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Podcast

The ABR Podcast 

Released every Thursday, the ABR podcast features our finest reviews, poetry, fiction, interviews, and commentary.

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Anne Manne

Episode #186

Soul blindness: Clerical narcissism and unfathomable cruelty

By Scott Stephens

In this week’s ABR Podcast, Scott Stephens reviews a book by Anne Manne: Crimes of the Crimes of the Cross: The Anglican paedophile network of Newcastle, its protectors and the man who fought for justice. Why is narcissism a central theme for a book about child sexual abuse? Stephens writes: ‘without the capacity or willingness to be attentive to the humanity of another person’, unfathomable cruelty becomes possible. Scott Stephens is the ABC’s Religion & Ethics online editor and the co-host, with Waleed Aly, of The Minefield on ABC Radio National. Listen to Scott Stephens’s ‘Soul blindness: Clerical narcissism and unfathomable cruelty’, published in the May issue of ABR.

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In this week’s ABR Podcast, Scott Stephens reviews a book by Anne Manne: Crimes of the Crimes of the Cross: The Anglican paedophile network of Newcastle, its protectors and the man who fought for justice. Why is narcissism a central theme for a book about child sexual abuse? Stephens writes: ‘without the capacity or willingness to be attentive to the humanity of another person’, unfathomable cruelty becomes possible. Scott Stephens is the ABC’s Religion & Ethics online editor and the co-host, with Waleed Aly, of The Minefield on ABC Radio National. Listen to Scott Stephens’s ‘Soul blindness: Clerical narcissism and unfathomable cruelty’, published in the May issue of ABR.

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This week on the ABR Podcast we review a profile of opposition leader Peter Dutton. Bad Cop: Peter Dutton’s strongman politics by Lech Blaine is the ninety-third issue of the BlackInc Quarterly Essay. In his review of Bad Cop, political biographer Patrick Mullins begins by comparing Dutton to another cop-turned-politician in Bill Hayden. Listen to Patrick Mullins with ‘”Some grotesque Minotaur”: Peter Dutton’s aggressive formation’, published in the May issue of ABR.

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In this week’s ABR Podcast, Michael Shmith reviews a memoir from poet, novelist, librettist, and Adelaide GP Peter Goldsworthy. The book’s title is The Cancer Finishing School. Shmith begins by observing that doctors aren’t supposed to become incurably ill, before immediately recognising this as the useless delusion of a patient. Michael Shmith is a Melbourne-based writer and editor whose most recent book is Merlyn, a biography of the widow of Sidney Myer. Listen to Michael Shmith’s ‘It might be …: P is for Peter, physician, patient, poet’, published in the April issue of ABR.

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In this week’s ABR podcast we feature one of the winners of the 2011 ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize. Gregory Day’s ‘The Neighbour’s Beans’ was joint winner of the prize that year with Carrie Tiffany’s ‘Before He Left the Family’. Gregory Day commented at the time that ‘the short story form encourages an intense display of the writer’s craft whilst being a potent vehicle for the compression of emotion’. Gregory Day is a novelist, poet, and composer from the Eastern Otways region of southwest Victoria. Listen to Gregory Day’s ‘The Neighbour’s Beans’, published in the October 2011 issue of ABR.

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In this week’s ABR Podcast, Frank Bongiorno assesses the Albanese government, which has recently completed the first half of its first term in office. Frank Bongiorno is Professor of History at the Australian National University, President of the Australian Historical Association, and the author of books including Dreamers and Schemers: A political history of Australia. Listen to Frank Bongiorno’s ‘‘‘Thin labourism” How is the Albanese government travelling?’, published in the April issue of ABR.

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In this week’s ABR Podcast Sascha Morrell reviews Matthew Lamb’s biography, Frank Moorhouse: Strange paths. Mathew Lamb might be the ideal reader for Moorhouse’s archive and seems to match Moorhouse’s capacity for telling the truth ‘bit by bit’, wink by nudge. Sascha Morrell is a regular ABR contributor and a Lecturer in Literary Studies at Monash University. Listen to Sascha Morrell’s ‘“When I am famous”: A masterpiece of biographical synthesis’, published in the April issue of ABR.

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On this week’s ABR Podcast, we return to the winner of the 2016 Calibre Essay Prize, Michael Winkler’s ‘The Great Red Whale’. As ABR remarked at the time, ‘This excoriating yet remarkably subtle meditation is also a tribute to consolations: landscape, specifically the desert of Central Australia, and literature, notably Moby-Dick.’ Here is Michael Winkler with ‘The Great Red Whale’.

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This week on the ABR Podcast we consider a poetics of contemplation with Scott Stephens. In his review of Kevin Hart’s book on reading and thinking, Lands of Likeness, Stephens writes, ‘there is no desire to consume the object of contemplation; what there is, is a longing to understand’. Scott Stephens is the ABC’s Religion & Ethics online editor and the co-host, with Waleed Aly, of The Minefield on ABC Radio National. Listen to Scott Stephens’ ‘Nothing but kestrel: Kevin Hart’s invitation to read contemplatively’, published in the March issue of ABR.

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This week on the ABR Podcast we tell the story behind Indonesia’s twentieth-century literary masterpiece, the Buru Quartet, a set of novels that began life in a jail cell. The Buru novels were written by Indonesian author Pramoedya Ananta Toer, widely considered a potential winner of the Nobel Prize. Nathan Hollier, publisher at Australian National University Press, explains why the Buru novels hold special significance for Australia, even though, as he writes ‘few Australians have heard of them’. Listen to Nathan Hollier’s ‘”At least I’ve told these stories to you”: Pramoedya Ananta Toer and the Buru Quartet’, published in the March issue of ABR.

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In this week’s episode of the ABR Podcast we revisit Cate Kennedy’s short story ‘Sleepers’, which won second prize in the 2010 ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize. ‘Sleepers’ was also included in Kennedy’s 2012 short-story collection Like a House on Fire. Cate Kennedy is an award-winning writer of fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Listen to Cate Kennedy’s ‘Sleepers’.

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