Australian politics, society & culture

Australian Media

The paradox of art and creative writing
By Simon Leys
This essay was originally an address to the annual conference of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, where its title, at the request of the organisers, was changed to ‘Historical and Other Truths' - which was deemed more appropriate for such a serious audience. For judges are supposed to be serious: indeed, don
By Eric Ellis
Deng Wen Ge - she changed her name to Wendi in her mid-teens - was born in Shandong around the time that her future husband was buying London's News of the World. One of three children, she grew up in neighbouring Xuzhou as a Subei ren - a vernacular term for the robust, rosy-cheeked folk of northern Jiangsu province
How the end of the world came to Melbourne
By Gideon Haigh
Early on 22 July 1957, a false alarm of nuclear attack sounded in Schenectady, New York. Only one man, reported Harper's, roused and evacuated his family. Everyone else, including civil-defence officials, emulated the mayor, who "rolled over and went back to sleep".Into this eerily somnolent world was On the Beach
By Sally Warhaft
‘Is that the truth, or is your News Limited?' Last month, while this magazine celebrated its second birthday, Australia's pre-eminent media group, Fairfax, spiked a story profiling Wendi Deng Murdoch that one of its editors had commissioned. We don't yet know all the facts behind the Fairfax decision, but we do know
Understanding Raimond Gaita
By Helen Garner
There's a brief scene, quite early in the movie, in which Raimond is mooching along a street and sees a teenage girl dancing wildly to a record on her front porch. He calls out and asks her the name of the singer. She tells him it's Jerry Lee Lewis, from Ferriday, Louisiana. "And who are you, when you're at home?" she
Illustration by Jeff Fisher.
By Richard Cooke
Illustration by Jeff Fisher.
By Malcolm Knox
Illustration by Jeff Fisher.
By Charles Firth
The Strange History of Manning Clark
By Mark McKenna
Manning Clark relished cultivating an image of himself as the lone outsider. When he sought to place his work in the context of Australian historiography - even on the first occasion, at a Melbourne University seminar in 1954 - he dismissed nearly all the writing of Australian history that had gone before him as the
'Jonestown: The Power and The Myth of Alan Jones', Allen and Unwin; $29.99
By David Marr
An interview with Robert Hughes
By Peter Craven
Hughes had become the art critic of Time magazine in 1970, and you could read those page-long pieces - which as severe a judge as Gerald Murnane once described as being written in flawless prose - 30 or so times a year. There were also, over the decades, those TV surveys of art, The Shock of the New and American
A Commission’s Report Confirms Australian Duplicity & Cowardice
By Mark Aarons
As the recent report of East Timor’s Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation demonstrates, his country got both.The 2500-page report was handed to both the UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, and the Indonesian President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, earlier this year, coinciding with Prime Minister John Howard’
By Kerryn Goldsworthy
Among people who get their current affairs from the ABC or SBS, the consensus is that A Current Affair and Today Tonight rate their socks off by relying on stories about neighbourhood feuds, sex scandals, dodgy salesmen, weight loss, welfare cheats and bras. It’s true: people watch these shows because their taxes,

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