Review of Frank Hardy and the Literature of Commitment, edited by Paul Adams and Christopher Lee
Frank Hardy certainly enjoyed the controversy he attracted while he was alive, and doubtless he would find great satisfaction in remaining a centrifugal force in Australian radical literary discourse. A controversial personality may be the hook, but getting the reader engaged with critical ideas was ultimately the aim of Hardy's showmanship, and the fifteen essays collected for this edition fulfil that goal. They offer a range of perspectives on the radical literary tradition, its political and intellectual factions and debates, its friends and its enemies. Indeed, when the ascendancy of the right has seen even the notion of a radical literary tradition effectively 'disappeared', it takes a contentious character like Hardy to reinvigorate interest. This book should appeal not only to Hardy fans and scholars with a specialist focus, but also to anyone interested in Australian literature and history.
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