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'By any standards, apart perhaps from box-office takings, 2009 was a banner year for Australian films. There were Balibo and Samson and Delilah, Disgrace and Last Ride, but what is really impressive is that three of the most memorable entries in this memorable year were directed by women, in an industry where direction has long been dominated by men.' (p82)
'It's a widely held opinion that the printed book is a dying species. Journalist Hugh Rimmington, when guest hosting the 7pm Project, jocularly asked the author of a new book of horror stories why on earth he took the trouble to write and promote his printed book with Kindle and e-books taking over the world. Digital books are already here and have been with us for some time. They have replaced print versions completely in some areas of publishing. Those parts of publishing are largely invisible to general readers, whose view of publishing is framed by the books available through retail outlets, but have contributed significantly to the overall profitability and success of the Australian publishing industry. These days the publishing industry has hived off its digital segments into separate companies as print has ceased to be the most common delivery mechanism.' (p. 117)
'Objects made of paper and ink, your time is up. If you were animals, you'd be put down in acts of mercy. If you were characters in a film, you'd be described as 'washed up', 'has beens', grizzled, overweight, self-indulgent and far from pretty: much like Orson Welles' character in Touch of Evil, his 'future all used up'. The last newspaper, it has been predicted, will stagger of the presses in 2043, and many observers consider that a generous assessment. There is a gloating website - the Newspaper Death Watch - counting the newspaper corpses and willing on the death of the species. And if the newspaper is not long for this mediasphere, then the book must also be under threat. Why should the plant-matter codex survive, when its successor - environmentally friendly, convenient, opening to a vast digital immaterial library - is already here?' (p. 125)
'The theme of lost children in literature and in life took a firm hold of people's imaginations in early colonial Australia. 'Lost Child', a poem of lament for a child 'taken' by the bush, published in 1826, is perhaps the first on that subject in Australian literature. The lost child as an enduring theme found exquisite expression in Frederick McCubbin's 1886 painting of that name. The bush inspired both fear and fascination in settlers. Its haunting, even hostile character found a place in popular culture well into the twentieth century and the novel Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay, at one time a student of McCubbin, continues to exert a tragic appeal even today.' (p. 134)