Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Eucalyptus and Pages

Eucalyptus oil is fantastic for cleaning grime off books.

The Pages is the new novel by Murray Bail - just out in paperback - it follows two very Sydney women, one a psychoanalyst, the other a lecturer/protector of philosophy into the NSW outback to a farm, where the brother of the farmer, recently deceased, has left his life's philosophical musings on paper. I know, because my colleague told me, that the reader learns nothing of this philosophy - and so far in to this read I hear ruminations about North and South, Antipodes and Europe, thought and action, city and country. I read Bail's crafted prose and marvel at the placing of commas and his use of the short - quip like - sentence. It makes my toes curl (so far)

Hope and power

Tonight I broadcast the interview with Alan Clements - (edgeradio.org.au - The Book Show) - he is incredible. The Burmese people, 50 000 imprisoned souls, are beautiful. Aung San Suu Kyi is humourous, intelligent and hopeful. If you ware in Burma and you heard the interview - (about the current situation in Burma and Aung San Suu Kyi's farcical trial) - and you were found out - you would be imprisoned, most likely with no trial and possibly tortured.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

and for July 7 show....

I found Chris Andrews on the front of a Bolano novel - he is the translator of a lot of his works - as well as a poet and a literary theorist. In this conversation Chris talks about the vicissitudes and poetry of translation, secret French literary cults, Bolano and what is new and exciting in Latin American literature.

some shows soon:

Alan Clements was the first American monk in Burma in the late seventies, expelled from the country in the 80s he continued to visit and began to document the human rights travesty that is occuring in Burma.

In 1992 he approached Aun San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, who has been under house arrest on and off for nearly two decades about working together to make a book.

Aun San Suu Kyi, with her voice of clarity and hope - is currently enduring a farcical trial, following the unsoliticed visit of an American citizen - who swam across the lake that her house backs on to. She is being charged with breaching the conditions of her house arrest.

It is most likely she will be imprisioned - she is currently being held at the Insein prison in Rangoon. Insein is pronounced insane.

The Voice of Hope - the conversations that Clements had with Suu Kyi - is an inspirational book - Suu Kyi and incredible person and this is a great and Clements is informed and articulate.

This interview has international relevance and is incredibly topical.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Burma and dead Chile

On Tuesday I'll be interviewing Alan Clements, co author - with Aun San Suu Kyi - of The Voice of Hope and Chris Andrews, who is a translator of Roberto Bolano (missing a squirl over the n of his family name) - these interviews will be played over the next few weeks. I'll also be playing an interview with James Boyce, author of Van Diemens Land and winner of the 2009 Tasmanian Book Prize. This is an interview that my personal assistant, Rachel, did with James following the publication of Van Diemens Land early last year.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Bolano

I have finished reading The Savage Detectives, by Bolano (missing the all important en-yeh symbol above the N). He is my favourite dead Chilean. It is wonderous that, feeling there was no narrative, I was able to dive in madly - only to have the final third of the book pull me back into time and space. It IS a detective story. It is a true and harsh observation of humanity and it is a squalid, foetid beautiful genre smashing read.

Review - The Memory of Genocide in Tasmania, scars on the archive by Jesse Shipway

The Memory of Genocide in Tasmania is a daunting, exhausting and devastating book that examines genocide and modernity and the attempt to d...