Literature

Chimaeric David Campbell

This is the text of the first Axel Clark Memorial Literary Oration, which Alan Gould delivered to an audience at the National Library in Canberra on July 24.   Axel Clark was a literary scholar, accustomed to distinguish scrupulously the life of his subject from the works. Being myself an author of books of make-believe, I take a more divining, less reputable approach to this rigour. For I know how, in composing novel or poem, there can be no disclosure of character without action. Furthermore, action in human lives consists more of utterance than the odd romp or fisticuffs. It…

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