Review of Australian Writers by L.J. Blake


Even if Australian Writers were free from the kind of careless error in which it unhappily abounds I don't think I should find much to say in its favour. The method of the book, which is divided into four chapters—The Historians; the Biographers; the Novelists; and the Poets—leads to some curious misrepresentation of certain writers. Thus Walter Murdoch is noted as the biographer of Deakin, the introducer of O'Dowd's collected poems, and the associate of the Jindyworobaks: his work as 'essayist and lecturer' exists only in a phrase in apposition to his name. The worst sufferers, though, (as usual in Australia) are the playwrights. Louis Esson's 'attempts to establish Australian drama' are noted, but his only works to be mentioned are two volumes of verse. Sumner Locke Elliott gets in only on the strength of a novel about America published in 1966, and Ray Lawler and Alan Seymour do not get a mention.

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Published 1 May 1969 in Volume 4 No. 1. Subjects: Australian literary criticism.

Cite as: Mares, F. H.. ‘Review of Australian Writers by L.J. Blake.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 4, no. 1, 1969, doi: 10.20314/als.558276d5f9.