David Malouf and the Poetic: His Earlier Writings

by Yvonne Smith


"In this carefully researched book, part of a series edited by academic Susan Lever, Smith considers what the idea of a 'poetic imagination' might mean, with the aim of offering 'fresh insights into the nature of [Malouf’s] creativ­ity — its tensions, struggles, and moment­s of breakthrough, as well as its potential boundaries'. ... Smith is a perceptive reader [and] offers close studies of a number of Malouf’s works including fiction and poetry against 'the context from which they arose'. ... There is a wealth of careful analysis here. ... This engaging, accessible study will well serve students and teachers. ... meticulously researched." —The Australian

"While not a biography per se, the book employs considerable biographical detail to good effect. ... Smith covers this biographical record admirably, and uses it judiciously with regard to Malouf ’s published output. Her considerable original research, via interviews, diaries, letters, and drafts of Malouf ’s work is also put to good literary-critical use. In this respect, David Malouf and the Poetic is a major resource for any student of Malouf ’s work. ... Smith’s approach – biographical and descriptive analysis – proves to be a powerful way to produce new insights into old works, a number of which (especially Johnno and An Imaginary Life) have already acquired a sizeable critical literature. ... Happily, Smith’s study helps us to pay closer attention, in turn, to Malouf ’s important body of early work." —Australian Book Review


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