section: Arts And Culture

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Richard Flanagan sorts suffering from virtue

    • Barry Gittins and Jen Vuk
    • 21 November 2014
    4 Comments

    Winning the prestigious Man Booker prize has given Richard Flanagan's 2013 novel The Narrow Road to the Deep North precious new shelf life. I've long considered Flanagan an alchemist - giving everyday words an unmistakable verve and turning a phrase until it takes flight. But he's also a proud Tasmanian storyteller who now has the world's ear. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Grieving women rock immutable Islam

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 20 November 2014
    2 Comments

    The three recently reunited sisters are immersed in whispered conversation, during the second day of mourning at the house. In the next room, older men in ceremonial garb chant a mourning ritual. Suddenly, the sisters get the giggles, only to be angrily shushed by one of the men in the next room. But grief can't be stage managed, and it seems only natural that the process should be guided by normal human interaction.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A faithful woman visits me weekly

    • Ian C. Smith
    • 18 November 2014
    1 Comment

    Supplying food, whisky, news, loving sex. All this on a pine-scented mountain. I trim my stark white beard, shampoo, sweep, spray, squeegee and swipe. The hour you drive up our steep hill I open our front gates like a greeting.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Male spirituality in Kiwi portrait of mental illness

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 13 November 2014

    New Zealand filmmaker Robertson’s latest feature has been described as a cross between modern antipodean classics Once Were Warriors and Shine. Like Warriors, Dark Horse considers masculinity, violence and spirituality in the lives of urban Maoris. Like Shine, it offers a moving portrait of a character whose mental illness appears to be the dark reflection of esoteric, obsessive genius.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Meeting a fish

    • Yan An
    • 11 November 2014
    1 Comment

    The fish, ferocious like the eerie bird … challenges me to take it out of the water. … The thought of chucking it down from the heights, and sinking it into the unknown abyss, causes me to break out in a cold sweat. … Its mouth open … as if it had broken its vocal cord, reminding me of one night, when a kid, lost on the road, was crying, imperceptibly, in the darkness, half-visible, walking alone.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    David Cameron's shirtfronting impotence

    • Brian Matthews
    • 07 November 2014
    4 Comments

    Some aspects of the English/Scottish independence referendum confrontation rang interesting bells for Australia. But British PM David Cameron has had to tread cautiously on foreign policy to avoid adding grist to the 'Yes' campaign's mill. Not so Tony Abbott, for whom strutting the world stage works a treat to lift the pall of governmental confusion and unpopularity.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Good guy alienated from God

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 06 November 2014
    2 Comments

    Bob dutifully attends Mass but never takes communion. He's a fundamentally decent working man, as generous as he is taciturn. He is not the kind of man to, say, turn a blind eye to the plight of an injured dog. But Bob has sinful secrets that he feels alienate him even from God.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Does she really need to know the truth?

    • Prue Gibson
    • 05 November 2014
    3 Comments

    How was the funeral? The wooden pews had been waxed and she found it hard to breathe without gagging. The incense incensed her. What rot to swing that horrible stuff around the place. What did the semi-trailer driver see, she wondered? How was Rob thrown out of the vehicle, if his seat belt was fastened? Why did he join the main road, when he could have gone down the old highway, free from any traffic? 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    My friend the ox

    • Nola Firth
    • 04 November 2014
    7 Comments

    Great ox, your shoulders, rump, are dark inked and centre stage. But your horns, clear pointed, are mere memories of anger's mark... You no longer snort and stamp, your eye looks shy and hushed

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Kabul love story

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 30 October 2014
    1 Comment

    Orphan Abdul loves Fatemeh, but her father is demanding a prohibitive dowry for her hand. The financial wrangling between Abdul's guardian Mahboba and Fatemah's father Nik, and all this implies about the ways in which young women's futures can be sold and traded as part of an archaic cultural norm, seems crass and is more than a little disturbing to witness.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    An ode to thunder

    • Rory Harris
    • 28 October 2014
    2 Comments

    you rattled the night around kitchen tables, water glasses filled with new wine healing history, roses on your cheeks & thunder in your heart

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Australian history through the eyes of a dirt digger

    • Barry Gittins and Jen Vuk
    • 24 October 2014
    9 Comments

    Satirist David Hunt's best-selling Girt The Unauthorised History of Australia prompted Joe Hockey to offer him a job as speech writer. There’s plenty of dirt. Australia was the place to be, writes Hunt, 'unless you were black. Or a woman. Or gay. Or suspected of being Irish. Or even worse, all of the above'.

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