Nguyễn’s Kitchen, 4/296 Oxley Rd, Graceville QLD

We began our meal with Spring Rolls, which turned out not to be the best choice. The vegetables were minced so finely they lacked a clear taste, and the accompanying chilli sauce was sweet and no more than generic. Thereafter, things were much better. The Fried Tofu Banh consists of a French baguette generously stuffed with lightly fried tofu and […]

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Roll over Beethoven

A weekend of listening to the top 100 pieces by Beethoven, as voted for by listeners to a radio network, was a wonderful opportunity to revisit old favourites and hear music previously unknown. Before the Moonlight Sonata was played, a commentator observed that in it the right hand plays the melody, while left hand operates as a kind of drone. […]

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A Visit to MONA

There are many ways in which a large fortune made from gambling could be spent, among which the establishment of a museum, with a rapidly growing public-access library of 14 000 volumes attached to it, is surely one of the best. In a fairly remote suburb of Hobart David Walsh has set up a Museum of Old and New Art […]

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Les Murray

The death of Australia’s greatest poet has moved me deeply. In a world that can seem threatened by the bland cosmopolitanism of noisy people with little to say, Murray had a genuinely vernacular voice that expressed the perspectives of a white rural Australia (‘subhuman, redneck’) that was utterly untouched by movements of dangerous populism. He was a poet of marvellous […]

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Archbishop Stylianos

The Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Australia, Stylianos, reposed recently. Eternal Memory! Among his other qualities he was a poet, and I reproduce a fine piece from his book Australian Passport, translated from the Greek by Vrasidas Karalis. Western Australia On your supine lying body triumphantly are verified all shapes and visions of the Aborigines as they painted them several days […]

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Marilynne Robinsons’ What are we Doing Here? Essays (2018) (ii)

Some of Robinson’s attitudes give me pause. She segues from the slave-owning South to a broad and implicitly anti-English attitude, one fully expressed in what says of Churchill: ‘Did his famous stand against Hitler really amount to no more than waiting for the colonies and the United States to step in?’ This reminds me of the practice of Barak Obama […]

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