quite like Rae Desmond Jones, whose distinctive, unusual, and sometimes unsettling voice has been an important, though undervalued, force in Australian poetry since the early 1970s.

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Dennis Haskell reviews 'The Watchmaker's Imprint'

Dennis Haskell
28 November 2013

The last page of Ian Templeman’s Selected Poems asks us to imagine that ‘every touch / expressing affection, left a handprint / on the heart’ that scientists could later ‘analyse, / to trace a profile of love’. Templeman envisages retired scholars who would prefer to find these traces ‘above a life of research texts’. The poem is titled ...

‘As if cuffed by the ear, the Colorado river pulled me onward.’ The current that seized Kate Middleton can be felt throughout Ephemeral Waters, as she takes us from the headwaters of the Colorado, through the Grand Canyon, over the Hoover Dam, until the great river, all its water plundered along ...

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Cassandra Atherton on Rose Lucas's 'Even in the Dark'

Cassandra Atherton
28 November 2013

William Carlos Williams once famously stated, ‘No ideas but in things’, about his poetic method. Rose Lucas, in her first poetry collection, Even in the Dark, takes up the imagist movement’s poetic style but ‘makes it new’ in her examination of the role of the poet in both the local environment and abroad. Her observant and mimetic style shimm ...

Christopher Menz visits 'Living in a Modern Way'

Christopher Menz
28 November 2013

Living in a Modern Way:California Design 1930–1965 is the catalogue accompanying an exhibition of the same name at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 2011–12. The exhibition is now showing at Queensland’s Gallery of Modern Art, after a stint in Seoul.

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As film critics go, Geoffrey O’Brien is a lover, not a fighter: unconcerned with starting quarrels or settling scores, he simply aims to share his pleasure in what he has seen. Perhaps his remarkably good temper stems from the fact that he is not a full-time critic, but an example of that nearly extinct species, the all-round man of letters. He is editor-in- ...

Reflections upon Melbourne’s reputation as a world cultural capital often sideline film-making, but the relationship is long and fruitful. The Story of the Kelly Gang (1906), filmed on the former Charterisville Estate in Heidelberg, is history’s first feature film. The first Australian entry in this series of global guides highlights the centrality ...