Monthly Archives: June 2013

Sydney Review of Books

As a rule, it takes me until Sunday night to finish reading The Age that arrives on Saturday. My favourite section is ‘Life and Style'( which used to be A2) but it seems that the life and style- the restaurants, the interviews, the film tie-ins etc-  are nudging the book reviews into a smaller and smaller space. It will barely worth the anticipation soon.

I used to look forward to the Australian Literary Review that came out at the start of each month with The Australian but it seemed that the reviews increasingly became just a platform for the right-wing stance of the The Australian generally.  So, when it no longer appeared, it was no great loss either.

I subscribe the the Australian Review of Books but to my shame, I often don’t get round to reading them until months later.  My son would eye the unopened magazine covetously (along with the similarly unopened-yet The Monthly, Griffith Review and Quarterly Review) saying “Oh, come on, I just want to read….” but no, I paid for it, so I’m going to open it in my own good time thank you very much.  I subscribed to the London Review of Books, lured by a very tempting  no-obligation introductory subscription price.  But- oh dear- such long articles; so much reading- each one took almost a week! And six month’s worth of London Review of Books have been added, unopened, to the ‘one day’ pile and the subscription has been allowed to lapse.

And now here’s another one- the Sydney Review of Books.  It is edited by James Ley, and here’s what it has to say about itself:

The Sydney Review of Books is an online journal devoted to long-form literary criticism. It is motivated by the belief that in-depth analysis and robust critical discussion are crucial to the development of Australia’s literary culture. We decided to embark on this project because of our concerns about the reduced space for serious literary criticism in the mainstream media, and the newspapers in particular, given their uncertain future. We intend the Sydney Review of Books to be a venue in which Australian writers and critics can engage with books at length, a venue in which to rediscover the intimate connection between the art of criticism and the art of the essay. The Review’s focus is Australian writing, but it also considers the work of significant overseas authors.

Sydney Review of Books has been developed with the support of the Writing and Society Research Centre at the University of Western Sydney. It is also supported by grants from the Australia Council and Copyright Agency Limited. It has been conceived as a free online publication, in order to maximise its reach. We publish new essays and reviews on a weekly basis and, in offering a selection of high quality criticism by some of the best critics and writers in the country, we hope to enlist your support as readers to ensure that the Review can continue as a dynamic contributor to our literary culture.


It looks good.  And it doesn’t have to sit on a pile, wrapped in a cover, shaming me.

Redmond Barry Bicentennial coming up


Big celebrations over the next few weeks to commemorate the birth of Sir Redmond Barry (1813-1880).  It looks as if 6th and 7th of June are the big days and I’m thinking I might go along for some of it at least.

The official site is here.


Redmond Barry Bicentennial Exhibition – Supreme Court Library

210 William St Melbourne 17 May -11 June 2013. Free admission  Mon-Friday 8.30 -6.00  (5.00pm. on Friday)  Inquiries 96039197

You can read about Redmond Barry’s role in the establishment of the Law Library here.

Redmond Barry and the Melbourne Law School Exhibition

Melbourne Law School Library, Level 3, 185 Pelham St Carlton South

18 May- 22 June 2013  Free admission  Inquiries 8344 6177

You can read more about the teaching of law in Melbourne at the Melbourne Law School’s site here.

Evidence of a fruitful life: Redmond Barry and the University of Melbourne exhibition

Ground floor, Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne

4-10th June 2013 Free admission

Sir Redmond Barry was founding father and first chancellor of the University of Melbourne.  There’s a rather clever interactive timeline of the history of the university here.

Free, secular and democratic: building the Public Library 1853-1913

Keith Murdoch Gallery, State Library of Victoria

30 May 2013- 2 February 2014  (so no hurry for this one….) Free admission.

There’s several guided tours during June listed here.


Friday 7th June 9.30-12.30 starting at the Supreme Court and finishing at Melbourne General Cemetery.  Conducted by Isobel Simpson. $25.00  Inquiries 8344 2016


Redmond Barry: visionary or scoundrel?

Chaired by Damien Carrick from Radio National, the panel includes Justice John Smallwood, historian Robyn Annear and barrister Ken Oldis.

Thursday 6th June 6.00- 7.15 followed by drinks and canapes until 8.30 p.m. Book by Monday 3 June $35 full/ $30 concession/$25 SLV member. 9884 7099.

Redmond Barry symposium

Baillieu Libary University of Melbourne, Friday 7 June 1.30-4.30 p.m. Free admission but RSVP essential –

So much Barry!!! Let’s see- I could do a couple of the exhibitions on Thursday afternoon, then go to the Panel Discussion at the library that night and eat canapes; get up bright and early on Friday morning for a walk around Melbourne to walk off the canapes; then go to the symposium that afternoon.