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The SRB is an initiative of The Writing and Society Research Centre at Western Sydney University
‘There were 1200 students at Punchbowl Boys High School in 1985. That year a brick was hurled at Mr Stratton’s head and a gradual process of expulsions began so that by the time I arrived at the school in 1998, there were only 299 students left.’
'I stood with my face almost touching a wall of glass, a sheer window looking out into an immense depth, a profound, almost unfathomable dark green chasm girded by sandstone precipices and a halo of mist and cloud. It had been raining all afternoon. In the diminishing light the distant wet cliffs looked dark orange, blood red, gold. A motionless wing of pure white cloud floated over the valley floor like an apparition on a billow of air.'
'I want to live my culture, my way of life within my country. Often this means a humble existence; a freedom that requires constant access to our traditional and natural world, always with an emphasis on family and cultural exchange.'
'Two projects of collective authorship, these books interrupt the singular authority that has imposed the Intervention onto Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory and mandatory immigration detention onto asylum seekers who arrive in Australia by boat.'
I would argue that the decision of the Nobel judges is not only courageous; it is also a welcome recognition of the fact that the concept of ‘literature’ is enriched by being understood in a broad and pluralistic way. And on this point, Dylan is a particularly astute choice. The judges’ one-line press release acknowledges that the significance of his work lies in the fact that it is larger than itself, that it acquires its full meaning in the context of the American songwriting tradition. He is, I think, a deserving winner of the Nobel Prize not simply because of the uncommon linguistic facility that his work displays, but because he occupies a unique position in relation to that tradition.
‘You’re meeting the FIFA of Argentine literature,’ one young Buenos Aires poet said: ‘Watch out she doesn’t sue you.’ María Kodama gave me the best part of three hours of her time, describing her life with Jorge Luis Borges and discussing his work. Her generosity and warmth were at odds with everything I’d ever read or heard about her.