Australian Classics Not Available

| No TrackBacks
Michael Heyward of Text Publishing laments the non-availability of Australian classics.  Miles Franklin Award winning books such as The Glass Canoe by David Ireland and Careful, He Might Hear You by Sumner Locke Elliott are out of print, and would probably be expected to stay that way, except that Heyward's publishing house is reprinting them.

In 2011, in not a single course in the whole country were students asked to read Henry Handel Richardson's The Fortunes of Richard Mahony. This is the equivalent of not one Russian university teaching Anna Karenina, of Madame Bovary going untaught in France. It is a rampageous scandal, to borrow a coinage from HHR herself. If I tell you that Patrick White's The Tree of Man was prescribed on two courses last year, or The Man Who Loved Children, which MUP recently put back into print, on just one, you start to see the extent of the problem.

Such educational poverty is consistent with the views expressed in 1935 by G. H. Cowling, professor of English literature at Melbourne University, who told readers of The Age that: ''The rewards of literature in Australia are not good enough to make it attract the best minds ... Good Australian novels which are entirely Australian are bound to be few ... Australian life is too lacking in tradition, and too confused, to make many first class novels.''

Text will begin publishing the classics in May at $12.95 a pop.  You can find the list of the first 32 scheduled for release in their latest catalog.

No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL:

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on January 23, 2012 9:37 PM.

Poem: Wooing the Muse by Ethel Turner was the previous entry in this blog.

Australian Bookcovers #290 - Dream Stuff by David Malouf is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Monthly Archives

Powered by Movable Type 4.23-en