Two headlines, a day apart, evoke the confusion surrounding the fate of the Titanic in April 1912. New York's Evening Sun reported, 'ALL SAVED FROM TITANIC AFTER COLLISION'. Twenty-four hours later, The Boston Daily Globe added: 'TITANIC SINKS, 1500 DIE.' From there, the sinking of the 'unsinkable' Titanic has been the subject of ... More
Prismatic and dynamic, Australian Book Review's States of Poetry anthologies are about refraction as well as brilliance, shade and trace as much as what is lit. If anthologies generate disagreement, it is because of an illusion that they set or express the fixed amidst a mobile and vibrant set of practices. The recurring, multifarious nature of States of Po ... More
The writer is a conductor, opines the 'vaguely handsome, intensely laconic' cowpoke who speaks to Patti Smith as she lingers at 'the frame of a dream'. His words shape Smith's days. 'It's not so easy writing about nothing,' this companion tells her, and she scratches these words over and over onto a wall in her home with a chunk of red chalk.
Writing about n ... More
Jennifer Maiden's The Fox Petition: New Poems (Giramondo) conjures foxes 'whose eyes were ghosts with pity' and foxes of language that transform the world's headlinesMore
Book reviewing and its provocateurs: 'What single development would most improve the Australian critical culture?'
Last month in Melbourne, a group of book reviewers and literary editors took part in a conference organised by Monash University’s Centre for the Book. There were more than thirty short papers, or ‘provocations’, as they were styled. Our Editor lamented the low or non-payment of some reviewers (especially youn ... More
A prefatory note to this striking novel tells us that it is Richard Kline’s memoir of ‘a strange event that intervened in my life at the age of forty-two’. The following ‘short history’ interleaves sections of first- and third-person narration, shuffling the pieces of a reflective Bildungsroman that charts Richard’s ... More
In Charles Simić’s book about Joseph Cornell’s assemblages, Dime-Store Alchemy (1992), he quotes his own translation of Croatian poet Slavko Mihalić to describe Cornell’s sculpture ‘Deserted Perch, 1949’, noting ‘the very tiny crack in which another world begins and ends’. Simićmarvels at this ‘Illusionist art ... sleight of hand’.< ... More
Felicity Plunkett reviews Helen Garner's new book about the Farquharson case and discusses the complex effect love has on human motivation.More