Australian Classics Re-emerge

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michael_heyward.jpg    Michael Heyward, founder and publisher at Text Publishing, is undertaking a program of reprinting a number of Australian Literature classics - books that are out of print and which have been neglected for too long. He was interviewed for "The Age" by Michael Short.

In explaining the project during our interview, the full transcript of which and a short video are at, Heyward gives a definition of what makes a book a classic.

''There is something about them that remains new, fresh, shocking, challenging, confronting and energising.

''The thing about old books that I find mysterious and interesting is that reading them now, we are readers who the writer could not have imagined.

''We belong, from the point of view of the book, to the unimaginable future, and it's when a book passes that test of moving beyond the circumstances of its publication, where people are either cheering it on or they're howling at it or whatever, and it encounters readers who have no prior interest in the book, no preconception about whether it's good or bad and different, that's when you get a really fascinating reading experience.''

Australia is a nation of readers; we have long had a relatively high consumption of books per person. Paradoxically, though, we publish a relatively low number of books compared with other industrialised, rich nations.

You can read the full list of the books published to date here. There is the distinct possibility of more to follow.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on April 23, 2012 10:20 PM.

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