I know firsthand how hard it is to write well in government, and I want to see if I can help a few writers in government (however many other roles they juggle) go from good to great by mastering a professional process in a new online course. Does that sound like you? Leave me a… Continue reading Government Writer Masterclass – are you interested?
The 2023 Nobel Prize for Literature is announced. Relive world literature's night of nights with this edited live reaction to the announcement. It covers all the predictions, the actual announcement, and an emotional introduction to why you might want to read the works of this year's winner. Whether you do not know who won, or… Continue reading Jon Fosse’s Slow Prose, 2023 Nobel Prize for Literature
https://johnmenadue.com/australias-aborted-cultural-decolonisation/ My thoughts on Australian cultural history on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Patrick White's #NobelPrize were published by the team @johnmenadue for publishing. Thanks again to Aran, John and the team. You can also listen to my podcast on Patrick White to explore this topic further. The main episode was Why read… Continue reading New Article: Reflections on Patrick White’s Nobel Prize and Australian cultural history
Why read Olga Tokarczuk, Winner of 2018 Nobel Prize for Literature? Find out in this fourth episode of my series on the Nobel Prize for Literature. It discusses the life of the 2018 Nobel Prize for Literature Laureate, the novelist Olga Tokarczuk. I give you 10 reasons to read one of the most celebrated Nobel… Continue reading Why read Olga Tokarczuk, Winner of 2018 Nobel Prize for Literature? Podcast Ep. 120
On the podcast this week I started a mini-series on the Nobel Prize for Literature, in the lead-up to the announcement of the prize on 5 October. I cover the history of the Prize, some favourite winners, and last year’s laurreate, French writer, Annie Ernaux.
The third chapter of Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Bureaucrat is the title essay, 'Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Bureaucrat'. It plays with Wallace Stevens' poem Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird, and seeks to open up the reader's mind to the many unexpected, even poetic ways you can look at this plain, humble, even despised personality, the bureaucrat.
The second chapter of Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Bureaucrat is Silenced Voice of the Bureaucrat. The second way of looking a a bureaucrat is to see a subtle mind that has been gagged, and who, if that code of silence were released may have something interesting to say. In this chapter I have… Continue reading Day Two of Thirteen Days of Looking at a Bureaucrat
My new book, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Bureaucrat, is now out! Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Bureaucrat: Writing on Governing, is both memoir and essay collection. I think it breaks new ground because bureaucrats don't publish memoirs. It will change how you see government, politics, working life, and bureaucrats.
John Menadue and the team at Pearls and Irritations has published an article of mine on the public service today and the problems of the overuse of consultants.
During the week I have been finalising my next book, 13 Ways of Looking at a Bureaucrat, and reading some essays and poems of Marina Tvetaeva (1892-1941), the great Russian poet, collected in Art and the Light of Conscience. A strange mix, true, but that is the life of my strange mind.
I began reading a recent acclaimed biography of Fernando Pessoa, Richard Zenith, Pessoa: An Experimental Life (2021). Pessoa is a writer from the Burning Archive pantheon.
I have posted this evening on my podcast and on Youtube a special episode. Here I talk openly for the first time about how I wrote my book, From the Burning Archive, which you can buy at the Amazon affiliate link or other online book retailers.
I will be publishing weekly this newsletter with seven glimpses of the multipolar world - its history, culture and geopolitics - and how to stay calm and sane amidst the turmoil. I encourage all the readers and followers of this blog to subscribe to the newsletter here.
This week was the beginning of the next stage in my new life, la vita nuova as an independent author. After a ritual week on the liminal beauty of the Bay of Lorne in South-Eastern Australia, I transformed from a government official, wounded and now retired, to become an independent author.
I wrote this essay on the renunciation of the political world in 2019. It is even more true today as well all face our world we cannot control and choices about how to husband and not derange our minds and the gardens of our culture. I was editing it for my next collection of essays, Thirteen… Continue reading On the Renunciation of the Political World – a choice for us all
In 2016 I wrote a couple of posts on lists of writers whose work survives or is best known in fragments, who could even be imagined as the precursors of bloggers.
So today I experimented with restoring my morning routine, but with a twist. So today the plan is....
The focus of my writing attention over the last couple of weeks has been on editing a collection of my blog posts that I will publish as books.I don't know how common it is to republish blogs as books, if in edited and curated form. It seems little different to me to the many collections of oped, short essays, book reviews and occasional pieces that do get published quite often.
I am going to approach the blog with the advice of "document, don't create" that I saw on popular vlogger on youtube, Ali Abdaal. For periods of the last ten years the blog has been my primary creative outlet. But that is now changing. I have my books in preparation, my podcast, my poems and my essays. And driving all of that my restless curiosity about how to save culture and history from the flames. So I am going to use the blog as the platform for all of those aspects of my author life.
Wallace Stevens. COVID zero fanatics. The Novel is dead. Saint Galgano. Louise Glück. How democracies die. Solzhenitsyn.