Venom served with verve

Graeme Blundell

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Books -

‘‘ his pre­ten­tious ini­tials stand for Adrian and An­thony, he chose the A. A. moniker, be­cause when he started was a time when ‘‘ there was an aw­ful lot of rather up-your-bot­tom dis­course in the art world about male and fe­male artists, so it was a way of be­ing an­drog­y­nous’’. He got stuck with it.

He is driven by a gen­uine fas­ci­na­tion with TV, at a time when, in some cir­cles, there are doubts about its cul­tural le­git­i­macy. As Gill sug­gests, a sneer­ing out-of-hand dis­missal of TV is the one cul­tural prej­u­dice that can be de­liv­ered without in­verted com­mas. Why is it so­cially un­ac­cept­able to be ig­no­rant about the­atre or nov­els, but ac­cept­able to sneer at TV when you know noth­ing about it?

‘‘ No piece of hu­man ex­change, no cor­ner of the pos­si­ble world, hasn’t passed through the periscope in the par­lour,’’ Gill says in his in­tro­duc­tion, in re­sponse to TV’s crit­ics. ‘‘ It never ceases to amaze me how many peo­ple come up to me and say, ‘ I don’t know how you

Il­lus­tra­tion: John Tiedemann

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