The Gospel According to Brian single work   criticism  
Issue Details: First known date: 2009 2009
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No one who knew Manning Clark, even a little, was likely to forget him. No one, even, who saw him lecture, with that broad-domed forehead and that infinitely gentle vicar's voice, full of the tears in things, and maybe too of the one who might (mightn't he?) wipe all tears away. There are two ways of seeing Manning Clark that echo down the half-empty corridors of Australian memory. One was voiced, a bit improbably, by my own mother, who knew nothing of the great historian that Sunday twenty-five years ago as we sat watching him interviewed on television and who said, 'That man is close to God.' The other is there bitten off or thrown away in the voices of a hundred antagonists: some of them like Peter Ryan, who wrote of him most vividly and most bitterly after publishing him for many years, or Robert Manne, who demolished the charge that he had been in thrall to the Soviets, were antagonists who had had to double as defenders. But what they thought, at the end of the day, was unmistakable, 'Manning Clark was a charlatan.'


  • Epigraph: 'We have left undone those which we ought to have done; And we have done those things which we ought not to have done; And there is on health in us.' The Anglican General Confession
  • Epigraph: 'We don't read other people's diaries now, do we?' Lolita (1962, directed by Stanley Kubrick)

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  • Appears in:
    y Heat Without a Paddle no. 21 (New Series) 2009 Z1660547 2009 periodical issue 2009 pg. 75-94
Last amended 6 Jan 2010
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