6 Random Things About Me [Updated]

I've been tagged with another meme. Don't get any for years and then two turn up in a week. Given that this is a literary weblog I'll try to keep it on track.

1. I grew up in Laura, South Australia, the same small country town as C.J. Dennis. As far as I'm aware no-one else came from there, other than a schoolmate of mine who stood for the Senate in the election before last. Unfortunately, he represented the Family First Party.

2. I went to the same high school as current deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard, although I think she started there the year after I left. Oddly enough, Ms Gillard worked for a few years at Slater and Gordon solicitors in Melbourne, and the woman who would later become my wife supervised her when she did her articles there. (Non-literary, sorry.)

3. My literary studies in high school were, all in all, pretty pathetic. The only Australian works I can remember are Sun on the Stubble by Colin Thiele, and "My Country" by Dorothea McKellar. We always seemed to be fixated on war poetry. Shakespeare was okay, but only when we got to Richard III which remains a favourite - though why was it necessary to teach this purely from the text, rather than putting the work into social and literary context? I don't remember being taught any actual history regarding
this work, and was certainly never introduced to The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey. In year 12 (or Matriculation as it was called then) I refused to study A School for Scandal. It was my argument that the slapstick was done better by Chaplin and Keaton, and nothing else about the play interested me in the slightest. Needless to say this didn't go down well and I only scrapped through English in the final exams.

4. I was Chairman of the World Science Fiction Convention held in Melbourne in 1999. This was the third Australian Worldcon and I think I was probably chosen mainly because I continued the trend of the previous chairs - Robin Johnson and David Grigg - in being a middle-aged, balding, bespectacled and bearded male. See here for proof.

5. I'm not a big fan of choosing a favourite book, but if I was pushed I'd chose The French Lieutenant's Woman by John Fowles. I get back to it every ten years or so and always find something new in it. Nothing else of Fowles's comes close to this book. I was never much taken with The Magus by the same author - thought it a bit too pretentious and forced.

6. In December last year I was interviewed by Lyn Gallacher of ABC Radio National's "Book Show" program about C.J. Dennis's verse novel The Glugs of Gosh. That program goes to air on Wednesday 14 May. It will be available as a downloadable podcast for a few weeks after the 14th. I just hope Lyn saw the light and edited out the bulk of my waffle.

[Update: got the date of the radio broadcast totally wrong. Sorry about that. I put this down to a subconcious attempt to deny the whole thing.]

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on May 9, 2008 11:36 AM.

The Yorick: 1 - Gordon and his Friends by Hugh McCrae was the previous entry in this blog.

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