Monthly Archives: June 2005

Breakfast in Surry Hills

The Rabbit was an early riser today, as I found him already breakfasting in The Coffee Roaster when I came downstairs around 8 am. He has an exam starting around about now…

And the rather silly novel I have been reading is Key of Light by Nora Roberts (London, Piatkus 2003). It is entertaining but, deep down, incredibly childish really. Children would however prefer Harry Potter.

” I am a popular writer and proud of it,” Nora Roberts told Publisher’s Weekly in 1998, and as J D Robb she has written some fair-enough SF/Crime Fiction crossovers. In the one I am reading now “mortal women quest to unlock the spellbound souls of ancient demigoddesses” and, incidentally (a real American touch this) may score ONE MILLION DOLLARS! Rarely have God and Mammon lived together so happily, but it all goes down well at the box office, as they say.

But I am being mildly entertained.

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Posted by on June 28, 2005 in book reviews, local, personal, Surry Hills


Book Review: The White Earth, by Andrew McGahan

Book Review: The White Earth, by Andrew McGahan

I have not quite finished, but have cast my eye ahead to the end… It is a page-turner in its way, quite compulsive reading once you get into it.

Needless to say it is far more worthy of respect than anything ever written by Di Morrissey, not to mention Dan Brown. Needless to say, despite having just won the Miles Franklin Award, it will wither on the vine in comparison to Brown, Di Morrissey, Colleen McCullough or Bryce Courtenay (“Australia’s Best-Selling Author”).

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Posted by on June 26, 2005 in Australia and Australian, book reviews, OzLit, reminiscing, Top read


Slice of Australian gothic takes out Miles Franklin

Yes, I do have a copy of Andrew McGahan’s The White Earth at the moment, from the Salt Mine Library. I shall try to read it over the weekend and let you know what I think. I do know I very much enjoyed his 1988 (1995) which I read some time back.

Meantime I am reading Neil Belton’s The Good Listener: A Life against Cruelty [1998] which was one of the books I proposed to dump, but maybe not now. (It had been a bargain bookshop impulse buy about a year ago.) The book is a treasure. It is profound, responsible, well written, intelligent, absolutely relevant… We need such books in these days. For example, see Heather Mallick, “The Heart of Darkness Beats Clear and Steady in Guantanamo Bay” (2002):
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Posted by on June 24, 2005 in Australia and Australian, book reviews, Fiction, History, OzLit, terrorism, Top read, writers


Angst de jour…

Posted today on the current HSC cheating media frenzy.

The whole saga has developed into a family soapie, it seems. HSC scandal teacher betrayed by daughter.
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Posted by on June 22, 2005 in Australia and Australian, education, Salt Mine


I have been ranting online for SOOO long!

Not that all of it is still there, mind you. Some of it only exists now on my own computer, that sturdy and ancient beast which was introduced to you thus: Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on June 22, 2005 in America, blogging, Gay and Lesbian, M, poets and poetry, reminiscing, Sirdan, Surry Hills


Winter Solstice

Seeing this is the shortest day of the year, I have resolved today’s effort here will be much shorter than yesterday’s. Yes, of course it was all brilliant 😉 — but Sirdan can’t afford to spend all that time at work reading it, and The Rabbit still has assignments to complete.

I must add to yesterday’s, though, a clarification: I really do recommend Seyyed Hossein Nasr’s The Heart of Islam as a very elegant defence of the traditional position of Muslims, utterly opposed to the evils we have come to associate with Islamists and terror. Professor Nasr is a very learned man and a great spirit. He also writes extremely well. He is not a simple literalist in his interpretation of the Quran either, though he does hold to the traditional exaltation of that book.

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Posted by on June 21, 2005 in Bible, book reviews, faith and philosophy, Islam, Sirdan


Seyyed Hossein Nasr

Seyyed Hossein Nasr, currently University Professor of Islamic Studies at the George Washington University, Washington D.C. is one of the most important and foremost scholars of Islamic, Religious and Comparative Studies in the world today. Author of over fifty books and five hundred articles which have been translated into several major Islamic, European and Asian languages, Professor Nasr is a well known and highly respected intellectual figure both in the West and the Islamic world. An eloquent speaker with a charismatic presence, Nasr is a much sought after speaker at academic conferences and seminars, university and public lectures and also radio and television programs in his area of expertise. Possessor of an impressive academic and intellectual record, his career as a teacher and scholar spans over four decades…

This is one impressive person, of that there is no doubt, and being located at the Sufi end of Islam seems to guarantee a certain loveliness of thought that the world, Islamic or not, sorely needs.
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Posted by on June 20, 2005 in America, faith and philosophy, fundamentalism and extremism, interfaith, Iran, Islam, writers