Review of Critical Essays on Judith Wright Selected and with an Introductory Essay by A.K. Thomson
Academics in America and Great Britain have found it profitable to clap miscellaneous pieces on major poets between paper covers and offer the results to a gullible, ill-educated public, a public more interested in passing examinations than in reading poetry for its own sake. To judge from the proliferation of titles in the last five years, the market appears inexhaustible. But one often wonders what young people in their teens make of some of the articles that are included, a high proportion of which have been written for professional journals and assume a detailed knowledge of the relevant primary and secondary texts. Fortunately most editors of such collections justify their activity by providing an adequate editorial introduction, together with notes about the provenance of the articles. And such information does something to offset the ragbag effect. Australian publishers have so far not entered this market. But now the Jacaranda Press and Professor A. K. Thomson offer us an object lesson in how not to do the thing in Critical Essays on Judith Wright.
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