The Weekend Australian - Review - - Viewpoints -

DUE to in­ex­pli­ca­ble ed­i­to­rial in­dul­gence, we are forced yet again to see valu­able col­umn cen­time­tres de­voted to a mo­not­o­nous ha­giog­ra­phy from that Bob Dy­lan tragic, Imre Salusinszky ( Re­view , Septem­ber 6- 7). This pe­ri­odic out­pour­ing of adu­la­tion, leav­ened with un­sated angst, marks him as a stu­dent of the late 1960s who kind of re­grets that he was a space cadet at uni and didn’t get to more protest marches. He now re­lives life’s great up­heavals ( that for him never were) by dis­sect­ing lyrics of du­bi­ous in­sight from an artist of such in­tegrity that he changed his name to en­hance his mar­ket ap­peal. Dy­lan’s lyrics may hold mys­ti­cal mean­ing for Imre, but the stran­gled- cat tune­less­ness of his voice makes them all but in­ac­ces­si­ble to a hu­man ear, which is per­haps no bad thing, given the va­pid­ity of Imre’s choic­est cuts. Mar­cus Ayl­ward Brighton, Vic­to­ria

Bob Dy­lan I WOULD like to con­grat­u­late Alan Saun­ders on his brave ( and hereti­cal) com­ments on Eve­lyn Waugh’s Brideshead Re­vis­ited (‘‘ Au­thors out of con­text’’, Re­view , Septem­ber 6- 7). I also felt that Brideshead Re­vis­ited was one of Waugh’s weak­est nov­els, was heartily dis­ap­pointed by it ( af­ter hav­ing been blown away by his ‘‘ hard, dry and clear’’ early comic nov­els) and could not un­der­stand why this, of all his nov­els, had achieved such fame. Its ‘‘ silken and el­e­gant prose’’ might have been ap­pre­ci­ated in a work by an au­thor of de­lib­er­ately crowd­pleas­ing com­mer­cial fic­tion. But for one of the 20th cen­tury’s great­est satirists to turn out a book akin to a mod­ern soap opera seems more an em­bar­rass­ment than an achieve­ment. Ju­dith Lori­ente Hawthorn, Vic­to­ria BOB Wurth (‘‘ Bat­tle lines’’, Re­view , Au­gust 30- 31) has found some good ev­i­dence for the Ja­panese navy’s de­sire to in­vade Aus­tralia for rea­sons of strat­egy: to pre­vent it be­ing used as an Al­lied ( US) base and to gain ac­cess to its eco­nomic re­sources. How­ever, this ar­gu­ment did not pre­vail over the army’s com­pelling view that an in­va­sion would tie up large num­bers of gar­ri­son troops and cre­ate huge lo­gis­ti­cal prob­lems. In short, the navy did have an in­va­sion plan, but it was re­jected at the top com­mand level. The pop­u­lar per­cep­tion in Aus­tralia in early 1942 that an in­va­sion was im­mi­nent served to end what had been wide­spread ap­a­thy to­wards the war and al­lowed gen­eral Dou­glas Macarthur ( a con­sum­mate politi­cian) to big­note him­self. To en­shrine this mis­taken and ma­nip­u­lated per­cep­tion in a Bat­tle for Aus­tralia com­mem­o­ra­tion is to deny his­tory and usher in a new kind of un­think­ing, pop­ulist na­tion­al­ism. Bob Reece Pro­fes­sor in his­tory Mur­doch Uni­ver­sity THE women’s move­ment (‘‘ Girl power’’, Re­view , Au­gust 30- 31) will not have fin­ished its work un­til no man any­where puts on women’s cloth­ing to get a laugh. Ali­son Cor­co­ran Ke­dron, Queens­land

re­view@ theaus­tralian. com. au

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