Fran Lebowitz doesn’t suffer fools, banalities or bad furniture. But on Friday 2 March, the legendary humourist and cultural critic will suffer us for an evening of invigorating – and likely acerbic – conversation.
For decades, the iconic New Yorker has turned her caustic pen (she doesn’t do smartphones or computers) to the subject of America’s cultural, social and political…
The Next Big Thing
Hot Desk Edition #3
At summer’s cusp, it’s not just the weather that’s getting warmer. As their residencies draw to a close – and their creative goals draw nearer (we hope!) – our latest gang of Hot Desk Fellows will dribble down to The Moat to share early excerpts and insights from their projects.
Join Ingrid Baring, Bobuq Sayed, Alexandra Collier, Jane Howard, Lorelei…
The Longform Society
Meeting #4: Helen Garner Edition
Helen Garner's name is synonymous with excellence and rigour in narrative non-fiction today. She's famous for spare yet stirring prose, dark subject matter and brutal introspection (the New Yorker’s James Wood called her a 'savage self-scrutineer').
In our final Longform Society meeting for 2017 – and as her collections, Stories and True Stories, are republished – we’ll explore some…
Harry Potter Haters: Where Are They Now?
In this euphoric year of celebrations for the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter, it's easy to forget the series had some pretty vocal critics in the early days. Ben Pobjie checks in on some of the soft-minded nobodies who have hated on Harry through the years.
Questions I’ve Asked Myself: Helen Razer
As The Festival of Questions approaches, Helen Razer casts off questions that were always answers from the start.
The Longform Society
Meeting #3: The Art of the Celebrity Profile
A good celebrity profile is a rare thing. Those that walk the line between quality writing, respect for the subject, and honouring the reader’s desire for a glimpse behind the curtain – while avoiding the murky depths of rumour mongering – are few and far between.
Some have made history, for good and bad reasons. Take the recent cringe-worthy profile of…
Anything and everything in Criticism from across our archives.
Unconference in Critical Failure
Image courtesy of Pat Allan
On Sunday the Wheeler Centre extended its Critical Failure week with an unconference looking at bloggers and online writers.
Unconferencers set the agenda on the day of the event so it kicked off with a discussion of the “amateur” status of bloggers. This was inspired in part by Alison Croggon’s article “The Return of the Amateur Critic” asking why…
Beyond Critical Failure
If there was one intention for the week of Critical Failure it was that it would create debate - either in the event itself or spilling out onto the web or newspaper pages in the following weeks.
Critical Failure: Books panellist Rebecca Starford
By way of right of reply, the participants have already begun penning some further thoughts. Book critic Peter Craven called the…
Geordie Williamson Takes Out Pascall Prize for Criticism
“[I]n the early years of the 21st century, liberal America got its news from a satirical television program and its moral compass from a fortnightly journal of book reviews.” So writes Geordie Williamson in an essay this week in The Australian, asking why it is that after 9/11 the Daily Show and the New York Review of Books became such authoritative source of…
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