Review of Henry Lawson Collected Verse, edited by Colin Roderick, and Henry Lawson Poet and Short Story Writer by Colin Roderick
Professor Roderick has for a good many years now interested himself in the work and career of Henry Lawson, and the Collected Verse, to be issued in two volumes of which this is the first, is clearly the fruit of an admirable and painstaking—one might almost call it literally a painful—devotion to the cause of Lawson in particular, and Australian literature in general. This first volume is certainly a most substantial and industrious achievement; and let it be said at once that he who doubts the value of such scholarship applied to such a cause, is a kind of philistine. It is clearly established in the canons of academic respectability today that research is the noblest of all activities of the mind; here is research. If there is one kind of text that is academically superior to every other kind of text, it is a variorum edition; here is our Variorum Lawson. And yet I must be a kind of philistine, for I find myself disposed to wonder about these things. And I wonder very much whether Lawson himself, who addressed a rather scornful and even sarcastic blast of protest to his 'Cultured Critics', would care very much about being presented to the Australia of his posthumous fame in this guise. Not that we need concern ourselves very much about that; whether authors like it or not, the mills of Academe must be permitted to grind on.
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Cite as: Elliott, Brian. ‘Review of Henry Lawson Collected Verse, edited by Colin Roderick, and Henry Lawson Poet and Short Story Writer by Colin Roderick.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 3, no. 2, 1967, doi: 10.20314/als.c442729d59.