Essays and Commentary

2011 Calibre Prize (Winner): The Death of the Writer

Dean Biron
20 April 2011

In February 1878 in Marseilles, France, Józef Teodor Konrad Nałęcz Korzeniowski, a twenty-year-old Polish seafarer tormented by depression, lifted a revolver to his chest and pulled the trigger. The suicide attempt failed: the bullet, whether by chance or design, penetrated the young man’s body without disrupting any vital organ. Korzeniowski recovered quickly ... More

'Dr Goldsworthy on Dr Chekhov' by Peter Goldsworthy

Peter Goldsworthy
12 April 2011

‘Who do you think you are?’ an eminent paediatrician once thundered at me across a child’s cot during his weekly grand ward round. ‘Anton Chekhov?’

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'Hazel Rowley: Biographer of big subjects' by Lucy Sussex

Lucy Sussex
24 March 2011

To write about a biographer is to be aware of a presence, psychologically if not spectrally, sitting on your shoulder. This presence is not an angel, more like an imp, the minor demon that arouses bad deeds, or thoughts. In writing about a biographer we can feel not angelic inspiration, but the imp of doubt, saying: This is not good enough, I could do better.

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'Something is turning: The role of essays in a questioning culture' by Jane Goodall

Jane Goodall
23 March 2011

Address to the reader is one of the conventions of the modern essay form, going back to Montaigne, who includes a statement of address by way of an introduction to his collected writings. A question or series of questions refreshes the direct address along the way, accentuates the sense of voice, and vitalises the connection by supposing the reader as an interlocuto ... More

'The tyranny of text? Different readings at the Melbourne International Arts Festival' by John Rickard

John Rickard
07 December 2010

Different readings at the Melbourne International Arts Festival

by John Rickard

 

In October, Brett Sheehy’s Melbourne International Arts Festival presented, with a certain relish, I suspect, two productions that represent opposite ends of a dramatic spectrum of current concern to those working in theatre. Heiner Goebbels’s S ... More

Morag Fraser on Obama's presidency

Morag Fraser
30 November 2010

Immediately after the mid-term elections in November, Barack Obama left for a long-planned G20 gathering in Seoul and for meetings with heads of government in the nation states of India, Indonesia, and Japan. Nothing remarkable, you think? Exactly what one expects a United States president to do? Not in America.

The right-wing blogosphere went berserk. Miche ... More

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