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Wednesday, 23rd July 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

Emigration, Economics or Strategy? The British Government and the South Australia Act 1834

  • Jenny Booth
    imageThe passage of the South Australia Act in 1834 with only minor amendments is one of the intriguing aspects of the foundation of South Australia. Why did the British government agree to the passage of such an unworkable Act? J M Main suggests that it was due to a combination of factors: new theories of colonisation, a need for emigration resulting from an increasing population and rural unemployment, and continuing agitation from the promoters of the new colony.1 Edward Gibbon Wakefield and his supporters, on the other hand, asserted that South Australia was established only after a continuing ...
    Click here to read more.

Network Review of Books

Sacred Places: War Memorials in the Australian Landscape (2005)

  • imageReviewed by John Stephens in the August 2005 issue.
    By any standard, Sacred Places: War Memorials in the Australian Landscape is an impressive achievement. It was first published and now resurfaces at times when public and scholarly interest in commemoration is high. When Inglis started his survey of war memorials in 1983, war memorialisation and Anzac day commemoration was waning but had vigorously re-emerged by 1998 when the book was published. Recent interest in remembrance is part of 'the memory boom' as observed by Jay Winter which is a world wide phenomenon at the heart of many commemorative projects, seeking to provide a point of ... read more.

The Vision Splendid: A social and cultural history of rural Australia (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Anette Bremer in the September 2005 issue.
    The Vision Splendid's cover illustration, Arthur Streeton's The Selector's Hut, shows a man with a broad-brimmed hat resting on a partially hewn log, enjoying a midday smoke. Behind him, under a tall, scraggy gum, is his unfinished slab hut. Above, a soft blue sky with whispery clouds; surrounding the hut, the golden brown landscape typical of rural Australia. It is such classic images of the solitary pioneer that The Vision Splendid complicates. Streeton's painting symbolises what is popularly understood as 'the Bush' and while Waterhouse uses the same term (with a capital B) to invoke rural ... read more.

On Reflection (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Tim Metcalf in the February 2006 issue.
    Opening the door on David Musgrave's book-as-mentalistic-floor-plan, we are met by the host in his transient flesh and distorted self-image. He shows us smart, sonnet-like poetic pieces juxtaposed with single paragraph prose pieces rather like diary entries. These short texts alternate through the 80 pages like endless reflections in two mirrors facing each other up and down the echoing plaster hallway. One of the subtitles, 'A 20-20 Vision', describes this process. Other infinitely productive oppositions thus created include imaginative freedom versus work; calm and refuge versus angst and ... read more.

The Long Game and Other Poems (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Lucy Dougan in the July 2006 issue.
    Susan Sontag once called John Berger 'our most citizenly essayist'. In the field of contemporary Australian poetry, this tag could well be applied to Bruce Beaver (1928-2004) who is, without a doubt, one of our most citizenly poets. In the shrinking market of Australian literary work his posthumously published collection The Long Game and other poems (UQP, 2004) bears witness to the absolute significance and value of a late life artist who has toughed it out. Beaver was a vocational poet who for much of his writing life was supported by his wife Brenda. If 'the long game' is life itself, ... read more.

East of Time (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Sue Bond in the May 2006 issue.
    This memoir is sometimes so painful to read that I had to stop and go away from it for a while. None of the people named within it had such a luxury. It is a collection of stories set in Poland under the Nazis, in the Lodz ghetto, when the author, Jacob Rosenberg, was a boy. It is a series of largely chronological fragments that tell of the people he knew, his family, neighbours, friends and teachers, and what happened to them. In his preface, Rosenberg tells the reader that he has used his memories and his 'storyteller's embellishment' in writing the book. He also writes of the strong need ... read more.

Original Face (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Mads Clausen in the July 2006 issue.
    Based on a true murder, Original Face, Jose's thriller-cum-novel, opens with the first of many taxi-fares across the Glebe Island Bridge and with a body found in a rubbish tip, face sliced off in an attempt to erase the victim's identity. The search for the identity of this horribly mutilated corpse reverberates throughout the book (and the stunning front-cover), setting in motion a chain of events that extend far beyond the criminal investigation. Set in a pulsating, but oftentimes seamy and dangerous Sydney, where criminal ties and even Chinese government meddling are plentiful, the plot ... read more.

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