The Role of the Writer in John Howard's Australia Issue Details: First known date: 2003... 2003
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

In the 2003 Colin Simpson Lecture, David Marr argues that 'the role of the writer is always to surprise'. He reflects on his personal observation that 'few Australian novels ... address in worldly, adult ways the country and the time in which we live' and proposes that 'writers start focusing on what is happening in this country [Australia], looking Australia in the face, not flinching, coming to grips with the fact that we have been on a long loop through time that has brought us back almost - but not quite - to where we were [in the 1950s].' Marr cites the approach of Patrick White as an example that others writers could emulate.

Notes

  • First presented as the Colin Simpson Lecture at the Redfern Town Hall, 11.00-12.30, 29 March 2003. Subsequently aired on the ABC radio programme, 'Books and Writing' on 6 April 2003.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Works about this Work

Debating 'The Role of the Writer in John Howard's Australia': Literature and the Mainstream Julieanne Lamond , 2007 single work criticism
— Appears in: Local Global , no. 3 2007; (p. 82-93)
'There has been considerable public debate in Australia in recent years about the role of writers in addressing the particular nature of the 'time in which we live'. This debate is not a new one, but rather forms part of a larger argument that has taken place periodically in Australia since at least the 1930s regarding whether our writers do, or should, take current life in Australia - its politics and problems - as the subject matter for their novels. This paper examines this debate in relation to ways in which Australian novels can tackle public or everyday life in relation to ideas about a national literature and the mainstream. It asks what this reveals about our culture.' (Local Global abstract)
Raw Material Begs Writers Christopher Pearson , 2003 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 2-3 August 2003; (p. 18)
Pearson assesses David Marr's 2003 Colin Simpson Lecture, 'The Role of the Writer in John Howard's Australia' and suggests some social issues that Australian writers may care to tackle in their work.
Nation in Need of Novel Idea 2003 single work column
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 26-27 July 2003; (p. 10-11)
Summarises the recent debate over the social responsibility of authors towards society in general.
Nation in Need of Novel Idea 2003 single work column
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 26-27 July 2003; (p. 10-11)
Summarises the recent debate over the social responsibility of authors towards society in general.
Raw Material Begs Writers Christopher Pearson , 2003 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 2-3 August 2003; (p. 18)
Pearson assesses David Marr's 2003 Colin Simpson Lecture, 'The Role of the Writer in John Howard's Australia' and suggests some social issues that Australian writers may care to tackle in their work.
Debating 'The Role of the Writer in John Howard's Australia': Literature and the Mainstream Julieanne Lamond , 2007 single work criticism
— Appears in: Local Global , no. 3 2007; (p. 82-93)
'There has been considerable public debate in Australia in recent years about the role of writers in addressing the particular nature of the 'time in which we live'. This debate is not a new one, but rather forms part of a larger argument that has taken place periodically in Australia since at least the 1930s regarding whether our writers do, or should, take current life in Australia - its politics and problems - as the subject matter for their novels. This paper examines this debate in relation to ways in which Australian novels can tackle public or everyday life in relation to ideas about a national literature and the mainstream. It asks what this reveals about our culture.' (Local Global abstract)
Last amended 22 Aug 2003 08:59:53
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