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Words, music, art and performance. The stuff of a satisfying life.

Words, music, art and performance. The stuff of a satisfying life.

After exploring the idea of home, where and what it is in A First Place, what does it mean to be a writer and where writing begins in The Writing Life, David Malouf moves on to words and music and art and performance in Being There.

With pieces on the Sydney Opera House - then and now - responses to art, artists and architects, and including Malouf's not previously published libretti for Voss and a translation of Hippolytus, this is an unmissable and stimulating collection of one man's connection to the world of art, ideas and culture.

Reviews

Malouf has been quietly insisting for 40 years that we pay attention, reconsider, discriminate and learn. Though he argues hard for lightness and play in art, Malouf is the most serious writer at work in this country. The treasures are endless. Every few pages there are lines calling for a standing ovation. Some of these pieces are more lucid than others, more persuasive. None is less than wise.

David Marr, The Monthly

Across the half-century or so spanned by these pieces, whether they deal with art happenings in London during the swinging 60s or the domestic architecture of Glenn Murcutt, Malouf’s critical responses remain extraordinarily stable. This does not mean they are static — rather that, irrespective of the object or event under discussion, the critic brings a consistent and lucidly elaborated set of ideas to bear. His principle, to crudely reduce the rich broth of his thought to a single flavour, is that of delight:

Geordie Williamson, The Australian

Malouf's manner is measured and measuring, quietly or insistently engaging. He invites the reader to listen to, and join in, a conversation in which ideas are floated, worked through and set in diverse contexts, while always alert to the requirement to circle back to, and around, the topic in hand. The common denominator here is the precision of detail, the care with which the essence of the artistic process - communication - is examined. that, and the wide-ranging frames of reference. His analogies, references and varied insights are invariably suggestive and illuminating.

Michael Morley, The Sydney Morning Herald

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9780857987228

    March 1, 2016

    Vintage Australia

    368 pages

    RRP $22.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • Hardback

    9780857987211

    March 2, 2015

    Knopf Australia

    368 pages

    RRP $29.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook

    9780857987235

    March 2, 2015

    RHA eBooks Adult

    368 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Also by David Malouf

The One Day: Short Black 7
The Writing Life
A First Place
Earth Hour
Harland's Half Acre
The Conversations At Curlew Creek
The Happy Life: The Search for Contentment in the Modern World
The Happy Life: The Search of Contentment in the Modern World: QuarterlyEssay 41
Ransom
The Complete Stories
On Experience
Revolving Days: Selected Poems
Every Move You Make
Typewriter Music
Made in England: Australia's British Inheritance: Quarterly Essay 12
Dream Stuff
Johnno
Jane Eyre
The Great World
12 Edmondstone Street
Antipodes
Fly Away Peter
An Imaginary Life
Child's Play

Recommendations

Late Essays
Autumn
On Passion
On Doubt
Home and Away
Bit Rot
Quicksand
Meanjin Vol. 72, No. 4
Meanjin Anthology
Kurt Vonnegut: Letters
Stop What You're Doing And Read This!
Bendable Learnings
On Humbug
On Beauty
On Obsession
On Digestion
On Rage
On Ecstasy
On Longing
On Experience