20 Classics #8: Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift

I’m reading 20 classic, modern-classic or cult books. I aimed to read them all in 2011, but that's beginning to look unlikely. Read more about this project here. Why did I want to read it? I had vague ideas about Gulliver’s Travels. I remembered Ted Danson being tied up by some little people in a film version I … Continue reading 20 Classics #8: Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift

Reading fiction is addictive and unhealthy, says Corn Flakes guy

I just came across this astonishing passage, quoted by John Fiske in Understanding Popular Culture. It's from the Ladies Guide in Health and Disease by John Harvey Kellogg (yes, of Corn Flakes fame), published in 1882. There are also chapters on 'marriage', 'personal beauty', 'diet', clothing', and, ah, 'criminal abortion'. He says: 'The reading of … Continue reading Reading fiction is addictive and unhealthy, says Corn Flakes guy

Guest review: Lisa Down on Making News by Tony Wilson

  Murdoch Books July 2010 9781741969238 (Aus) reviewed by Lisa Down Remember the old saying, ‘Write what you know’? It’s an adage former AFL player, author and columnist Tony Wilson must have taken to heart. His latest offering, Making News, revolves around, well… a retired soccer player, an aspiring young columnist and an author, who … Continue reading Guest review: Lisa Down on Making News by Tony Wilson

Guest review: Raili Simojoki on Benjamin Law’s The Family Law

The Family Law Benjamin Law Black Inc. 9781863954785 June 2010 (Aus, US) Reviewed by Raili Simojoki. Benjamin Law’s first book, The Family Law, is a collection of themed essays about his eccentric yet endearing family. His shorter pieces offer quirky insights into eclectic topics such as green burial, sleep deprivation, homosexuality healing workshops, and 90s … Continue reading Guest review: Raili Simojoki on Benjamin Law’s The Family Law

‘Down in the hole, lingeringly, the grave digger puts on the forceps.’ (Yesterday, today, tomorrow.)

Next day. Same time. Same place. Saw Sean Mathias' production of Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot last night. Woke up sad that it was yesterday and it's over. It (so knowingly) passed the time. I really enjoyed the production, particularly the physicality of it - the gestures, the slapstick. When they said 'calm yourself', they would … Continue reading ‘Down in the hole, lingeringly, the grave digger puts on the forceps.’ (Yesterday, today, tomorrow.)

Response to A.S. Patric’s ‘Questionnaire’

I was thinking about A.S. Patric's recent post on the Overland blog all of yesterday afternoon. I thought I'd have a go at responding to his piece, just off-the-cuff. Note: the words in bold are Alec's. Are we more disconnected? I know how late my crush goes to bed. Are we more superficial? Skin is a surface. Does … Continue reading Response to A.S. Patric’s ‘Questionnaire’