Category Archives: the death of the reader

Use It or Lose It: the intelligence that ‘difficult’ reading develops

My favourite event at the recent Sydney Writers’ Festival was ‘A Radical Rethink’, a discussion between three doctors: Karen Hitchcock, Norman Doidge and Ranjana Srivastaya. ‘Can we change our brains?’ asks the blurb. ‘How can we retain quality of life … Continue reading

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Reading Between the Lines, or A Scanner Darkly

A sign beside the receptionist’s desk in an eye clinic reads: Pensioners will be bulk-billed for any consultations only. While waiting for my first appointment there, I asked the receptionist what the sign meant. Did bulk-billing apply only to consultations … Continue reading

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Why it’s getting harder to be original

Language is a treacherous beast. Sometimes it’s not easy to say what you mean. One word can be a synonym for a whole string of others that serve to signify quite different things. Similar mutability in an individual could attract … Continue reading

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Seasoned Thinking – Sydney Writers’ Festival 2014

LYNNE SEGAL: THE MARCH OF TIME May 23, 11.30am–12.30pm (‘Social activist, feminist, author and academic Lynne Segal turns her formidable gaze towards the thorny issue of aging. She discusses her new book Out of Time, which has garnered widespread acclaim.’) … Continue reading

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Does reading make you a better person?

Anyone in the business of handling unpublished manuscripts – assessors, slush-pile cullers, judges, editors – would agree that reading will make you a better writer. Not just reading for pleasure or to kill time, though, but critically, analytically: keeping an … Continue reading

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Is ignorance bliss or is it just empty space? – the case for reading

In a running dispute between a talented writer friend and myself, concerning the friend’s lack of interest in others’ fiction, my case goes something like this: Of the large volume of unpublished fiction I regularly see, the least original work … Continue reading

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Why I don’t read (much) Australian fiction

This month, a friend sent me a link to an out-of-date article, ‘What’s the story with Australian fiction?’ It looks, inconclusively (as such features tend to), at why we don’t embrace our own fiction writers. My friend, who incidentally seldom … Continue reading

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