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Showing posts from October 9, 2016

Max Richards shares: 8, Harold Bloom

From a cache of cuttings about Harold Bloom, mainly on his book ‘The Western Canon’ (1994) fell a handwritten letter, unsigned and unsent. For some reason Max Richards (1937-2016) starts the letter, then leaves it alone. Maybe it’s a draft for something else. The letter eloquently reveals the sorts of shifts happening in Melbourne literary studies, Melbourne by then just typical of more widespread changes in attitude and practice.                                                                      1/7/95                                                                    Saturday Dear Brian, I was at a loss for words on Bloom, wasn’t I?   What I might finally have got around to saying is that I doubt Bloom missed much in the ‘theory boom’. His earlier criticism tended to be thesis-ridden – I remember John Butt saying as much to me in Edinburgh in 1964, and Norman Holmes Pearson when he visited La Trobe in 1968 or so. But they were old literary historians

Max Richards shares: 7, Chris Wallace-Crabbe and Isaac Babel

Max Richards at the window overlooking Lake Union in Seattle A sequence of four dream poems arrived from Seattle by email on the 20 th of May 2016. As with ‘share 6’, Max Richards (1937-2016) reveals how an intense reader of literature will meet authors in their dreams, whether local or exotic. He liked to present some of his rambling verse of this kind in different fonts and point-sizes. Dear Readers, I Dreamed 1. In a Manner of Speaking Dear readers, how are you all enjoying my new poem - OK so far? - opens well? I say all - as if you’re plural, if not multiple, however alone you are as you read. Alone - but not lonely? We keep each other  kindly company. Truly, I have trust in what we can achieve together, a sort of double-jointed, double- handed enterprise: like a sparrow tangled in a spring-green hedge a phrase tries to emerge. What arrives is like a simile, trailing twigs and green debris. The hedg