Analysis: ‘A Wizard of Earthsea’ vs ‘The Road’


A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin and The Road by Cormack McCarthy, despite appearing complete dissimilar at first glance, have a like patterning that quickly emerges: the themes, point of view, and each author’s subdued writing style all used for a similar narrative purpose.

In The Road, Cormack McCarthy paints a bleak tale about a man and his son and there survival in a world afflicted by a non-specific apocalypse. The trees are dead, there are no signs of life other than human life, and the remaining humans have alternatively turned cannibalistic or militaristic survivalist in an attempt to continue living in the anarchy that has ensued. Cormack’s description of a shattered world is simplistic, short and rhythmic.

He walked out in the gray light and stood and he saw for a brief moment the absolute truth of the world. The cold relentless circling of the intestate earth. Continue reading

A Pop Culture Too Far?


In current times, pop culture is a buzzword that many people can immediately identify. Shows that mimic and comment upon popular culture, such as SeinfeldFuturamaFamily GuySouthparkDrawn Togetherbut mainly The Simpsonsare what I hear being quoted repeatedly amongst the majority of my friends. Creativity seems to be stymied, Orwellian-style, in favour of a well-worn, humorous quotation or a retelling of a favourite episode. I’m sure this has been the case to a lesser degree in the past with popular shows, but never so much since the advent of widespread media, such as the Internet and cable television.

It’s sad, but I find myself constantly questioning the originality of a particular humorous phrase, as opposed to attributing the utterance to myself or a friend. Everything becomes an echo of an echo of something said by Stan Marsh from Southpark or (God forbid) Homer from The Simpsons. Continue reading

6 Ways to Lose Your Mind


Just flat out pretend you’re crazy. Start with the basics: wear underwear on your head, hug a stranger, get an obscure hobby to obsess over. If that doesn’t work, then move up to the big leagues: stop eating meat, join an extremist animal right’s group and sock it to those carnivorous unbelievers! This is called joining a cult.

Not doing it for you? Try committing a major crime and when the case goes to trial, hit ’em with the ol’ insanity plea. You shouldn’t be held criminally liable for your actions while visiting Lalaland! (In New Zealand and Australia this is known as the mental disorder defence.) The newspapers won’t care whether you actually are crazy, but the resulting media hooplah will induce mental shutdown. If that still hasn’t worked, you’ve got one more card up your sleeve: A Get Out Of Jail Free card. If your convicted, it’s likely you’ll be shoved into an institution a la One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Frontal lobotomies for all! Continue reading

Publishing in Australia: Spotlight on Giramondo


Giramondo Publishing originates from that most venerated of Australian Arts institutions—the literary journal. Since the company’s inception in 1996—when they began releasing the biannual book-length journal HEAT—Giramondo’s main focus has shifted, and in 2002 they began publish books by individual authors.

With a number of critically acclaimed and award winning novels in print, such as Alexis Wright’s Carpentaria and Gerald Murnane’s Tamarisk Row, one-man editing team Ivor Indyk explains his past need to be a more direct part of the Australian publishing industry:

‘After some years as a university teacher and critic of Australian literature, I felt the need for a more direct involvement with writers and with the process of writing, especially since I often found myself criticising books for faults that could have been avoided with skilful editing …  Continue reading



I write this from the cold comfort of a mausoleum bed. The lock is set; the gate is barred. I fear the folly of my choice—the location of midnight tryst—will this time lead to my doom. The quiet figure beside me stares with eyes which are lovingly empty, that calm me and set my shaking hands to rest. My fears abate. If I should die, herein will be my last words, the very key of my existence. Hence, I shall entitle this final missive:

On Ye Loving Of Ye Deceased

I know. How well I know it. The stigma associated with necrophilia is well known, seemingly in all cultures and across most of the Ages of Man. In quick, unfair words, it is ‘frowned upon’. But there are many benefits, nay, many positives that to my mind outweigh any risk associated with in flagrante delicto mortis. Continue reading