‘The Fullness of Life’: The Poetics and Politics of Jack Lindsay


This essay explores a recently discovered, unpublished typescript by Australian writer Jack Lindsay, most likely written in the 1970s and titled ‘The Fullness of Life: The Autobiography of an Idea’. In this work Lindsay offers an analysis of his own development as a thinker and artist as expressed in his own published writing. Not a small undertaking given that Lindsay published over 160 books in a range of genres including translations from classical texts, historical studies of ancient Rome and ancient Egypt, historical biography and historical fiction, modern fiction, art history and biography, literary analysis and literary biography, poetry and verse plays, political and cultural analysis as well as numerous essays, poems, and reviews. It is, as the title proclaims, an analysis by Lindsay of the idea that governed his life and work – its original expression as a Romantic rejection of a world that debases beauty; its transformation into a social, not only individual, rebellion and embrace of Marxist ideas; its inclusion of human interaction with the natural world; and its final expression as ‘a fully Marxist aesthetic’.

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Published 1 November 2015 in Volume 30 No. 4. Subjects: Jack Lindsay.

Cite as: Cranny-Francis, Anne. ‘‘The Fullness of Life’: The Poetics and Politics of Jack Lindsay.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 30, no. 4, 2015, doi: 10.20314/als.9337d427a9.