May, 2012

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Liticism’s Miles Franklin Countdown: Anna Funder’s All That I Am

, May 02, 2012

*Spoiler alert: this is not intended as a straight review and I do refer to key plot points in this analysis. In the context of the Miles Franklin and its criteria of presenting ‘Australian life in any of its phases’ Funder’s work seems, initially, difficult to advocate. Though the ‘now’ of the novel is the primary […]
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Knowledge of good and evil: Chris Flynn’s A Tiger in Eden

, Mar 05, 2012

If narrator Billy Montgomery’s life was an action movie, A Tiger in Eden depicts the time after the credits roll, after the gunshots and the bloodshed when the protagonist rides off into the sunset to some tropical climate to escape their fate. Billy is on the run from the violence and warring of the Troubles […]
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‘All the dark places’: Michael Sala’s The Last Thread

, Feb 06, 2012

‘Gezellig. This is Mum’s word. “Nou ja, dit is gezellig,” she says as she shrugs off her coat full of winter rain and puts on a light.’ Gezellig is a word that recurs throughout The Last Thread. We have no literal translation or equivalent in English. The closest we have is ‘cosy’ or ‘coziness’, but […]
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On the call for a return to an Australian canon

, Jan 27, 2012

All occasions provide an opportunity to reflect – upon achievements as well as failings – and in the lead up to Australia Day there has been a focus upon the recognition and preservation of our literary history. On Sunday, Fairfax provided an interesting editorial that noted our ‘tendency to anti-intellectualism and…veneration of physical achievement’ and […]
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Review: Women of Letters

, Dec 18, 2011

In our current technological age, the lure of nostalgia seems more potent that ever. Just as laptops have meant that many writers now long for the romance of the typewriter, so too, in the age of email, has the art of letter writing become a beautifully nostalgic endeavour. Marieke Hardy and Michaela McGuire sought to […]
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Doing history slowly: Paul Keating’s After Words

, Dec 12, 2011

Though the Keating era was somewhat before my time, there’s been many an afternoon I’ve spent happily watching Keating rants on youtube (such is the excitement of life as a PhD student). In the utter linguistic banality of our current political period, it’s sometimes heartening to watch lively political debate, and in clip after clip Keating consistently delivers – […]