Jan 28 2016

On going on

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Yesterday I handed in my bound doctoral thesis. I’d been sitting on it for a long time, like I didn’t want to let it go. I’ve also been doing nothing for ages, have been curiously shattered by the process of finishing my degree. I really don’t want to do anything. I don’t want to write. I don’t want to work. I feel like “leave me alone”.

And that’s no way to behave. So almost reluctantly I start again. Or as Mr Beckett said:

Perhaps it’s done already, perhaps they have said me already, perhaps they have carried me to the threshold of my story, before the door that opens on my story, that would surprise me, if it opens, it will be I, it will be the silence, where I am, I don’t know, I’ll never know, in the silence you don’t know, you must go on, I can’t go on, I’ll go on.

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Aug 16 2015

‘The Dog’ reviews

Published by under Writing

From The Saturday Paper, LS reviews Strange Objects Covered With Fur:

The beginning is exceptionally strong. In ‘The Dog’, by Mark Rossiter, three young British backpackers travel around Greece only one step ahead of misfortune. It’s nostalgic and tense, a gorgeous window into a boy’s changing relationship with the world.

And in the Sydney Morning Herald, Kerryn Goldsworthy’s review mentions:

Highlights include Mark Rossiter’s unsettling story The Dog

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Aug 05 2015

Disgrace by JM Coetzee

Published by under Book reviews

Disgrace

Few books are as uncompromising as this 1999 Booker Prize winning novel with its spare prose and bleak vision of humanity. Set in post-Apartheid South Africa, a time of reckoning, the story follows the decline, fall and redemption of one Professor David Lurie, a man who starts off very much at the top of his game.

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Jul 09 2015

The Dog

Published by under Writing

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Short story ‘The Dog’ published in Strange Objects Covered With Fur (Xoum). A creative non-fiction piece (we did go, there was a dream) following three boys who travel to Greece and are shadowed by a somewhat threatening grey-black dog, ‘its coat the colour of fresh-doused fire’. ‘The Dog’ was a runner-up for the 2015 UTS Anthology Writing Prize.

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Feb 28 2015

Welcome to Write Club

Published by under Academic,Writing

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So I said to my students this week, the first week of semester, Welcome to Write Club. The first rule of Write Club, I said, is …

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Apr 12 2014

‘The Outsider’, Albert Camus

Published by under Book reviews

I love this book, but I have to say, I never really understood it. Okay, so Mersault is Camus’ existential man. He recognises nothing but what his own senses tell him. He seeks nothing more than to be at ease with everyone, in a world that pleases him. Whatever displeases him, he ignores. Most importantly, he makes no judgements of other people. They do their thing—he doesn’t even speculate on their motives—and he does his.

But as a story, I just didn’t get it. Continue Reading »

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Feb 03 2014

Why is the Kindle ‘preview sample’ so stupid?

Published by under ebooks,Reading

So I’ve found a writer I’m interested in. Having read about Penelope Fitzgerald in the London Review of Books, I realised there was a big gap in my knowledge. I went straight to Amazon Kindle. Prices for the title I had in mind were reasonable, Kindle practically had a sale there and then. But I hit “send sample now”, as I like to do, just to check the writing will work for me …

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Feb 22 2013

Bondi Writers’ Group talk, “Plot vs. Character”

Published by under Appearances

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Last Sunday I presented a talk and workshop to the Bondi Writers’ Group, in the Waverley Library theatrette. It was a great session with a lot of audience energy and participation, some of which led, serendipitously, to the production of story fragments that could definitely go further. Workshops are such artificial constructs, yet their intensity and immediacy often generate interesting outcomes, and the opportunity for constructive feedback — in a managed framework — is almost unparalleled. Next week, I return to UTS, teaching my favourite: Theory and Creative Writing. I’m really looking forward to it.

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Dec 13 2012

The Outsider, a new translation

Published by under ebooks,Reading

A favourite of mine is Albert Camus’ The Outsider. Lucian Robinson’s Guardian review of a new translation (by Sandra Smith, Penguin Translated Texts) reminded me how much I loved it. It also reminded me just how important translation is. Two of the most … Continue Reading »

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Oct 29 2012

In search of lost ebooks

Published by under ebooks,Reading

Titles I’ve looked for over the years in electronic format are finally appearing. One such is The Complete Poems and Plays of T. S. Eliot. There were the Selected and the Collected and the Four Quartets and of course The Wasteland, but not all in one volumeNow they are. Another is Proust’s mega-novel, In Search of Lost Time, which I started (in print) four years ago, and am still only a third of the way through now. When I decided to read it back then, I had the idea I’d pick up an e-reader … and I figured Proust would be a great opening choice.

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