Tag Archives: consumerism

Challenging sacred cows

Humane is a confusingly versatile word. Lately, it’s featured in the Oz media, and beyond, with public outcries for humane treatment of refugees and our livestock exports. Re the former, just for starters, ‘humane’ would mean not incarcerating those who’ve … 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Anyone in the business of handling unpublished manuscripts – assessors, slush-pile cullers, judges, editors – would agree that reading will make you a better writer.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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Hairy Tales

Ever since I first read The Bloody Chamber (1979), Angela Carter’s influential collection of repurposed fairytales, I’ve been alert to the genre’s potential for subversion. Those old tales that had most deeply impressed a much younger me transmit grim messages … 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concerning the friend’s lack of interest in others’ fiction, my case goes something like this: Of the large volume of unpublished fiction I regularly see, the least original work … Continue reading

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Soul Trading: how dirty words like entrepreneur are undergoing a digital-age makeover

Is it possible, in the second decade of the 21st century, to establish oneself as an author without also being an entrepreneur? NB: I use the word author rather than writer, the Latin root of the former meaning originator and … Continue reading

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What’s Not to Like? – musings upon musings on Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad

When I saw a copy of Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad in one of the last surviving used bookstores I can visit on foot, all I remembered were references to its doubling as short story showcase and … Continue reading

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The Editor is Dread, Long Live the Typo!

This week my inbox yielded a blurb by an editor spruiking an evening course. Her approach to grammar sounds practical: embracing ambiguity due to the relativism of rules. But I winced at her misspelling of that classic title, the Kama … Continue reading

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