My review of Mirror Sydney mixed in with some thoughts about Nairn’s London for Sydney Review of Books.

Eccentric Guides: Vanessa Berry’s Mirror Sydney

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3 thoughts on “My review of Mirror Sydney mixed in with some thoughts about Nairn’s London for Sydney Review of Books.

  1. It’s interesting what you say about Nairn and his forthright condemnation and praise, which strikes me as very British. It fascinates me that this is something one rarely comes across in Australia and I’m not sure why – a lack of confidence, a need not to be rude, a desire not to offend or marginalise…?

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    1. I agree Colin. It’s something I’ve noted before. Ivor Indyk has written about Australian awkwardness in relation to this. I think it must have something to do with egalitarian sentiments, not wanting to appear too clever. I’ve seen a number of British academics who are very clever, interesting people be received very poorly here due to their emphatic judgements. On the one hand Australians to some extent think of themselves as honest and though, straight talkers, on the other hand, there’s a fair bit of reticence, subtle etiquette and insecurity that informs Australian tone in public discourse.

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