Review of The American Model: Influence and Independence in Australian Poetry ed. Joan Kirkby, and Cross Currents: Magazines and Newspapers in Australian Literature ed. Bruce Bennett
The Oxford History of Australian Literature has been widely condemned for its attempt to exclude all contexts apart from the entirely literary in its survey of Australian literature, for ignoring those facts of editing, publishing, patronage, external influences and so on, which form a complex network of conditions from which literary works arise. As recently as the latest issue of this journal, John Blight lamented the fact that 'no book has been written as yet to give us a comprehensive account of the many important editors who have had a big hand in shaping our poetry since the thirties' and the same might be said for the publishers, the patronizers and the literary critics. These two books are, in a way, preliminary documents in a kind of supplementary history of literature in Australia. The American Model deals with influences and records the responses of some post-war Australian poets to the most powerful poetry in the English language in the twentieth century, while Cross Currents concerns itself with magazines and newspapers and their literary editors. Neither book fills such a large gap but each throws some useful boulders into it.
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Cite as: Duwell, Martin. ‘Review of The American Model: Influence and Independence in Australian Poetry ed. Joan Kirkby, and Cross Currents: Magazines and Newspapers in Australian Literature ed. Bruce Bennett.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 10, no. 4, 1982, doi: 10.20314/als.5a69b6a3cf.