Love in the Time of Cholera – Love for Singles: Let Me Count the Ways – Part Two

Singles! The darkest day in the calender is nearly upon you. Valentine’s Day! The day when you are forced to look into the dusty heart of your singledom, the day when that brave smile will not come, when all your claims of happiness are exposed as lies, the day when Valentine cards from well meaning friends serve only to remind you of your large bottom or your wonky eye or your hideous fa... Read more

by | January 30, 2010

The Catcher in the Rye : Thank you, J.D. Salinger

J.D. Salinger has died but his wonderful books will live on. Yes, he wrote more than just The Catcher in the Rye. I thank him for them. I, like millions of other readers, love The Catcher in the Rye. But The Catcher in the Rye is one of those unfortunate books whose every word must bear the weight of forty or so years of school room scrutiny, of misapplied adulation, of misdirected anger and th... Read more

by | January 29, 2010

Cyrano de Bergerac : How do I love thee? Let me count the ways – Part One

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching… What to do, what to say? Love is so complex! In this age of Twitter, texting and ‘time poverty’ our capacity to communicate complicated feelings is in dangerous decline. Sure, we can speak in short imbecilic bursts –  we can rant, we can reiterate, repeat and Retweet – but can we elucidate, extrapolate or explain? In this, the shallow... Read more

by | January 28, 2010

Andre Agassi and The Australian Open – Champion Tennis Stars Are People, Too!

The cover of OPEN: An Autobiography by Andre Agassi’s, has to be one of the best covers of 2009. It stopped me in my tracks the first time I saw it. OPEN. HONEST. TRUE. But also – HUMAN, ALL TOO HUMAN. A face like that could not lie.  I had to believe every word written within. I was once President of France. Yes, Mr Agassi. Do you think I’m lying? No, Mr Agassi. Can you run d... Read more

by | January 27, 2010

A Horror Story from the Letters of Thomas Carlyle

A tale writers tell to frighten one another… ‘JOHN STUART MILL had borrowed that first volume of my poor French Revolution (pieces of it more than once) that he might have it all before him, and write down some observations on it, which perhaps I might print as notes. I was busy meanwhile with Volume Second; toiling along like a Slave, but with the heart of a free Roman: indeed, I k... Read more

by | January 27, 2010

Christina Stead, Henry Handel Richardson, Clive James, Germiane Greer

Bring Back the Cultural Cringe The cultural cringe served a purpose, it caused the best and brightest to look outwards beyond the Australian Coastline to a world of complexity, of difference, of foreign ideas, foreign questions and answers and of universal solutions. Since the demise of the cringe self-complacency has stifled our endeavours. Our benchmark is ourselves. Our history is confined t... Read more

by | January 26, 2010

Brangelina: On the Shoulders of Giants

‘News of impending doom? How glorious! What timing! – Cut from the distressing plight of thousands to shots of the glamorous couple – Brad and Angelina. In One, Two… Go Live!’ What to think? Thankfully, the weather-cocks of our emotional response – the gossip columnists and the pretty, unnaturally mobile faces who keep us informed via the television ‘ne... Read more

by | January 25, 2010

What will you be reading this Australia Day?

Surely this weekend we should really pick up something by an Australian to read… Wouldn’t really be right to read U.S.A by John Dos Passos… Or England, England by Julian Barnes… Gotta find something really Aussie… Something dinkum… So as the mob sings Waltzing Matlida and the cans of VB pile up… …when friends start telling stories about the time t... Read more

by | January 23, 2010

The Death of Bunny Munro – What do Emos think?

The Emo on the street is lean in skinny jeans, deaf to the world thanks to the ever present i-pod, blind in one eye due to their long lank hair smoothed to one side and, as they never move quickly, are an impediment to those with a purpose. Wikipedia describes Emos thus: Emo has been associated with a stereotype that includes being particularly emotional, sensitive, shy, introverted, or angst-r... Read more

by | January 22, 2010