The name Peter Porter is not spoken with the reverent frequency it should be in his home country. Even his Wikipedia entry is sternly brusque and rather more concerned with the bibliography than the man.
But my goodness he can write poetry. If you’ve never read ‘An Angel in Blythburgh Church’ it’s possible that you don’t know what I’m talking about. You should. By which I mean you should read it, and then you’ll know what I’m talking about.
In the interim, check out this little peach: ‘Sex and the Over Forties’ Continue reading
A few doors from my humble abode there is a business known as ‘Golden’. I don’t want to know what they do, because I’m sure the reality will disappoint the expectations inspired by their tag-line: ‘Proudly Servicing Melbourne For Forty Years’.
Whatever it is they get up to, my interest in them reaches near-feverish levels when they have garage sales. Mostly because (can you guess?) they sell books. For the sum of ten dollars, you are presented with a plastic bag which you may stuff to splitting with the tomes spread out on the dusty concrete floor. Continue reading
Posted in Bibliophilia
Tagged AFL Geelong Football Club, Amsterdam, Christos Tsiolkas, Dudley Moore, Goodbye Again, Ian McEwan, Jack Marx, Jane Austen, John Cash, John Masters, Josephine Hart, Joy Damousi, Julie Rugg, Lynda Murphy, Nightrunners of Bengal, P G Wodehouse, Persuasion, Peter Cook, Piccadilly Jim, Steig Larsson, Stephanie Meyer, Stephen Fry, Stephen Fry in America, The Slap
Ever since I first had the theories of Freud and Jung pounded into me by lecturers labouring under the preposterous assumption that such theories were indispensable aids to literary criticism, I’ve been deeply suspicious of psychology and psychoanalysis.
I warmed to Freud somewhat after I discovered that he had a cocaine habit for a while, but I can’t say I’ve ever been bowled over by any of his major theories. I hasten to add that even in translation it’s obvious that he was a skilful prose stylist, and I do dip into him from time to time (I have tiny soft-spots for Totem and Taboo and The Future of an Illusion). I frankly can’t get myself excited about Jung, though. And I have tried. Nada. Maybe next year. Continue reading
Posted in Reviews
Tagged Contraception, Freud, Hegel, Ius Primae Noctis, John Stuart Mill, Jung, Literary Criticism, On Liberty, Oswald Schwartz, Psychoanalysis, Psychology, Sex, The Future of an Illusion, The Psychology Of Sex, The Sexual Revolution, Totem and Taboo
When an unpleasant task must be performed, or an unpleasant journey must be undertaken my thoughts turn to retail therapy. This seems to be a trait common to many members of my benighted generation.
Unlike, I suspect, many members of my benighted generation, my idea of really good, truly satisfying and utterly enriching retail therapy occurs only when I’m on my knees (careful…) sifting through piles of books in op-shops. Continue reading
Posted in Bibliophilia
Tagged Bibliophilia, Christopher Silvester, Fred Hoyle, George Orwell, Isobelle Carmody, John Mortimer, John Stuart Mill, Kevin Gilbert, Morris Gleitzman, Op-Shops, Oswald Schwarz, Pamela Bone, Pliny the Elder, Pliny the Younger, Poetry, Retail Therapy, Wilfred Owen
Isn’t that a stunning front cover? It’s one of those rare moments when the designer gets it exactly, but exactly right. The author of this fetching tome, Joel Deane, doesn’t pull off quite so flawless a performance between the covers (as it were) but he comes perilously close. So close it hurts. Continue reading
Having not quite got the whole ‘Let’s do parodies of other online reviewers’ thing out of my system with my cunningly crafted tribute to Angela Meyer, it’s time for another one. Also, although there have been numerous and thunderous knockings at my door late at night, none of them have been a prelude to my being surrounded by balaclava-clad heavies wielding truncheons and growling ‘Mz Meyer is very, very unhappy… And when Mz Meyer gets very unhappy, WE get very, very, very angry.’ So take a bow, today’s victim: Estelle Tang. With luck, Estelle doesn’t have the budget or inclination to hire a goon-squad either. Continue reading