Search Results: Gillian Bouras

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Consummate battler's PNG Christmas fable

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 02 December 2017
    6 Comments

    'The Three Wise Men' was published in the Herald newspaper in 1943. It is set in the jungle of New Guinea, and is about three Australian soldiers called Jack, Bill, and Fred. It is Christmas Eve, and Jack, Bill and Fred are lost 'in the middle of New Guinea in jungle as thick as the hairs on a dog.'

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Teaching kids to read between the rhymes

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 20 November 2017
    16 Comments

    Nana's favourites were chain-rhymed stories such as 'The Old Woman and her Pig', and 'This is the House that Jack Built', both of which I try to communicate to my grandchildren. My sister and I never realised how we were acquiring tastes for story and rhythm, or that we were exercising our young memories, our capacities for recall, as well.

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  • EDUCATION

    Bringing the classics back to schools

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 30 October 2017
    8 Comments

    American-British writer Amanda Foreman is campaigning to return authors such as Austen, Dickens and Eliot to curricula in famous schools. But teachers have told her that a generation reared on smartphones and iPads finds such authors too ‘difficult'. So what? is my inward cry.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Ghosts of letters past

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 02 October 2017
    4 Comments

    Conscientious friends have recently sent me bundles of the letters I wrote them decades before. I found myself strangely reluctant to look at them, or even loose the letters from their envelopes. The longer I procrastinated, the more I asked myself why I was doing so, and concluded that memory is another form of haunting: those letters are home to ghosts.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Kindness is still everything

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 04 September 2017
    20 Comments

    The old grey mare she ain't what she used to be: so the song says. Well, I'm definitely grey, but thought I was trotting along satisfactorily on the sands of time until about a month ago, when I was calmly crossing a Kalamata street. I remember stepping on to the pavement, and then nothing more until a passerby was helping me up and dabbing rather ineffectually at my face and shirtfront. There was blood everywhere.

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  • RELIGION

    Confessions of a literature addict

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 13 August 2017
    12 Comments

    Was Harry Potter’s 20th birthday to blame? Or the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death? Or merely the ageing process? It’s hard to decide, but in a life quite possibly ruined by literature, I have started remembering some of the books I read in childhood.  

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  • RELIGION

    Ghosts of ministers past

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 03 July 2017
    6 Comments

    When I was a small child, Presbyterians ministers, including my great-uncle Jack, seemed to be everywhere. They march through memory: soberly suited, dog-collared, determinedly cheerful and often dull, although Old Jack preached a fiery sermon, and could well have taken to the stage instead of the pulpit. They were eventually replaced in my life by a procession of Greek Orthodox priests. They would extend their hands to be kissed in a gesture my nonconformist soul found quite shocking.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    At an angle to the universe: Remembering Brian Doyle

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 29 May 2017
    14 Comments

    Brian's work was notable for its firm yet subtle control, the great tumbling yet disciplined lists of adjectives, the elevation of the quotidian, the appreciation of the natural world and its creatures, the sheer love of life. Re-reading one recent piece I find the references to the 'lovely bride' and 'the house wolf' almost unbearably touching. One reader wrote he was not initiated into Brian's 'grand mysteries', but that the joy and awe conveyed rang out with love and goodwill. How very true.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The Storycatcher - 17 of the best of Brian Doyle

    • Brian Doyle
    • 29 May 2017
    3 Comments

    Brian Doyle was the editor of Portland Magazine at the University of Portland, the author most recently of the essay collection Grace Notes, and a long time contributor to Eureka Street. Brian died early Saturday morning 27 May 2017 following complications related to a cancerous brain tumour, at the age of 60. Here we present a collection of some of Brian's best pieces from the past 12 years.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The power of poetry in the age of Twitter

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 18 May 2017
    13 Comments

    Does poetry still matter in our Twitter society? Such was the question that caught my eye during a random Google session. The answers consisted of some lugubrious comments to the effect that poetry, like the novel, is dying. It is hard to believe that poets were once considered celebrities, and that poetry was once a pre-eminent form of entertainment. We also generally refrain from mentioning poetry and politics in the same breath. 'Twas not always thus.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    It is my duty to remember

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 20 April 2017
    16 Comments

    Every Anzac Day there seem to be arguments about the legitimacy of what has been called the One Day of the Year. In the past I have taken my turn at rebutting views that express the belief that such days are part of a wholly reprehensible glorification of war. I've had a great deal of time to think about the matter, and also have a personal involvement: my grandfather and father were in the Australian Army, and both saw active service, about which periods they hardly ever spoke.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Letters from dystopia in these best and worst of times

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 03 April 2017
    6 Comments

    Small wonder there is a particular surge of interest in dystopian novels: many people feel times have never been so troubled or so complicated, although I remember my father pointing out that people felt the same when the longbow and later gunpowder were invented. Amazon recently reported that Orwell and Huxley are selling like hot cakes. This at a time when certain purveyors of doom are lamenting the fact that 26 per cent of Americans, for example, did not read a single book during 2016.

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