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Showing posts from March, 2017

Reviewing from the road

I’m on holiday, winding my way from Toronto down to New York, not thinking much about politics, and reading a lot. So, for something a bit different, here’s what I’ve been reading, listening to, watching, etc… If you want to read about the holiday, head to my TinyLetter. (If you just want to look at it, my hyperactive Instagram is here.)
My Brilliant Friend, Elena Ferrante. Like a lot of these, this is shameless and quite late bandwagoning. I’d never heard of Elena Ferrante until the explosion of commentary and debate when her real name and identity were (against her will) revealed. My Brilliant Friend is the first in the quartet of novels she’s most celebrated for. It was not what I expected. The way Ferrante’s work has been reviewed and praised, as well as the general fact that it sparks a lot of discussion in more highbrow outlets, had me anticipating a quite literary work full of elegant prose. My experience of it was quite different, more like the way I read as a child than anythi…

The emptiness of Malcolm Turnbull

Over on New Matilda, I have a piece about whether Malcolm Turnbull really believes in anything. The narrative that still dominates our political discussion is that he's personally committed to various socially progressive causes - marriage equality, strong action on climate change - but can't pursue them because of his Coalition colleagues. That story is less and less believable as time goes on.