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Showing posts from October 2, 2016

Max Richards shares: 6, Seamus Heaney, Patrick Kavanagh, and Hugh Underhill

Here is an email, unchanged, from Max Richards (1937-2016) received in March 2014. His preliminaries include [perhaps only Hugh Underhill, who crops up in the dream needs to read this] which is odd seeing how he sends it to me as well after a conversation about Seamus Heaney. Or is it a memo to himself? I am starting to find that Max’s emailing habits had an element of disclosure of things his correspondents had not necessarily thought would be forwarded on, reported back, &c. Now, all of that is fairly immaterial, though tread carefully. Hugh Underhill was a colleague at La Trobe University, author of ‘The Problem of Consciousness in Modern Poetry’ (Cambridge University Press, 1992). Do we sleep or wake? I think the dream has a paradisal, peaceful feel. as mentioned today in chat with Philip -  best wishes from Max  [my only face to face time with SH was in the signing queue years ago at the melb writers' festival, when I had a pile of his books in my satchel

Max Richards shares: 5, Lesley Chamberlain, Vincent Van Gogh, and Leo Tolstoy

  As said in the Denise Levertov essay on this site, really the Opening to this collection of records and responses to the death of Max Richards (1937-2016),   I have been spending time thinking about Max’s long interest in religion, of faith lost or found. He taught on this subject as an English Professor at La Trobe University, but it's challenges were always personal and he had both a serious and a bemused consideration of what it might all mean. As for example in this brief exchange of emails, prompted by his awareness of my keen interest in the writings of Lesley Chamberlain, especially her work on Russian spirituality and philosophy. The Les in “the big les discussion” is not a reference to Chamberlain but Les Murray. That month I conducted a reading group at the Carmelite Library on spirituality in his poetry . 4/15/13, Max Richards wrote: Van Gogh and The Joy of Living Posted on January 24, 2013 by lesleychamberlain at http://lesleychamberlain.wordp

Max Richards shares: 4, James Joyce

Silas James as Bar-Fly in Barney Kiernan’s, Bloomsday in Melbourne 2011 Mid-June is the time of worldwide Joycean events, especially in Melbourne. In 2011 Bloomsday in Melbourne produced a theatrical piece about nationalism, Irish and other, centred on the Cyclops episode of Ulysses. My subsequent report (re-published this day on this blog) is what Max Richards (1937-2016) refers to in the oepning of his email of the 19 th of June 2011, three days after Bloomsday. Max had celebrated the Day at Geelong Art Gallery, where various events to do with James Joyce had been enacted, including a show of artworks by Barry Gillard. I shall read your Bloomsday report tonight, most likely, keenly. Here is a mixture of fragments of the Geelong experience... […] I was asked weeks ago to provide the Gallery with a ‘bio note’ so they’d introduce me accurately. This is what I wrote – I was sorry not to hear it read out. What the others provided I dunno... Max Richards as a todd

From the Archive: Bloomsday in Melbourne 2011

  Susannah Frith as the Celtic narrator This is a report of 'Joyce and the Nation', Bloomsday in Melbourne 2011. It first appeared on the Bloomsday in Melbourne website in that year. It is the report referred to in Max Richards' email of the 19th of June 2011, in which he goes on to describe events happening at the same time in Geelong.   An Unblinkered Report by Philip Harvey The great Cyclops of the internet, brought to us each day courtesy of the one-eyed screen, is not the only way to learn about literature. This year Bloomsday in Melbourne reminded attendees once again of the extensive theatrical possibilities inside the writings of James Joyce. We were presented with what could be called a binocular vision of the episode in ‘Ulysses’ set in Barney Kiernan's pub, the results of which were a brilliant poetic comedy. Readers of ‘Ulysses’ readily remember that this episode comprises a kind of parallel text. Realistic accounts of the rant

Max Richards shares: 3, Judith Rodriguez and Dimitris Tsaloumas

Last Thursday's posting, an account of Max Richards’ (1937-2016) and John Barnes’ visit to the poet Dimitris Tsaloumas, has a footnote. In a separate file this morning I found ‘Two Seniors’, a poem about this period of visits. It makes sense of the line in Max’s anecdotes in ‘share 1’ about ‘Two Seniors’. "Tercet-constructing Max" is how poet friend Bill Wootton describes him in 'Maxless', a eulogy posted on the 4th of October on Facebook. Here are the tercets at work, also what Bill calls his "measured lopes / of goodwill or gentle enquiry".    Two Seniors       (Judith Rodriguez, b.1936,                               Dimitris Tsaloumas, b.1921) Vigorous poems she wrote – ditto her body language. She roused her students – all can be creative! New then to her country, I felt she stood for Australia…. When our summer December party lagged without a bottle-opener she bit off the crown

Max Richards shares: 2, John Dryden and Mark Twain

In an email of 23 rd February 2015 Max Richards (1937-2016) writes: “ another blog piece or E st article, Philip, one day if not now, best from Max”. Attached was an enlarged image of Mark Twain’s unsolicited judgement of John Dryden’s work on Plutarch’s Lives. This title page had been circulated by the Oxford Marginalia Group. As a minor service, I thought a few reflections on this page were now due. Possibly the least read of the canonical Great English Poets today is John Dryden. He was someone we were relieved to move on from in University days, not because the poetry was “rotten” but because Dryden’s references and milieu had become so obscure. We were taught that he is integral to “the line of wit”, a critical construct employed to argue that there is such a line running right through English writing. Anyone belonging to “the line of wit” was in a charmed circle of acceptance, their credibility undimmed. We could see right off, his verse was nimble and nifty: Of t

Max Richards shares: 1, Dimitris Tsaloumas

When Max Richards (1937-2016) moved from Ruffey Lake Park in 2012 he gave into my care a large part of his extensive library. Religion and Spirituality went to the Carmelite Library in Middle Park, while Literature found its way to our place, onto Ikea shelves supplied by Max himself. We managed. The riches of his library included the cuttings of articles, reviews, letters, lecture notes &c. appropriate to that book, dating from the fifties onwards. Sometimes his books double in size from all the additions, each one dated by Max. Max was a genuine collector of every kind of knowledge and equally an astounding sharer of newly discovered knowledge. This translated into the current age, where email in particular served to spread the knowledge to anyone he thought might find an interest. Links to articles, reports of visits, poem of the day, he was irrepressible. His last email to me was at the Library on the day before he died, an article he thought would attract my interest on Kh