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1 The Mists of Time and the Fog of War : A Fortunate Life and A.B. Facey's Gallipoli Experience James Hurst , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Melbourne Historical Journal , no. 38 2010; (p. 73-88)
'Bert Facey's autobiographical A Fortunate Life has been described as, '[a] true classic o Australian literature, his simply written autobiography...an inspiration. It is the story of a life lived to the full - the extraordinary journey of an ordinary man'. In 1981 Peter Shrubb found the book 'a rich pleasure'; twenty-six years later, it was included in Gleeson-White's Australian Classics. One field of thought suggests that A Fortunate Life is only partly autobiographical, much of it consisting of stories acquired over the years, in the tradition of a master story-teller passing on yarns acquired by many fire sides. Jan Carter wrote that Facey's 'family knew these tales well before they read the book. The stories were told and re-told as family history for six decades or more'. Wendy Capper indentifies many characteristics of traditional oral story-telling, oral story-telling and folktale in Facey's writing, without criticising their relationship to the facts of his life. Others have been less accepting. Carolyn See, in an article published in The New York Times, wrote that 'Joan Newman of Curtin University at Perth, has it in for Mr. Facey's book...she thinks his memoirs of his outback life are one big lie, right down to the title.' (p. 73)
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