Looking Beyond the Subject: Some Recent Biographies
As so much of the discussion about Australian culture, in literary and allied fields, is now coming through the medium of biography, this latest parcel of biographical offerings presents an opportunity to see how well the genre is performing. Of course the form is only as good as its practitioners will allow it to be. Putting aside for one moment Mary Lord's biography of Hal Porter, which relies heavily on anecdotal evidence and the testimony of those closely acquainted with the subject - and which is, in any case, a more personal kind of study - the biographies show a high degree of scholarly application, and the power of being able to make persons live again, from the written records and documents which testify to their existence.
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