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Kenneth Slessor

Kenneth Slessor

Author: Dennis Haskell

This extensive collection of critical readings of Kenneth Slessor's work includes much of the "classic" work on Slessor as well as new essays that bring fresh perspectives to his poetry.The collection begins with Jack Lindsay's 1952 reminiscence of Slessor and the 1920s, and includes still-influential readings by Vincent Buckley, Adrian Mitchell, Judith Wright, A.K. Thomson, John Docker and Andrew Taylor. Slessor's contentious reply to Lindsay is also included.In the new essays, Kate Lilley rereads Slessor's fascination with elegy in terms of contemporary theoretical concerns; Peter Kirkpatrick reconsiders Slessor's considerable output of light verse in relation to his other writing and to the cultural milieu of the 1920s and 1930s; Greg Badcock demonstrates how Slessor's modernism is as much a product of his time in Melbourne as it is of his Sydney experience; and Julian Croft reads Slessor's work in terms of the all-important modernist paradigm. Dennis Haskell presents a detailed reading of Slessor's composition techniques, and Leigh Dale rereads Slessor's work within the framework of gender theory.Philip Mead's introductory essay uncovers some of the tensions of ancestry and language in early Slessor that have been overlooked in critics' over-emphasis on the late poetry.Illustrations from Slessor's manuscripts and from newspapers are included along with a select bibliography. No other collection presents such an authoritative and up-to-date array of readings of Slessor's poetry.