Articles on Literature

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One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other. kieri d l h

Welcome to the global boudoir, where sex is so bad it’s gaga

Do you remember how people used to walk about with ghetto blasters, so you could hardly escape the high-volume throb of some visceral drumbeat? Being alive now is like having your head permanently wedged…
What time is it in Europe? Why are we still looking to the north Atlantic for cultural role models? leoplus

How to read Australia’s literary obsession with the North Atlantic

Last weekend columnist and broadcaster Phillip Adams published a piece in The Australian lamenting what he called the “coca-colonial cringe”: Like you I measure my life with American movies, music and…
Hilary Mantel: unprecedented success, but not the whole story. Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Women’s prizes inspire some and wind others up – perfect

The Costa book awards shortlists have been announced and the one thing that dominates people’s first reactions has been the fact the fiction shortlist is made up entirely of women authors. Is the response…
Football, with its passion, drama and larger-than-life characters, has all the elements for a good literary genre. Boris Roessler/EPA

From stadium to page: why football deserves more fiction

A great football novel is like a perfectly executed bicycle-kick goal, like players such as Argentine legends Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi; they come along once in a generation. Against the accumulated…
Lessing: “intellectually uncompromising”. Juan Martin/AAP

Doris Lessing was a radical, in the truest sense

The writer and critic Margaret Drabble recently made an observation that I think is representative of the diverse and prolific career of the British author Doris Lessing, who died last night at 94: She…
Germaine Greer’s acquired work is enough to fill 150 filing drawers. AAP Image/Dean Lewins

Why Germaine Greer’s life in letters is one for the archives

Earlier this week, as you may have read, the University of Melbourne announced it had acquired the archives of a former student, feminist scholar and writer Germaine Greer. The total cost of the archive…
Reflected glory. Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Youngest author, longest book, final Commonwealth Booker

New Zealand author Eleanor Catton has become the youngest ever author to win the prestigious Man Booker Prize for English literature. The 28-year old author won for just her second novel, The Luminaries…
Master of the short story: Alice Munro. Julien Behal/PA

Alice Munro Nobel a victory for the neglected short story

The announcement of Alice Munro as 2013’s winner of the Nobel Prize for literature marks the high point in the 82-year old writer’s long career, but also a significant recognition for the form with which…
Seamus Heaney up close with the local environment. Burns Library, Boston College

Seamus Heaney - the death of a naturalist

The sudden death on Friday of the Irish Nobel prize-winning poet Seamus Heaney has focused international minds and media on the power of poetry to affect our lives. This is especially true from an environmental…
Fact meets fiction. Ian S

Tragic realism: the rise of Mexican narcoliterature

Crime fiction has become a truly global genre. Books based in Reykjavik, Oslo, or Barcelona now vie with home-grown works set in more recognisable, down-at-heel locations like Manchester or Northampton…
A proposed sequel to Maurice Sendak’s children’s classic Where the Wild Things Are has ended after his publisher sought an injunction, claiming breach of copyright. EPA/Frank Armstrong

Where the wild things aren’t: Sendak sequel stymied by US copyright law

It seems we won’t be checking up on Max and the “Wild Things” any time soon. A campaign on crowdfunding website Kickstarter to fund a sequel to the late Maurice Sendak’s bestselling picture storybook Where…
Does Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby fail to meet its grandiose expectations? AAP/Warner Bros

The Great Gatsby: death by glitter or a thought-provoking spectacle?

It’s impossible to see a film with the hype of Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby without preconceptions. The build-up to this film has been overwhelming with trailers splashed across screens everywhere…
Literary critical terms and theories have been adopted by education institutions as a way to provoke thought on the relationship between humans and the environment. Thomas Bristow

Ecocriticism: environment, emotions and education

How can art and literature help us imagine a climate-changed world? In 1995, ecocritic Lawrence Buell argued that apocalypse is the single most powerful master metaphor that environmentalism has at its…
Reading from an early age can instill healthy habits for a lifetime. “Possum Magic”, by Mem Fox and Julie Vivas. Scholastic

Worth a thousand words: the top ten best Australian children’s picture books

The academics and the “mummy bloggers” are in furious agreement – reading picture books to children is one of the best things you can do for a child’s development. It also happens to be, in the opinion…

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