THE OVER­FLOW

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Books - ROSE­MARY SORENSEN

IN one cor­ner, the bril­liant and rich J. K. Rowl­ing de­fend­ing her in­tel­lec­tual copy­right. In the other, Steven Van­der Ark, dork­ish Harry Pot­ter en­thu­si­ast be­ing en­cour­aged by a pub­lisher to turn his on­line Pot­ter en­cy­clo­pe­dia into a book. Read some re­ports, and Rowl­ing sounds mean. Read oth­ers, and Rowl­ing sounds not just rea­son­able but also right. When she ar­gues that peo­ple who bought the pro­posed lex­i­con would have lit­tle in­cen­tive to buy the orig­i­nal books, how­ever, you have to won­der how many more Harry Pot­ter books can pos­si­bly be sold af­ter the zil­lions al­ready in print? ALEXIS Wright’s 2007 Miles Franklin win­ner, Car­pen­taria , orig­i­nally pub­lished by en­ter­pris­ing small pub­lisher Gi­ra­mondo, was re­cently pub­lished in Bri­tain, and the writer in­ter­viewed. ‘‘ As an in­dige­nous au­thor,’’ Wright told The Guardian , ‘‘ I have to work ter­ri­bly hard to get my work done and un­der­stood. We meet white re­sis­tance all the way.’’ Now you know why you didn’t get to the end of Car­pen­taria . GAIL Jones has to be close to the record for the num­ber of times she’s been short- listed. In this year’s Miles Franklin, her work Sorry is up against Rod­ney Hall’s Love With­out Hope , Steven Car­roll’s The Time We Have Taken ( an­other of­ten short- listed au­thor), David Brooks’s The Fern Tat­too and Alex Miller ( who has al­ready won the Miles twice) for Land­scape of Farewell . IF you can’t beat them, US li­brar­i­ans are say­ing, then you may as well join them. Three out of four li­brar­i­ans said yes to a sur­vey ques­tion ask­ing whether they sup­ported on­line ac­tiv­i­ties, in­clud­ing gam­ing, as part of a li­brary’s ser­vices. RE­MEM­BER Richard Mau­rovic, who won Aus­tralian di­vi­sion for best culi­nary his­tory book in the Gour­mand World Cook­book Awards for The Meat Game, a his­tory of the Gepps Cross abat­toirs? Blow me down if he didn’t go on to take out bronze at the world fi­nals in Lon­don. The Over­flow was keenly in­ter­ested in said his­tory as she once worked a bull’s roar from the back door of the mal­odor­ous abat­toirs. What clever Mr Mau­rovic didn’t tell us was that he too once worked at Gepps Cross, was pre­vi­ously a stock­man, was in­jured as a young man in a fall from a horse, and now not only writes but also paints, and had his first show in Syd­ney last month. WE do call this col­umn The Over­flow , which is clearly be­ing taken as a sign by some to let their febrile minds do just that. Oth­er­wise, how to ex­plain the mis­sive re­ceived from Jo­hanna Feather­stone, creative di­rec­tor of the Red Room Com­pany, ‘‘ Aus­tralia’s most cut­ting edge po­etry or­gan­i­sa­tion’’ ( what is it about po­ets that they must bait us like this) about the pi­geon po­etry cham­pi­onship to take place in Au­gust. Po­ems will be strapped to the legs of rac­ing pi­geons and the in­trepid birds, su­per­vised by NSW’s South Coast Pi­geon Fed­er­a­tion, will race the 20km from Stan­well Tops, just north of Wol­lon­gong, to Mt Ous­ley. The pur­pose of this flight of the po­etic pi­geons is to ‘‘ de­ter­mine the coun­try’s new bard’’. It’s a world first, they tell us. It would be.

over­flow@ theaus­tralian. com. au

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