Michael Wilding

Michael Wilding a reader in English at the University of Sydney, is the author of the novel The Paraguayan Experiment and of a collection of short stories, The Man of Slow Feeling.

Solid Advice

Michael Wilding, 8 May 1986

After the brief boom of the 1880s Australia experienced the slump of the 1890s. The attempts by the unions to secure better conditions and a closed shop were crushingly defeated in the maritime and shearers’ strikes of the early 1890s. A combination of blackleg labour, protected by police and armed troops, and of successful prosecutions for conspiracy against the unions, broke the newly-emergent labour organisations. There was large-scale unemployment; wages dropped. The Workingman’s Paradise, as Henry Kingsley had called Australia, turned into an exploitative hell. This was the time that William Lane formed the New Australia movement which settled some four hundred men, women and children in Paraguay in an attempt to establish a socialist commune. It was into this depression that A.B. Facey was born in Victoria in 1894.

The Slap

Michael Wilding, 17 April 1986

There is no doubt about the achievement of Isaac Bashevis Singer. He is one of the foremost storytellers of our time. His output has been prolific and now, in his 82nd year, comes a collection of a further 22 stories. Gathered from twenty years of magazine publication, translated from the Yiddish sometimes by the author himself, sometimes by or in collaboration with others, they nonetheless have a consistency of tone. It would be hard indeed to speculate which come from the mid-Sixties, which from the mid-Eighties. The same personality runs through all of them, that same love of storytelling.

Superhistory

Patrick Parrinder, 6 December 1990

All novels are historical novels, as my late teacher, Graham Hough, used to say; but some are more historical than others. Novelists can improve on history, and if they are Science Fiction...

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Coy Mistress Uncovered

David Norbrook, 19 May 1988

When John Aubrey discovered that Milton had written some panegyrics of Cromwell and Fairfax, he eagerly sought them out for their ‘sublime’ quality: ‘were they made in...

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