On Other Blogs #18

Ben Peek responds to a
recent article in "The Australian" newspaper by Jenny Sinclair. In essence, Sinclair calls for the closure of "writing courses, writing workshops, writing weekends, writing holidays", saying that the "only people writing should be those who must write". I thought this was wrong when I read it but Peek does a better job of criticising it than I ever could.

On his weblog "Detectives Beyond Borders", Peter Rozovsky recently wrote a piece about "disillusioned fictional male detectives with bad, sad or uncertain marital histories and quirkily solitary habits". (Many self-deprecating jokes removed here on the grounds that if certain people were to read them I'd be in dead serious trouble.) As examples of that particular life-form he mentioned: "Kurt Wallander from Sweden, John Rebus from Scotland, Franz Heineken and Jack Irish from Australia, Hector Belascoaran Shayne from Mexico, Pepe Carvalho from Spain, Inspector Espinosa from Brazil, Brahim Llob from Algeria and Sartaj Singh from India come to mind, along with a couple of Americans you may have heard of named Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe." One of his readers commented that Jack Irish seemed out of place in that grouping, and now Peter has written a long response: "I'd been thinking of reading more Jack Irish, and the thoughts that led me to write this comment also sent me to a nearby bookshop, where I bought Black Tide, the second Jack Irish novel. I've read the first chapter, and it's brilliant. But then, I expected no less when I paid tribute to Jack Irish by including him on my list of interesting fictional detectives." If, by any chance you like crime fiction, you really should be reading this weblog.

"Mitzi G Burger" (the G is for Gherkin), in her eponymous weblog, looks at Highways to a War by Christopher Koch which "does what I suspect the majority of the sad lot of us aspiring writers wish to do and feel guilty for wishing it, and that is the glorification of the beautiful...Whatever the book is - 60s nostalgia, horror at the world's failure to prevent the Khmer Rouge's assaults on humanity, opium-drenched whiffs of bygone Vietnophilable eras - it's unquestionably a GAN - Great Australian Novel."

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on February 8, 2007 2:01 PM.

Reviews of Australian Books #44 was the previous entry in this blog.

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