'and then...

  • the different branches of Arithmetic - -- Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision.' (A Mock Turtle regards his schooldays.) A weblog on books, media and writing by Genevieve Tucker.

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April 10, 2008

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Isn't he just a busy bee, that Kev-o-sev?
I dont think that I have EVER actually liked a Prime Minister before!
And I hadn't realised he had put so much into Literature and writing. Hooray!

I thought I left a comment here about The lost Dog the other day. I returned to my laptop hours later to find the window open and no comment...
But goodness me, it was just the best thing, I can't say how much I loved it. Not least because of some of the sketches of the Painter nelly, it could have been myself.
All that poo, and all that crying... wow. But I loved it still. Have you read it yet?
cheers. F

Ooh Fifi, what a great wrap for Lost Dog, from the artist's mouth, to paraphrase Mr. Cary of years gone by. Now I can't wait to read it. I will have to squeeze a first reading in between the work I'm doing at the moment. Either that, or postpone it till immediately after I get the reading for my commission done. But NO MORE excuses.

I am finding Kevin AND Julia quite remarkable. And I can't help feeling I don't mind he has the last say on his lit prize - I mean, when was the last time we had a PM who would even put his hand up to read the books? (He is one of those political creatures who hardly sleeps, I believe.)
A shame there's no poetry prize though.

There was a discussion a year or so ago on Radio National's Book Show about the supposed decline in the teaching and promotion of Australian literature in Australian English departments, via the prism of the retirement of one of the last Chairs in Australian Literature (I think she was at Sydney Uni). There was also some discussion on whether having a Chair of Australian literature per se was necessary to promoting Australian literature.

There was also some interesting reflection on whether or not English Departments still need to promote, teach and compartmentalise Australian literature as something separate and distinct, rather than part of a global literature in English.

If I can dig up that podcast from my podcast directory, I'll come back to point to it.

We all had a good natter around that issue over here too, a while back:
http://sarsaparillablog.net/?p=413
It would have been around the time Elizabeth Webby retired at Sydney, Mark. If you find that podcast, I'd appreciate the link, thanks.

I have been reminded by Kerryn, too, that this new chair may well have been John Howard's baby, and she's blogged it here,
http://austlit.blogspot.com/2008/04/new-chair-in-australian-literature-at.html

I probably announced it a bit hastily - I thought it looked exciting at first flush, at least the increase in humanities dollars has not been ditched by Rudd and Gillard, though.

In the Sars post comments I think I mentioned that an overview of research projects in the English department at Sydney back in Dec. 2006 showed some great PhDs in progress with an emphasis on Australian writing in a global context. Or something like that. So yes, the nationalist perspective may be a bit outdated, but surely UWA will still find something to do with the funding :-)

Regarding Julia, not content with the new position in WA, she will be launching the MS Readathon next week at the State Library of Victoria next Thursday.

Hi Gen, I found the links to those podcasts I mentioned (There is an upside to not clearing out the old podcasts from my iTunes library after all). You're right, it was Elizabeth Webby.
http://www.abc.net.au/rn/bookshow/stories/2007/1837699.htm

Webby was also featured in another Book Show panel on the topic of the 'death of Australian literature' soon after her retirement. This one looks at the dwindling chairs of Australian literature as a discussion point.
http://www.abc.net.au/rn/bookshow/stories/2007/1952003.htm

The links to the podcasts are still there. Enjoy.

That's great, Mark, thanks for those links and I will be sure to have a listen soon. I wish some of my hardcopy things were as easy to find again though :-)

Mike, Lili met Julia at the Readathon launch, and has blogged it here.
Sounds like it went down very well!

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