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Something Beyond The Natural

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July 2016

Journey to Hourseshoe Bend THG Strehlow cover

To Know Is To Live: On Strehlow’s Journey to Horseshoe Bend

The most inspired writing in Journey to Horseshoe Bend is in Strehlow’s narratives of ‘storied land’. Many ancestral stories relating to animals — wallabies, emus, fish, birds, snakes — are lucidly and meaningfully given.

Paul Robeson The Artist as Revolutionary cover

The Artist as Revolutionary: Remembering Robeson

In this excellent new book, [Horne] identifies Robeson as a neglected precursor to the modern Civil Rights movement.

Towards the Equator by Alex Skovron

Alex Skovron: A Sweeping Range

Skovron’s work falls across a number of complex cultural modes. While he has many important things to say about the migrant experience, he also has much to say about more general issues relating to human ontology, as well as to his experience of living in Sydney and Melbourne.

June 2016

Some Rain Must Fall Knausgaard Cover1

Poor Karl Ove! Knausgaard’s selfie-as-novel

But can this Nordic Untermensch keep us interested?

On Happiness: New Ideas for the Twenty-First Century

Not Suffering, Not Melancholy

Happiness, perhaps more than any other experience, is defined in the negative.

This Little University Went To Market

Ben Etherington on the Hills Hoist effect and the reification of HECS

Photo: Jason Tong

James Bradley: Fitting the Pieces Together

‘All books are a combination of R&D and crowd pleasing.’

Ariel by Sylvia Plath

A Note from the Editor

A new website, funding success, and a bevy of emerging critics.

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May 2016

The Notebook Trilogy by Ágota Kristóf Cover

Cruelty and Resilience

After learning spoken and then written French, Kristóf began writing poems, then plays for the radio and theater, before arriving, at last, at the novel. Kristóf’s trilogy, The Notebook, The Proof, and The Third Lie —published this month for the first time in Australia and New Zealand by Text—is her masterpiece.

Julian Barnes The Noise of Time Cover

One Hand Behind His Back

'It doesn’t take long to realise that in The Noise of Time we’re not only in Russia, the fabled disnatured Russia of the Soviet and Stalinist dispensation, but in some gulag of the mind, some imprisoning sterility of the spirit. It takes a little longer — but the presentiment grows like recurrent music — and then there is the distinct realisation that we are reading a particular kind of fiction, a novel in which the writer has one hand tied behind his back.'

The Hotel Years by Joseph Roth

Writing About Elsewhere

‘Now that Joseph Roth has been thoroughly absorbed into English, it seems right to ask whether there is a more joyously unbridled – and a more appealing – writer of narrative fiction in the literary tradition.’ Luke Slattery on a new translation of Joseph Roth’s non-fiction.

Consider This: Helen Garner’s Cosmo Cosmolino

‘Helen Garner is known for her shape-shifting – or rather for her genre-shifting. She moves between fiction and non-fiction, making choices about genre in a way that might seem arbitrary to some readers, but to the close reader is most certainly not. Always up for debate is the notion that while a fine fiction writer, Garner does not write novels. This essay is an attempt to engage with this argument, using Garner’s 1992 novel Cosmo Cosmolino as its focus.’

Cosmo Cosmolino
Jack Cox Dodge Rose Cover

Untimely Modernism

How could it make sense to call a novel published in 2016 by a young Australian writer modernist?