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Edited by Les Murray
"It has been known for decades”, Les Murray writes in his introduction to this collection, “that poets who might fear relegation or professional sabotage from the critical consensus of our culture have a welcome and a refuge in Quadrant—but only if they write well.”
From the second decade of his twenty years as literary editor of Quadrant, Les Murray here presents a selection of the best verse he published between 2001 and 2010.
It is a prodigious body of work: 487 poems by 169 authors.
These days, he observes, when poetic values are increasingly being seen as real enrichment, readers are turning to the few journals that nurture them:
"At a time of such turn-about in the life of magazines, a Quadrant anthology seems well overdue."
Written over a period of fifteen years, the essays in this collection showcase the adult non-fiction work of Sophie Masson. She produces a warmly human mosaic of essays and stories, displaying a sharp eye for nature, an eclectic love of literature, a clarity of expression, and a deep immersion in myth and legend. Ranging freely over time, place, and themes as diverse as Melbourne ganglands, tyrants and sorcery, Russian history, French country life, children’s books and the nature of faith, she offers imaginative and intriguing glimpses into worlds mostly out of the mainstream.
ISBN 978 0 980677 843
Peter Ryan has long been one of Australia’s favourite writers of essays and newspaper columns.
His classic World War II memoir, Fear Drive My Feet, has been an enduring bestseller, in print almost continuously for more than fifty years. The fifty-five essays in this collection may justly be called “a late picking”. They range from several moving reflections on the war against Japan in 1941-45 to tales of domestic and farm life, such as the story of his old saddle pony Bonny. Along the way he recalls books, writers and statesmen from whom he has learnt most.
These essays from Quadrant magazine reflect the writer’s worldly knowledge accumulated from his variety of employments - including publisher of Australia’s leading university press, soldier, bush timber worker and advertising man. Lately turned eighty-eight, his pen shows no signs of flagging.
ISBN 978 0 980667 836
Peter Ryan’s revealing memoir deals with the great days of Australian publishing, when objectivity was sacred and propaganda abhorred. No one had a better opportunity than I to see Ryan in action. As I read his manuscript of this book, I was continually reminded of George Orwell’s crystalline transparency and truthfulness. Every aspiring writer and media consumer can benefit from Ryan’s frankness.
MICHAEL CANNON, author and publisher
Melbourne University Press was established in 1923, and the distinction of its authors, and the quality of the design and production of the Press’s books became acknowledged around the world. These memoirs offer a series of sparkling vignettes by the man who counts as blessed his twenty-six years as MUP’s Director.
Readers will be charmed (occasionally amused, even shocked) by intimate glimpses of the Press’s galaxy of authors: poets from James McAuley to A.D. Hope; scientists from Nobel winner Macfarlane Burnet to Gustav Nossal; historians from Geoffrey Blainey to Paul Hasluck – and to Manning Clark.
The struggle from 1946 to 1989 between Western civilisation and communism known as the Cold War took place not only through political confrontation in Central Europe and Latin America and military conflict on the battlefields of Asia. There was also a global cultural war fought by writers in magazines, newspapers and books. Peter Coleman was one of Australia’s central figures in this great contest. His book records how journalists, essayists, poets, novelists and editors defended cultural freedom and contributed to the eventual collapse of communism. In his role in the process, the author developed into one of Australia’s most distinguished writers. The beautifully crafted essays in the book record his career in journalism and politics and his counsel about what we should do with our lives.
Peter Coleman was editor of Quadrant for twenty years. His other books include a critique of the Congress for Cultural Freedom The Liberal Conspiracy, the autobiographical Memoirs of a Slow Learner, and a history of Australian censorship Obscenity, Blasphemy and Sedition. He was co-author of The Costello Memoirs. He served in the New South Wales Parliament as Leader of the Opposition and in the Australian Federal Parliament.
Edited by Keith Windschuttle, David Martin Jones and Ray Evans
Essays by Tony Abbott, James Allan, Chris Berg, Ian Callinan, Sinclair Davidson, Bob Day, Kevin Donnelly, Michael Evans, Ray Evans, David Flint, Gary Johns, David Martin Jones, John Kunkel, Barry Maley, Gregory Melleuish, Alan Oxley, Ken Phillips, Andrew Shearer, John Stone, Tom Switzer, Michael Wesley.
Central to the political doctrine that shaped the Howard era is a political philosophy that Tony Abbott identifies as a distinctively realist Australian conservatism, that ‘looked at specific problems and devised policies to deal with them’, rather than self-consciously starting out with a predetermined set of values that government converts into policy.
For a number of commentators, this unsystematic approach to policy reflected a notable Burkean tendency in the approach of the Howard government. For Edmund Burke, political instinct, a recognition of the legacy of the past and our ‘inherited freedoms’ for political conduct in the present, was more important than abstract ideological speculations, which ‘in proportion as they are metaphysically true are morally and politically false’. Or as Howard put it, ‘a conservative is someone who does not think he is morally superior to his grandfather’.
Ultimately for Howard, who was not particularly impressed by fashionable theories, pragmatism in foreign policy and balanced budgets in domestic policy summated this triumph of instinct and tradition over an abstract rationalism.
from the "Introduction" by David Martin Jones
Frank Devine was a brilliant writer who brought a world-wide view to editing,
and happily disrespected all the pieties of Australian public life.
Chris Mitchell, Editor-in-chief, The Australian
Growing old is an aspect of the human experience only thinly covered in literature. When he reached seventy, Frank Devine decided to add to the subject by writing on what it feels like to grow old and how to do it well.
With humour and extraordinary passion for life he writes about being home alone when his wife is hospitalized, on being a grandparent, on long-term marriage, his cancer treatment and the proper attitude and attire of a man his age. He also looks back on his career in newspapers and discusses good writers and great men.
In this celebrated book a retired journalist turns himself into one of our great essayists.
Frank Devine was one of the notable journalists of his time. Born at Blenheim on the south island of New Zealand in 1931, he worked as a reporter and columnist in New Zealand, Western Australia, Chicago, New York, London, Tokyo and Sydney.