Review of Preoccupations in Australian Poetry by Judith Wright


Judith Wright is one of the most versatile writers Australia has produced. Already recognized as one of the two or three leading Australian poets, she has to her credit a remarkable prose work as well as a considerable body of short stories, as yet uncollected in book form. During the last seven or eight years she has established herself as one of our finest critics. Her chapter on Shaw Neilson first published in Quadrant, No. 12, 1959; her monograph on Charles Harpur; her penetrating and admirably concise survey of Australian Poetry to 1920 in the Pelican volume, The Literature ofAustralia, revealed a critic of intuition and power, undogmatic, and wide-ranging in sympathies. These qualities are equally present in Preoccupations in Australian Poetry, which in fact incorporates, directly or in directly, the abovementioned items. Miss Wright's tone and approach are free, leisurely and relaxed; she owes no obvious allegiances to any of the reigning critical methods and modes. Her book clearly shows that a critic's value is finally to be judged less by the opinions than by the quality of the admirations.

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Published 1 December 1965 in Volume 2 No. 2. Subjects: Australian poetry, Judith Wright.

Cite as: Smith, Vivian. ‘Review of Preoccupations in Australian Poetry by Judith Wright.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 2, no. 2, 1965, doi: 10.20314/als.a04a68f01a.