Sunday, July 24, 2011

Thomas Keneally

This charming story about Thomas Keneally reminded me  of why i have always admired and respected this versatile, ingenious, and deeply ethical writer. Yes, one would think a Nobel Prize unlikely compared to some of the more 'literry' writers discussed earlier in this blog, and ye,s at time Keneally has written too swiftly and without enough reflection. But nothing he has ever written is without cogency or intelligence, and in the last decade he produced at least two noteworthy novels, Office of Innocence and The Tyrant's Novel. Before that, I would espeiclaly mention the underrated but very funny Jacko, Flying Hero Class, To Asmara, Gossip from the Forest, Confederates, and of course Schindler's List. Bring larks and Heroes is especially important as a link between say, Eleanor Dark and Kate Grenville in the representation of early white Australia. Keneally, of course, also was doing transnationalism and pioneering anti-xenophobic attitudes in Australia long before they became fashionable. For someone so famous, in an odd way he deserves greater recognition. Peter Pierce has kept the flame within Australia, and Americans such as Virginia Carruthers have also contributed, but Keneally is a writer who, I predict, will one day be taken more seriously by academia than he is now. 

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