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Friday, 22nd August 2014

API Review of Books

Altitude BirdIssue 44
Features reviews by Kathleen Broderick, Linn Miller, Christine Choo, Bill Thorpe, David Ritter, Eve Vincent, Stephanie Bishop, Alison Miles, Richard Kay, Amanda Day, Bernard Whimpress, Mads Clausen, Marion May Campbell, Sylvia Alston, Catie Gilchrist, Eva Chapman, Lucy Dougan, Stephen Lawrence and Nathanael O'Reilly. Click here for more details.


Altitude BirdPopular Music: Practices, Formations and Change - Australian Perspectives
The papers collected here in this special edition of Altitude offer a brief snapshot of popular music research broadly connected with Australia. The essays demonstrate the variety of theoretical and methodological approaches used by researchers in the fields of popular music studies and cultural studies to explore themes of popular music practice, formation and change in an Australian context. Click here for more details.

Network Scholars

The Body Builder and Beauty Contests

  • Caroline Daley
    On seeing body builder, Eugen Sandow, walking down the street, a woman in Wellington exclaimed, in a loud voice, ‘Why, he’s just a MAN!’ Her comment amused Sandow so much that he included it in one of his many publications.2 Sandow, the father of modern body building, was not used to being discussed in such a dismissive way.3 As he travelled and performed all over Australia and New Zealand, the press heaped praise upon him. His strongman show was ‘wonderful’ 4 and ‘amazing’ 5 but what really impressed the press and the public was his muscular display. ...
    Click here to read more.

Network Review of Books

Shakespeare's Face (2002)

  • imageReviewed by Sue Bond in the December 2002 issue.
    I began reading this book in an ambivalent mood. It is an intriguing story; that a possible portrait of William Shakespeare, painted from life, had been 'found'. But does it actually matter? What difference would it make to our understanding of his plays and sonnets? The book is a mystery tale, and it did seduce me, at least partly. The cover features a portion of the portrait in question: a young man's face, with dark, intriguing eyes, a faint smile and a delicately embroidered white collar. Fragments of the portrait appear at the beginning of each new section, and there is a generous ... read more.

Penguin Australian Summer Stories (2002)

  • imageReviewed by Rick Rutjens in the July 2002 issue.
    This anthology was initially quite a disappointment. Tempted by the evocative cover photo -- Rex Dupain's Off The Rail -- I was as ready to dive into this book as the boys in his picture are to get back into the water. The list of authors on the front represented the crème of contemporary Australian literary talent: an evening curled up with their stories conjuring myriad images and scenarios was beckoning. Flicking quickly to the contents page I was dismayed to find that I was already familiar with many of the stories. I had read Gillian Mears' 'Year Of Wonder' in her collaborative work ... read more.

Protest and Globalisation: Prospects for Transnational Solidarity (2002)

  • imageReviewed by Melissa Gregg in the November 2002 issue.
    Hefty terms abound in the title of this informative new collection. Contributor Ronaldo Munck sums it up nicely when he writes that globalisation is 'a contested discursive terrain par excellence' (p 143). How right he is. The problem of how to approach the complex, protracted process of cultural upheaval distinguishing the current historical juncture remains an unresolved dimension of this text. In terms of its 'prospects for transnational solidarity', globalisation is shown to be at once invigorating and perplexing for our established modes of thinking and acting. Addressing the issues for ... read more.

Skinned by Light: Poems 1989-2002 (2002)

  • imageReviewed by Steve Evans in the April 2003 issue.
    Skinned by Light is a selection of poems that follows a larger selected volume, New and Selected (1998), and includes numerous newer pieces. It showcases Lawrence's interests in landscapes and creatures of the natural world, and also deals more directly with human desires and needs. The choice of 'Robert Penn Warren's Book' to open the collection underlines this concern with the natural world. It sketches the discovery and destruction of a rotting book of verse, so complicating earthiness and decay with poetry itself. It suggests an unavoidable confluence of human artistic endeavour and more ... read more.

Skins (2002)

  • imageReviewed by Marion May Campbell in the March 2003 issue.
    It takes some courage to choose as material for a first work of extended fiction the survival narrative of a handful of marooned characters and their captive women, who, except for one delicate Englishman, are brutalised, brutal, illiterate, or all three. Sarah Hay gives this situation austere and potent handling in her Vogel Prize-winning novel, Skins. The title evokes more than sealing or skin colour, although both senses are foregrounded in the book; it is fundamentally concerned with the behaviour of humans in naked need, whose circumstances are so circumscribed that only crude choices ... read more.

Ancestral Power: The Dreaming, Consciousness and Aboriginal Australians (2002)

  • imageReviewed by Felicity Jensz in the April 2003 issue.
    The Dreaming is an Aboriginal religious concept which extends beyond its limited English translation. Much has been written about the Dreaming, but according to the blurb, Hume`s book 'seeks to further our understanding of human consciousness by looking through a Western lens at the concept of the Dreaming'. She does this by examining existing documentation about the Dreaming and also by comparisons of other cultures´ uses of altered states of consciousness. This is no easy task. As Hume herself states, quite often when anthropologists talk about the spiritual as opposed to the empirical ... read more.

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