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By Source, Fair use,
y separately published work icon Clean Straw for Nothing : A Novel single work   novel  
Is part of Meredith Trilogy George Johnston , 1964 series - author (number 2 in series)
Issue Details: First known date: 1969... 1969 Clean Straw for Nothing : A Novel
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Set against the backdrop of a Greek island, Clean Straw for Nothing follows the story of successful war correspondent and retired journalist David Meredith as he abandons his career for a life in exile with his beautiful wife Cressida. Johnston focuses on the developing relationship between David and Cressida, exploring the complex and reflective character of David as he questions the nature of success, sexual tensions, expatriation and ill-health. The questions are almost entirely unanswerable and the freedom David craves nearly impossible.'

— publisher's website


  • Also published in large print, braille and sound recording formats.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Alternative title: Przespisz sine za darmo
Language: Polish
    • Warsaw,
      Eastern Europe, Europe,
      Czytelnik ,
      1973 .
      image of person or book cover 3275437338340247727.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 375p.

Works about this Work

George Johnston's 'Majesties of Nature and Monstrosities of Man' Is My Sydney Paul Daley , 2019 single work column
— Appears in: The Guardian Australia , 21 October 2019;

'Fifty years after Clean Straw for Nothing won the prodigal Australian writer George Johnston a second Miles Franklin award, the novel has aged as a rich critique of social change, cultural complacency and the rise of smug nationalism in Menzies-era Australia.' (Introduction)

Home Away from Home : The Curious Case of Diplomats Margaret Barbalet , 2019 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , vol. 19 no. 1 2019;
'This paper addresses a particular form of life writing by expatriates, the memoirs of diplomats. The diplomatic memoir is an emerging and particular genre of life writing that adds a surprising facet to the rich field of narratives of expatriation. As will be discussed, it is, in some ways, a form of life writing of uncertain promise, hedged about as it is with an array of constrictions that are difficult to escape. In this discussion of Australian diplomatic memoirs I will include some of my own recollections and diary accounts drawn from my experience as a career diplomat.' (Introduction)
Exile’s Return : Change Was in the Air Andrew Taylor , 2019 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , vol. 19 no. 1 2019;
'In September 1963 I boarded the ship, the Fairsky, in Port Melbourne, and waved goodbye to my parents and my girlfriend. I was 23 years old and leaving Australia for the first time. The Fairsky was one of many ships that had served in the Second World War and then been repurposed in the immediate post-war years. In this case, she had served for both the USA and Royal navies, firstly as USS Barnes and then as HMS Attacker, before being converted initially for use as a cargo carrier (the Castel Forte), and eventually undergoing another major refit for passenger use in 1957, from which she re-emerged as Fairsky.' (Introduction)
Australians in Aspic : Picturing Charmian Clift's and George Johnston's Expatriation Tanya Dalziell , Paul Genoni , 2015 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , vol. 15 no. 3 2015;
'This paper considers how the expatriation of Australian authors Charmian Clift and George Johnston on the Greek island of Hydra has been represented photographically in a recently uncovered archive of over 1500 images. The photographs were taken by Life Magazine staff photographer James Burke in the summer of 1960. The analysis of the photographs is juxtaposed at key points with text from Clift's memoir Peel Me a Lotus, and the discussion focuses on the way the interplay between image and text produces supportive and/or contested representations of this particular experience of Australian literary expatriation.' (Publication abstract)
Charmain Clift and George Johnston, Hydra 1960 : The 'Lost' Photographs of James Burke Paul Genoni , Tanya Dalziell , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: Meanjin , vol. 73 no. 1 2014; (p. 18-37)

'In one of her many essays, Charmian Clift writes of the melancholic experience of feeling like a photograph. She has been asked to address a group of students at Wollongong High School, a school she had attended, and in preparing her speech she turns to a photograph that appears in the school's fiftieth-anniversary commemorative booklet. The photograph depicts a class from Clift's time at the school, 'formally posed with the boys lined up behind the girls and their hands resting on the girls' shoulders' ('On Turning slightly Sepia', p. 48 (see References below)), and as photographs do it evokes in Clift's memory small details that are not evidenced in the image itself: 'I can still see one of those girls arched in a perfect swallow dive, and remember precisely a collar of little pearl buttons on a blue crepe dress that another of them wore to an end-of-term dance that year'(48). The photograph also prompts Clift to consider how different her teenage circumstances were from those of the students she is to speak to, their faces shining with the confidence that faith in the goodness of the future affords. Before those faces now momentarily turned to her, she thinks of herself as the past, and wonders, 'if they realized that standing up before them I knew myself to be curling at the edges and turning slightly sepia' (51).' (Publication abstract)

Untitled Claire Thompson , 2001 single work review
— Appears in: Muse , October no. 211 2001; (p. 14-15)

— Review of Clean Straw for Nothing : A Novel George Johnston , 1969 single work novel
Richness and Ultimate Insight Veronica Sen , 1990 single work review
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 25 March 1990; (p. 26)

— Review of An Imaginary Life : A Novel David Malouf , 1978 single work novel ; Fabulous Nobodies Lee Tulloch , 1989 single work novel ; Clean Straw for Nothing : A Novel George Johnston , 1969 single work novel ; A Cartload of Clay : A Novel George Johnston , 1971 single work novel
Paperbacks : The Dream Went Sour Penelope Nelson , 1988 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian Magazine , 26-27 March 1988; (p. 16)

— Review of A Cartload of Clay : A Novel George Johnston , 1971 single work novel ; Clean Straw for Nothing : A Novel George Johnston , 1969 single work novel
Growing Up : Young Ladies' Trials Through the Ages Robin Lucas , 1990 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 13 January 1990; (p. 62)

— Review of A Cartload of Clay : A Novel George Johnston , 1971 single work novel ; The Delinquents Criena Rohan , 1962 single work novel ; Clean Straw for Nothing : A Novel George Johnston , 1969 single work novel
Jack's Brother Journey's Into a Cul-De-Sac Sandra Hall , 1969 single work review
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 23 August vol. 91 no. 4667 1969; (p. 56)

— Review of Clean Straw for Nothing : A Novel George Johnston , 1969 single work novel
The Wide Brown Land : Literary Readings of Space and the Australian Continent Anthony J. Hassall , 2007 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australia : Making Space Meaningful 2007; (p. 45-53)
'In his 1987 poem "Louvres" Les Murray speaks of journeys to 'the three quarters of our continent/set aside for mystic poetry" (2002, 239), a very different reading of Australia's inner space to A.D. Hope's 1939 vision of it as '[t]he Arabian desert of the human mind" (1966, 13) In this paper I review the opposed, contradictory ways in which the inner space of Australia has been perceived by Australian writers, and note changes in those literary perceptions, especially in the last fifty years. In that time what was routinely categerised, by Patrick White among others, as the "Dead heart" (1974, 94) - the disappointing desert encountered by nineteenth=century European explorers looking for another America -has been re-mythologised as the "Red Centre," the symbolic, living heart of the continent. What Barcroft Boake's 1897 poem hauntingly portrayed as out where the dead men lie" (140,-2) is now more commonly imagined as a site of spiritual exploration and psychic renewal, a place where Aboriginal identification with the land is respected and even shared. This change was powerfully symbolised in 1985 by the return to the traditional Anangu owners of the title deeds to the renamed Uluru, the great stone sited at the centre of the continent; but while this re-mythologising has been increasingly influential in literary readings, older, more negative constructions of that space as hostile and sterile have persisted, so that contradictory attitudes towards the inner space of Australia continue to be expressed. In reviewing a selection of those readings, I am conscious that they both distort and influence broader cultural perceptions. I am also aware that literary reconstructions of the past reflect both the attitudes of the time depicted and the current attitudes of the writer, and that separating the two is seldom simple. Finally, I am conscious of the connections between literary readings and those in art and film of the kind documented by Roslynn Hanes in her 1998 study Seeking the Centre: the Australian Desert in Literature, Art and Film, and those in television and advertising. I have however, with the exception of the Postscript, limited my paper to literary readings, with an emphasis on works published since Haynes's study.' (Author's abstract p. 45)
Charmain Clift Kay Saunders , 2011 single work biography
— Appears in: Notorious Australian Women 2011; (p. 232-245)
Clift's Challenge to a Biographer Philippa Hawker , 1990 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Sunday Herald , 14 January 1990; (p. 27)
'Before It is Too Late' : George Johnston and the Doppler Effect John Scheckter , 1991 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian & New Zealand Studies in Canada , Spring no. 5 1991; (p. 115-130)
Biography and Fiction : George Johnston's Meredith Trilogy and Garry Kinane's Biography F. H. Mares , 1988 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Literary Studies , May vol. 13 no. 3 1988; (p. 357-364)
Last amended 26 Apr 2017 09:04:48
  • Urban,
  • c
    Western Europe, Europe,
  • London,
    United Kingdom (UK),
    Western Europe, Europe,
  • Sydney, New South Wales,
  • Melbourne, Victoria,
  • 1940-1969
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