Robert David Fitzgerald is regarded by many commentators as a major figure in the evolution of Australian literature. He wrote his poems with a distinctive Australian voice, going beyond ballads and doggerel verse, and the work of poets such as Brennan who were anchored to foreign models.
His long career extended from the "roaring twenties" to the revolutionary 60s. As a young man he was associated with the Norman Lindsay circle and he contributed to the shortlived magazine "Vision" which was launched as the vehicle of an Australian rejoinder to modernism.
Unlike most of the writers and artists of that time he was neither a journalist nor a bohemian. He commenced a science degree and then turned to surveying, to follow the profession of his father and grandfather.
Barry Humphries has a healthy international reputation so does not need to be introduced, however there is an aspect of his character and his vision that is not fully appreciated. He is not a member of the 'trendy left', instead he is a kind of evolutionary conservative and a firm friend of Quadrant, the liberal/conservative magazine. This places him well beyond the pale of respectability in the eyes of the progressive intelligentsia and the overwhelming majority of the artistic and literary community.
essays . criticism . poetry . profiles . reviews . ideas
(1933 - )
Liam Hudson is an English psychologist who would be on my short list of people to share a desert island or a trans-Siberian train journey.
On top of his range of intellectual interests he also enjoys cooking so he would probably take on my share of kitchen duties.
He has written a series of books, each one moving further from the 'rat and pigeon' psychology which he was taught. In his memoire of Oxford and Cambridge he painted an illuminating picture of the way that 'railway lines of thought' were inculcated in psychology students, along with a perverse ranking in the profession whereby people with an interest in humans were at the bottom of the totem pole of prestige, and those at the top devoted themselves to obscure issues in experimental methodology.
His major concern is the way that psychology has cut itself off both from its neighbours, and also from the raw material of its own subject matter. "If we are to regain our vigor, a major change is in store, not at the periphery, nor in detail, but at our corporate nub - a change in our conception of what we are about".
Copyright of articles rests with the individual author.
True Ease in Writing comes from Art, not Chance,
As those move easiest who have learn'd to dance,
'Tis not enough no Harshness gives Offence,
The Sound must seem an Eccho to the Sense.
Soft is the Strain when Zephyr gently blows,
And the smooth Stream in smoother Numbers flows;
But when loud Surges lash the sounding Shore,
The hoarse, rough Verse shou'd like the Torrent roar.
When Ajax strives, some Rocks' vast Weight to throw,
The Line too labours, and the Words move slow;
Not so, when swift Camilla scours the Plain,
Flies o'er th'unbending Corn, and skims along the Main.
From An Essay on Criticism
by Alexander Pope.
Scientific psychology promised much in the last century but has not delivered according to the expectations of those who had such high hopes for psychoanalysis and behaviourism in their early days. Liam Hudson, an English researcher, has provided an inspiring example of a man at work, looking for a better way to understand human beings. On the other side of the world, R D FitzGerald, a professional surveyor of Irish extraction, helped Australian poetry to transcend its humble beginnings and achieve a dignified maturity. His compatriot, the ubiquitous Barry Humphries, wit and gladdi-ator, has provided a 'nice night's entertainment' on several continents in reporting the results of his research on the Australian psyche.
Lord Macaulay (1800-1859) writes on the trial of Hastings - 1788
An essay that approaches the dramatic impact of fine poetry, by one of the masters of English prose