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EM Forster

The ABR Podcast 

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

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Episode #182

‘Thin labourism’: How is the Albanese government travelling?

By Frank Bongiorno


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.

Recent episodes:

The Inheritance 

23 January 2024
We can look at the literary canon as our cultural inheritance: flawed and incomplete, maybe, but also a balm and a provocation stretching across the centuries. Part of its value lies in the connections we form between great works, the layers of meaning that build up over time like sediment in rock. American playwright Matthew López engages directly with this notion in his monumental seven-hour play The Inheritance, which is divided into two parts of comparable length. ... (read more)

This week we draw on ABR’s expanding digital archive and head back to December 2010, when ABR Editor Peter Rose wrote at length about E.M. Forster, author of novels such as Howards End and Room with a View. In this podcast, Rose discusses Wendy Moffat’s biography of Forster, before roaming more widely to revisit those influential novels and dipping into the immense Forster literature – and the even more gargantuan literature of Bloomsbury, of which Forster was a peripheral and somewhat wary member.

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When E.M. Forster published Aspects of the Novel in 1927, he was not writing as a critic, and the success of the book is due to precisely that. Forster gives us the intuitive judgements of a novelist – a series of rough observations full of verve. James Wood’s How Fiction Works is indebted to Forster’s study and turns on like questions (what constitutes a convincing character? How does narrative style shape a novel? What defines a telling detail?). But while he poses theoretical questions, Wood does not offer theoretical answers. And unlike Milan Kundera in The Art of the Novel (1985), Wood is not interested in the way writers gloss their own creations.

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