Rereading The Man Who Loved Children single work   criticism  
Issue Details: First known date: 2010 2010
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

Jonathan Franzen makes a strong case for Christina Stead's novel The Man Who Loved Children, which he feels deserves a much wider readership than it has so far achieved.

Lead paragraph: 'There are any number of reasons you shouldn't read ''The Man Who Loved Children'' this summer. It's a novel, for one thing; and haven't we all secretly sort of come to an agreement, in the last year or two or three, that novels belonged to the age of newspapers and are going the way of newspapers, only faster? As an old English professor friend of mine likes to say, novels are a curious moral case, in that we feel guilty about not reading more of them but also guilty about doing something as frivolous as reading them; and wouldn't we all be better off with one less thing in the world to feel guilty about?' (New York Times Book Review 6 June 2010, p.11)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

First known date: 2010
Notes:
A version of this article appeared in the online edition of the New York Times with the title 'Rereading The Man Who Loved Children' and a note: A version of this article appeared in print on June 6, 2010, on page BR11 of the Sunday Book Review. The online version is dated 27 May 2010.
Alternative title: A Strindberg Family Robinson

Works about this Work

Rewriting Australian Literature Nicholas Jose , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Teaching Australian Literature : From Classroom Conversations to National Imaginings 2011; (p. 95-107)
'There are those of us who are trying to rethink the place of Australian literature in our lives, as readers and writers, students and teachers, and as participants in this society and culture. It's happening from different angles: in the academy, in literary studies, cultural studies, and Australian studies, including Australian history, at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, and in research frameworks; in secondary and primary education, locally and nationally; and in the public domain. It's also happening internationally, through translation, and in the many different spaces where Australian literature might have meaning. Meaning, of course, is a first question and the meanings of both 'Australian' and 'literature' are fluid and routinely contested. Coupling the terms only increased the questioning, raising the stakes to beg the question of whether it is meaningful or necessary to talk about Australian literature at all. What is it? Does it exist? Does it matter anymore, or any differently from any other kind of literature, simply because we happen to be in Australia? Does it have a privileged claim on our attention, or, if it does, is that suspect? Each part of the coupling comes with hefty baggage. 'Australian' brings the national, the nation and the nationalistic, identity and belonging, history and culture, citizenship and inclusion/exclusion. 'Literature' brings not only the literary, but also language, and literacy, questions of reading and writing, and teaching and learning in relation to reading and writing. In particular it brings, for my purposes here, those approaches and practices known as 'creative writing' that in recent decades have entered subject English and more broadly the business of how literature is made is made in our society. 'Creative writing' is an infelicitous term, perhaps, but one we're stuck with, understood as something with many manifestations, widespread popularity and its own complex institutional history. Discussion of these things - creative writing and Australian literature in the curricular context - joins with larger debates about our education and contemporary culture that tend, paradoxically, to adopt a rhetoric of embattlement while taking for granted the importance of both related fields. It is surprising that, in a neoliberal, technocratic, metric-managed world, reading, writing and creativity should retain such power and loom so large.' (Author's abstract)
Body as Evidence Christine Wallace , 2010 single work column
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 19 June 2010; (p. 5)
Body as Evidence Christine Wallace , 2010 single work column
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 19 June 2010; (p. 5)
Rewriting Australian Literature Nicholas Jose , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Teaching Australian Literature : From Classroom Conversations to National Imaginings 2011; (p. 95-107)
'There are those of us who are trying to rethink the place of Australian literature in our lives, as readers and writers, students and teachers, and as participants in this society and culture. It's happening from different angles: in the academy, in literary studies, cultural studies, and Australian studies, including Australian history, at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, and in research frameworks; in secondary and primary education, locally and nationally; and in the public domain. It's also happening internationally, through translation, and in the many different spaces where Australian literature might have meaning. Meaning, of course, is a first question and the meanings of both 'Australian' and 'literature' are fluid and routinely contested. Coupling the terms only increased the questioning, raising the stakes to beg the question of whether it is meaningful or necessary to talk about Australian literature at all. What is it? Does it exist? Does it matter anymore, or any differently from any other kind of literature, simply because we happen to be in Australia? Does it have a privileged claim on our attention, or, if it does, is that suspect? Each part of the coupling comes with hefty baggage. 'Australian' brings the national, the nation and the nationalistic, identity and belonging, history and culture, citizenship and inclusion/exclusion. 'Literature' brings not only the literary, but also language, and literacy, questions of reading and writing, and teaching and learning in relation to reading and writing. In particular it brings, for my purposes here, those approaches and practices known as 'creative writing' that in recent decades have entered subject English and more broadly the business of how literature is made is made in our society. 'Creative writing' is an infelicitous term, perhaps, but one we're stuck with, understood as something with many manifestations, widespread popularity and its own complex institutional history. Discussion of these things - creative writing and Australian literature in the curricular context - joins with larger debates about our education and contemporary culture that tend, paradoxically, to adopt a rhetoric of embattlement while taking for granted the importance of both related fields. It is surprising that, in a neoliberal, technocratic, metric-managed world, reading, writing and creativity should retain such power and loom so large.' (Author's abstract)
Last amended 9 Sep 2010 09:53:05
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