Review of The Literature of Western Australia ed. Bruce Bennett, and Responses: Selected Writings by A.A. Phillips
This is a worthy publication and an attractive looking book, but not one of the sort that invites the fascinated attention of a reviewer. What one does recognize is the labour and the conscientious devotion, one might almost say dedication, that goes to its production, and at the same time the smallness of the personal reward—I don't mean in money, which we can forget about, in creative satisfaction—for the compilers, and in particular for the general editor. I fancy it is on him that the burden falls, and there is little to counteract the impression that it is a burden. Books which, like this, have a literary face but a political heart (a contradiction in terms?), whose function is propaganda, albeit of a tolerably harmless and never strident kind, have little power to charm. The purpose is regionally ritualistic, like prayers for the dead and the perfunctory mention of those in peril on the literary sea.
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Published 1 October 1980 in Volume 9 No. 4.
Cite as: Elliott, Brian. ‘Review of The Literature of Western Australia ed. Bruce Bennett, and Responses: Selected Writings by A.A. Phillips.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 9, no. 4, 1980, doi: 10.20314/als.dcbe349b13.