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Keywords: George Orwell

  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The true quiet Australians: 10 of the best of Brian Matthews

    • Brian Matthews
    • 09 June 2022
    2 Comments

    Brian Matthews, academic, award-winning columnist and biographer, and Australia's foremost scholar on Henry Lawson and his mother Louisa, died last Thursday 2 June following complications related to lymphoma, at the age of 86. Brian first wrote for Eureka Street in February, 2002 and continued to contribute his monthly column for 20 years.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    From the archives: Dad's army

    • Brian Matthews
    • 09 June 2022

    It was Christmas morning of... many years ago. I was about eight years old but, despite my advanced age, I remained a dogged believer in Father Christmas. This belief was maintained in the face of cynicism and derision from the youthful toughs I consorted with and despite my own unspoken qualms in moments of inconvenient rationality. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The satisfactions of homeliness

    • Brian Matthews
    • 06 October 2021
    2 Comments

    I’m reminded of George Orwell in smashed-up thoroughly locked-down, wartime London welcoming the first signs of spring amidst the ruins and winter’s lingering cold but wondering whether he should. ‘Is it wicked,’ he asks, ‘to take a pleasure in spring and other seasonal changes? To put it more precisely, is it politically reprehensible?’ 

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Sham Palestinian peace plan is business as usual

    • Daniel Sleiman
    • 04 February 2020
    8 Comments

    The Palestinians, and Arabs more generally, have gotten used to this sham of semantics and pretences of peace, watching on as America continues to fund and support Israel’s occupation of Palestine and its projection of military power in the region with impunity.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Climate science for the birds

    • Brian Matthews
    • 01 November 2019
    3 Comments

    The scene I have described was more than purely peaceful. In these iron days, to write about or seriously discuss the world of nature and its phases and complexions can be a political act, 74 years after Orwell wondered about that very same point in 'Some Thoughts on the Common Toad'.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    An Orwellian view of climate change

    • Brian Matthews
    • 12 July 2019
    6 Comments

    By 'belly to earth', Orwell meant not only the uncomplicated, hands-on approach he threw himself into at Wallington. It also denoted a quality of engagement with the natural world that he saw to be threatened by the nature of what he considered to be the 'evil' times in which he lived — a feeling familiar to many in 2019.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Echoes of Auschwitz in Manus memoir

    • Brian Matthews
    • 27 March 2019
    6 Comments

    Like Auschwitz survivor Primo Levi in his works, Behrouz Boochani's No Friend but the Mountains exemplifies among many other things 'the possibilities of human decency' despite the Manus prison's squalor. Like George Orwell in another time and place, he is buoyed by hope in irrepressible nature.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Ending the cycle of violence in Kashmir

    • Tim Robertson
    • 15 March 2019
    1 Comment

    The world leaders who rushed to condemn the Valentine's Day attack have long remained silent on state-sanctioned oppression in Kashmir. That's no longer a surprise; nor is the fact that the attack was covered by every major western media organisation, while the daily injustices perpetrated against ordinary Kashmiris go unreported.

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  • EDUCATION

    Bringing the classics back to schools

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 31 October 2017
    9 Comments

    American-British writer Amanda Foreman is campaigning to return authors such as Austen, Dickens and Eliot to curricula in famous schools. But teachers have told her that a generation reared on smartphones and iPads finds such authors too ‘difficult'. So what? is my inward cry.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Beyond fake news lies the fog of fake figures

    • David James
    • 02 May 2017
    6 Comments

    Fake news aside, increasingly, we live in a world of fake figures. There is a cliche in management that 'what gets measured gets done'. In public discourse that might be translated to 'what gets measured is considered real'. One obvious fake figure is GDP, which is taken as a measure of national wellbeing. In fact, it is just a measure of transactions. If money changes hands because something disastrous happens then GDP will rise. That is hardly an indicator of national wellbeing.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    It is my duty to remember

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 21 April 2017
    16 Comments

    Every Anzac Day there seem to be arguments about the legitimacy of what has been called the One Day of the Year. In the past I have taken my turn at rebutting views that express the belief that such days are part of a wholly reprehensible glorification of war. I've had a great deal of time to think about the matter, and also have a personal involvement: my grandfather and father were in the Australian Army, and both saw active service, about which periods they hardly ever spoke.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Letters from dystopia in these best and worst of times

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 04 April 2017
    6 Comments

    Small wonder there is a particular surge of interest in dystopian novels: many people feel times have never been so troubled or so complicated, although I remember my father pointing out that people felt the same when the longbow and later gunpowder were invented. Amazon recently reported that Orwell and Huxley are selling like hot cakes. This at a time when certain purveyors of doom are lamenting the fact that 26 per cent of Americans, for example, did not read a single book during 2016.

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