Spaces, Cargoes, Documents, Values and Principles: Some Recent Poetry Anthologies


In attending to, or at least slithering over, some recent Australian anthologies, I shall try to take a benign view of the individuals who edited them, attempting to look at salient characteristics of the finished products. The reviewers in the press have spent quite enough time pointing the finger at Australian anthologists: thus Vincent Buckley is arraigned for being 'drearily preoccupied with canonical correctness' (Alan Gould); Tranter and Mead for confusedly and pretentiously making a refusal to discriminate 'the principle of the whole anthology' (Evan Jones) or for 'the self-canonization of John Tranter' (Kevin Hart); Gray and Lehmann for basing their selection upon 'a jumble of things that might appeal to the sensual male' (Rosemary Sorensen). The anthologist, like the author, is not dead, but merely nodding. And it is the job of newspaper reviewers to stir up attention by catching those wretched anthologists at ease in the printed sunshine, dozing off.

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Published 1 October 1992 in Volume 15 No. 4. Subjects: Australian literature - Anthologies, Poetry anthologies.

Cite as: Wallace-Crabbe, Chris. ‘Spaces, Cargoes, Documents, Values and Principles: Some Recent Poetry Anthologies.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 15, no. 4, 1992, doi: 10.20314/als.e77004b9b3.