Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Avast ye bookish sea-dogs! Weigh your anchors at The Fatal Shore by Robert Hughes

Where: R-train
Who was reading: A tall blonde man on the precipice of male pattern baldness. 
Multi-media! His earbud cords disappeared into the neck of his jacket, and peeked out from the bottom, snaking into a pocket. 
What was he listening to? Based on his interest in Australia it was definitely either Crayon Fields or Kylie Minogue.
According to this really oddly formatted review on the Brown University Website: "Hughes's book was written as a response to a variety of Australian “founding myths”,  all aimed at erasing the (convict) Stain. Hughes dissects these arguments in masterly fashion, marshaling a combination of facts and his singularly elegant rhetorical style. He has no patience for a polite revisionism of the nation's founding . . . and lambasts those who would try to sugar-coat the country's origins."
Don't you just love... nonfiction born of bilious academic quarrels?

1 comment:

  1. I think Hughes is actually taking account of popular myths and not academic theories, so your characterization of his book as emerging from bile and squabble isn't accurate. It's more like it emerged from the molasses avalanche of popularly "known" history.

    This brings me to ask: as a "spy", do you strictly consider yourself an intelligence-gatherer, or are you also a partisan of some kind? Are you representing someone? Are you a water-carrier, or are you looking for sources of water yourself?