No 253 - August 2003

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Commentary by Sir William Deane
Kerryn Goldsworthy reviews Margaret Simons: The Meeting of Waters
Andreas Gaile reviews Peter Carey's My Life As a Fake
Neal Blewett reviews Marilyn Dodkin's Bob Carr
Jennifer Strauss reviews Anne Whitehead's Bluestocking in Patagonia


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 6 of 40
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    Bestsellers / Subscription.
    (Australian Book Review, 2003-08)
    This item contains the July 2003 Bestellers list and Subsciption page from this issue.
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    Apprentice. [poem]
    (Australian Book Review, 2003-08) Beveridge, Judith
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    Tenacious Tiger. "Thylacine: The Tragic Tale of the Tasmanian Tiger" by David Owen and "The Last Tasmanian Tiger: The History and Extinction of the Thylacine" by Robert Paddle. [review]
    (Australian Book Review, 2003-08) Bantick, Christopher
    The Tasmanian Tiger or thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus) continues to stalk the Tasmanian imagination. Miasmas resembling it figure in reports from tourists and bushwalkers, who happen upon the slinking apparition in the wilderness. Fanciful meanderings of wishful hearts and minds? Perhaps. Tantalising suspicions that the thylacine may still exist will not go away. No matter that the last thylacine died in the Hobart Zoo on 7 September 1936. With it died a species, but not the legend. In both these books, stringent research has brought the authors to the salient truth that the thylacine is, on available evidence, extinct. There are no contemporary photographs of the animal in the wild since 1936, when the last images of a caged and morose survivor were taken. Nor are there plaster casts of fresh paw tracks. However, the thylacine stubbornly inhabits the minds of those who want to believe.
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    Marriage of Minds. "Philosophical Foundations of Neuroscience" by M.R. Bennett and P.M.S. Hacker. [review]
    (Australian Book Review, 2003-08) Grace, Damian
    This book is a joy to read. It is the fruit of collaboration across disciplines and continents between a neurophysiologist and a philosopher. They have written a polemical work that is a model of clarity and directness. Distinguished neurophysiologist M.R. Bennett, of the University of Sydney, and eminent Oxford philosopher P.M.S. Hacker have produced that rarity of scholarship, a genuinely interdisciplinary work that succeeds.
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    Perpetual Fall. "The Fall" by Jordie Albiston. [review]
    (Australian Book Review, 2003-08) Gorton, Lisa
    Jordie Albiston's latest collection opens with a remarkable poem about a woman falling from the Empire State Building and falling, at the same time, through the story of her life. Some poems work in a more limited way, as witty, well-phrased exercises. In some poems in this collection, Albiston treats love as something understood. The series consists of daily poems. In each one, Albiston takes up the same images from the landscape. In this way she makes an imaginative landscape for love, as it were. And if that love seems sometimes a little too 'poetic', it is all the same poetry, with such gentle cadences and grace notes.
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    1621 and All That. "Literary Culture in Jacobean England: Reading 1621" by Paul Salzman. [review]
    (Australian Book Review, 2003-08) Campbell, Marion J.
    A crucial difference between Salzman's work and more conventional literary histories is its privileging of reading over writing: he aims to cover what was readable in 1621, not simply what was written then. His book begins with a map of the mental horizon of a paradigmatic late-Jacobean reader in his account of John Chamberlain, a gentleman, information-gatherer and letter-writer who immersed himself in the news of his own culture and recirculated its currents. He is interested, promiscuously, in feasting and masquing and gossiping; he interprets what he sees and hears, whether it is trivial and playful or serious and political. For Salzman, Chamberlain stands 'as the exemplar of a method that will endeavour to allow nothing to pass unnoted.' It is hard for a reviewer to resist this as a characterisation of Salzman's own book, which is long, learned and enlightening. It adds a great deal to our sense of the detail of this rich period of literary history, even if it leaves the traditional contours of the bigger picture firmly in place.
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