Essays

 

The Spectre of the Magi

The Spectre of the Magi

Elyne Mitchell
Winter 1944
Cold mist had lain all the day through—breaking with vestiges of sunlight and sudden sights of snow as we left the sheepyards—but now enfolding us entirely with thick, damp touch. The breath of the three horses steamed, mist-blending. Hooves trotting, ...
The Poet in Wartime

The Poet in Wartime

Donovan Clarke
Summer 1943
Historically considered, there are three categories of writing, corresponding to three cultural epochs or phases of civilization—the bardic, the conventional and the truly creative. The bard is the earliest articulate man, differentiated from his fellows by nothing but that articulateness ...
Accent on Music-Making

Accent on Music-Making

Margaret Sutherland
Winter 1943
Until recently music has been largely an imported commodity. Most of our musical life centred round the visits to this country of artists from abroad. In other words, it was imposed on, rather than growing within, the community. In order ...
Letter from Tom Collins

Letter from Tom Collins

Joe Furphy
Summer 1942
Shepparton February 18th, 1904 Dear Mr. Stephens, Sincere thanks for all the contents of your letter. ATHENAEUM man is a heart of oak—no reed shaken by a cat's paw. And when a critic of such displacement gives me a bit ...
The Case for Critics (Letter to Tom Collins)

The Case for Critics (Letter to Tom Collins)

Kylie Tennant
Spring 1942
It was indigestble. Enormous sentences unrolled themselves like strips of fly-paper on which the mind dangled bumbling and bewildered. Those sentences were written by a word-intoxicated man, wallowing, positively wallowing, in print. All that magnificent material, all that humour and ...
Battle

Battle

Vance Palmer
March 1942
The next few months may decide not only whether we are to survive as a nation, but whether we deserve to survive. As yet none of our achievements prove it, at any rate in the sight of the outer world ...
Henry Lawson

Henry Lawson

Miles Franklin
Summer 1942
We meet here to offer a tribute of gratitude and affection to the life and work of one of our most dearly loved Australians. Academic practitioners of letters concern themselves with the appraisal of Henry Lawson. It has been their ...
Australian Literary History

Australian Literary History

WA Amiet
Summer 1941
Literary history—a blend of biography, bibliography, philosophy, sociology, criticism, flour, soda and cream o'tartar—follows in the wake of literature as inevitably as martial history in the wake of war. Moreover it far-reachingly affects the development of letters, imbuing the impressionable ...
First Issue Editorial

First Issue Editorial

Clem Christesen
Summer 1940
‘Poetry’s unnat’ral; no man ever talked poetry ’cept a beadle on boxin’ day, or Warren’s blackin’ or Rowland’s oil, or some o’ them low fellows; never you let yourself down to talk poetry, my boy.’ But we have disregarded Tony ...