Review of Nellie Melba, Ginger Meggs and Friends, Essays in Australian Cultural History ed. Susan Dermody, John Docker and Drusilla Modjeska
As the title suggests, this book is riddled with contradictions. Although its editors spend much of their introduction chronicling the sins of universities, most of the essays they have assembled are by university teachers writing on the subjects in which they have a specialized interest, sometimes using a language which guarantees their professional impregnability. The book's subtitle is Essays in Australian Cultural History, but the introduction is mainly devoted to a discussion of what is generally called 'mass' or 'popular' culture. About half of the essays are concerned with this subject, but others deal with such topics as the writing of Ada Cambridge and Katharine Susannah Prichard, the ColoniaLiterati, and the ideology of Frank Moorhouse, which are certainly matters of culture, but hardly 'popular', in any sense of the word.
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Published 1 May 1983 in Volume 11 No. 1.
Cite as: Clunies Ross, Bruce A.. ‘Review of Nellie Melba, Ginger Meggs and Friends, Essays in Australian Cultural History ed. Susan Dermody, John Docker and Drusilla Modjeska.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 11, no. 1, 1983, doi: 10.20314/als.0c45cf79cb.