Randolph Stow



Phillip Hall Reviews Mick: A Life of Randolph Stow

Suzanne Falkiner describes her aim in writing this biography of Randolph Stow as being ‘to contextualise the [literary] works within the broad arc of Stow’s life’. She notes that Stow’s desire for an ‘authorial invisibility – and an accompanying silence – extended to a desire for a chameleon-like camouflage in his personal life’. This camouflage included a retreat from Australia and ‘from the world of published books, in a gradual progression towards silence and into a richer inner landscape’. But, Falkiner shows, this ‘richer’ inner life was always plagued by depression (and one serious suicide attempt), a one-time addiction to prescription drugs, a very complicated (dependency) relationship with alcohol, a fear of madness and a failure to establish long term sexual relationships and to acknowledge and accept his sexuality.

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Caitlin Maling Reviews Randolph Stow

StowIn his masterful and extensive introduction to The Land’s Meaning: New Selected Poems John Kinsella, who edited the volume, writes that much of Randolph Stow’s work is metaphoric, weaving things together in a way that promises narrative but actually reveals very little. Reading through this new selected poems, I was struck by the tension of poetry as public utterance of private speech, which characterizes Stow’s work. Whether dealing with myth, landscape, colonialism or love, these are poems that are selective in what they choose to reveal and particular in the techniques they use to reveal.

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