section: Arts And Culture

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Dickens and Christmas as we grow older

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 13 December 2019

    Dickens was a prolific writer, and one of patchy quality: the threat of sentimentality was never far away, so that this brief work is not one of his best. But in this consumer age it is salutary to have his definition of the Christmas spirit, which is one 'of active usefulness, perseverance, cheerful discharge of duty, kindness and forbearance'.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The arts as a human right

    • Bree Alexander
    • 11 December 2019
    4 Comments

    While we can only speculate on what it means for the future of funding beyond the current budget, alarm bells are ringing for many of us who recognise the symbolic power of rendering the arts invisible at a federal level. A strong, vibrant arts sector is essential to a thriving democracy.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    This delicious failure of common names

    • Paul Hetherington
    • 09 December 2019
    2 Comments

    You don't know the word for butter, so you spend seconds miming the way it froths in the pan. The owner of the shop says nothing. You want to buy their famous pesto, but it's nowhere on display. You speak to other customers, who nod and frown. Eventually you point at fragrant cheese and a melon that smells of ripest green.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Dancing in the dark of western culture

    • Irfan Yusuf
    • 09 December 2019
    4 Comments

    Politicians love to remind minorities to integrate. Minority kids by and large resent these calls, because they are desperate to integrate. South Asian kids like me and journalist Sarfraz Manzoor were among those wishing to be Australian or British. Our idols were Bruce Springsteen and Jim Kerr, not Abu Bakr Baghdadi or Osama bin Ladin.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Two elegies for a vanished farm

    • Jena Woodhouse
    • 02 December 2019

    After spirit-lamps were doused the house drew in upon itself; its clutch of dreamers moaned and tossed in stifling mosquito nets — each isolating sac of mesh a Magellanic cloud.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Clive James' poetry of memento mori

    • Philip Harvey
    • 29 November 2019
    12 Comments

    Obituarists sharpened their quills in 2014 when word had it the death of Clive James was imminent. Since then we have witnessed a late flowering of poetry, reviews and articles tinged with mortality that revealed to the last his Twainian flair for journalistic self-promotion, albeit in the internet age. Now the quills are out in earnest.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The theatre of distance

    • John Allison
    • 25 November 2019
    2 Comments

    I dreamed Thoreau told me that whenever I was lost, if only I'd remember that it was not I but simply those familiar places of the world that were lost then I would realise at last the trick of standing upright here ... Everywhere, departure opens wide its gates into the nothing that awaits us in the dusk

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Near Ferntree Gully

    • Chris Wallace-Crabbe
    • 18 November 2019
    3 Comments

    Staring toward the stringy picture through a linguistic lens I have begun to see that the elderly magic, deplored by most religions, was a daughter of coincidence mathematically robed in some downright glorious colours.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The crime scene that is Australia

    • Libby Hart
    • 11 November 2019
    1 Comment

    It's difficult to move in this landscape. Haunted and fragile and tragic, there's no place that is benign. A cursed house, the Greeks might say.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    In praise of the rituals of others

    • Jane Williams
    • 04 November 2019
    1 Comment

    Thank God for Bollywood and daytime TV. For the all night partyers and marathon love makers. For the hash brownie bakers, the nut crackers and pot-stirrers ... the drum-beating banjo-twanging wannabe musicians ... the incense wafting up from the first floor through our bathroom vent — frankincense I'm tempted to think.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Matchbox dreams

    • Jane Downing
    • 28 October 2019
    2 Comments

    The dirt ploughed easily under our bulldozer fists. After rain it was still dust underneath; roadworks were brisk. Kangaroos down from Mt Ainslie pooped in our miniature town, new boulders for the centre of our roundabouts. Around and out — the arteries in the front garden ended in neat driveways bumper to bumper with matchbox cars.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The day my phone turned on me

    • Michele Frankeni
    • 28 October 2019
    3 Comments

    Lately my phone has been leading me down some dark paths. The algorithms have become skewed and it has become a lot more conservative. I cannot pinpoint when the change occurred. Was it that time I clicked on the Australian? But how does that account for the links to sites that laud Steve Bannon and question the Pope?

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