Review of Bread and Wine: Selected Prose by Kenneth Slessor
One of the first images to strike the reader in this selection of Kenneth Slessor's prose writings is that of the author as a young man in his lodgings in a Sydney skyscraper, his face reflecting the viridian moonlight cast by the largest illuminated beer bottle in the world, which gave both him and his friends, but him particularly, 'the perpetual aspect of a Demon King'. This is one of the many passages of description—zestful, evocative and individual—which enliven the pages of this book. The 'Portraits' of Sydney and King's Cross which follow, as much portraits of Slessor as of the city itself, succeed in their mixture of poetry and journalism because of that very human 'eating, sleeping, loving, arguing, sausage frying and head-scratching' authorial figure who makes his appearance at the beginning and stamps them with such a genial personality.
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