Review

Review: Growing Up in Country Australia explores thoughtful, sad and comic aspects of our island continent home

By Ian McFarlane
April 22 2022 - 2:00pm
"Growing up in Country Australia" explores thoughtful, sad and comic aspects of our island continent home. Picture: Shutterstock
  • Growing Up in Country Australia, edited by Rock Morton. Black Inc, $29.99.

The essay can slip under the radar of the average reader, possibly dismissed as an academic task requiring footnotes and bibliography. Which is understandable but disappointing, given the span of the essay's reach, roaming across many aspects of the human condition, from light-hearted commentary on everyday experience to cultural appraisal and social summary. The notion of the essay as a personal reflection is suggested by the French expression "to attempt", and was affirmed in the 16th century by Michel de Montaigne, who, having read much, wandered widely, and pondered deeply, retired to his vineyard to clarify his thoughts, and preserve them by filling a few notebooks. This gave rise to his to reputation as an early essayist.

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