State of writing in Australia

An Australian writer, offered a book deal, prefers to continue selling stories on the street.

Kate Kellaway examines the anxiety of influence for Australian writers like Peter Carey:

According to Malouf, if Australians behave as if they have something to prove, it is because they do. He suggests that Australians have historically reacted to the English in three ways: imitatively, contemptuously and competitively. The third option was to settle “for what we were; always with a certain awareness of their [English people’s] scrutiny and their eagerness to criticise, but in the determination to do better than they had done.” This competition depended upon English attention: “we needed our awareness of their scrutiny to keep ourselves up to the mark.” Malouf is writing about Australians generally – but what he says is as true of Australia’s writers.

In other news from Down Under, the Australian Prime Minister called feminist author Germaine Greer “elitist” and “condescending” after she said Australians were “too relaxed to give a damn” in a newspaper article. (First and third links via Places for Writers.)


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