I looked around the shower curtain this morning to find moppet ripping pages out of Eleanor Dark’s The Timeless Land and carefully laying them on pools of water. Everyone’s a critic. Or perhaps she subconsciously knows how I feel about Varuna, having never even got within a sniff of being selected for it. My sour grapes, baby.
Have you seen the great Aussie piss-cutting-legend blokey bloke bloke bloke stamp series that apparently represents our greatest literary lights? Safe. Having a vagina a serious disadvantage, apparently. It’s cross-over bogan, in fact.
The authors on the list have literary merit (I admit I’m basing judgement of McCullough on hearsay that her Roman books are worth rating as I’ve only read the dirty one like every naughty convent girl) – but it’s dull. Speculation on the method of selection has lead me to the conclusion that the process has fallen foul of ‘lowest common denominator’. Nothing to offend, or God forbid, actually represent yourselves as visionary, or arbiters of taste. Any broad attempt to shape literary culture is taken as vainglory, the imposition of an intelligensia dosing the public with unreadable Epsom salts.
So all of these dudes (and one dudette) have had a major bogan cross-over book. By this I mean if you don’t read, and buy maybe one or two books a year from a bookbarn or Kmart, you’ve probably read;
- Bryce Courtney (the most bogan) and his team of researchers – any book will do
- Peter Carey – Ned Kelly. Aussie Legend!
- Colleen McCullough – Forn Birds. With one hand. Cor.
- Tim Winton – The Riders, Breath. Horses. Surfin. Not talking much.
- Thomas Keneally – Schindler’s List. I mean, Ark. Or at least seen that Seinfeld episode with Judge Reinhold that takes the piss.
- David Malouf – the most problematic for my theorem of bogan saleability but I figure he’s there because most Australians of the last twenty years were tortured with one of his books in secondary school.
I don’t hate these authors. It just really pissed me off. You suck, Australia Post. When I think whose face I’d really like to lick, these guys aren’t it.