Search Results for: fortuitous

Another fortuitous incident

From page 257 of Amy Wilentz’s book on Haiti, The Rainy Season (about which I’ll write more very soon): When Duvalier fell, movements like Chavannes’, which had maintained a fairly low profile under Duvalier, burst out into the open and … Continue reading

No, really, what does fortuitous mean?

Mungo MacCallum has coined more than his share of memorable phrases. He quotes poetry and can work up an excellent bush ballad. His prose is generally witty and lucid. He’s not an academic, he’s a writer. In the current Quarterly … Continue reading

What does fortuitous mean?

Me and the dictionaries I have to hand all agree on the answer to that question, though the Macquarie Dictionary, Third Edition, does take a moment to editorialise. Having defined the word as an adjective meaning ‘happening or produced by … Continue reading

Summer reads 7: Gabriel Zaid’s So Many Books

Gabriel Zaid, So Many Books, translated by Natasha Wimmer (Sort Of Books, 2004) I took a number of physically small books away on our summer break, and have blogged about them as ‘Summer reads’. I was only dimly aware that … Continue reading

Édouard Louis, Who Killed My Father

Édouard Louis, Who Killed My Father (2018, translated from French by Lorin Stein, New Directions 2019) It was purely fortuitous that I read this book immediately after Susan Hill’s Black Sheep, but they make a beautiful pair. Arthur, one of … Continue reading

Steven Pinker’s Sense of Style

Steven Pinker, The Sense of Style (Allen Lane 2014) I love a good argument about punctuation, spelling, syntax or the meaning of words. Does MS Word really allow minuscule to be spelled with two Is? How about the person who wrote to the paper … Continue reading


Along with about 30 other people, the Art Student and I heard Paul Ham talk at Gleebooks last night. It was one of the smallest Gleebooks turn-outs I’ve seen, and it’s hard not to think the subject may have had … Continue reading

LoSoRhyMo #8: Place names

I’ve recently discovered Luke Pearson’s @Aboriginal oz blog, which I recommend for smart, measured writing about hard subjects. I stumbled across (not upon) it when doing some research on Massacre Island (also known as Murdering Island) near Narrandera. In a … Continue reading

Shambhala Chinese Poetry

J P Seaton (editor, & translator of most poems), The Shambhala Anthology of Chinese Poetry (Shambhala 2006) This was a present for my 60th birthday. I was delighted to receive it but obviously, given that I’m now 63, I was … Continue reading

Waleed Aly on conservatism

Waleed Aly, What’s Right: The future of conservatism in Australia (Quarterly Essay 37) In the 1950s my parents subscribed to The Saturday Evening Post. I habitually started reading it from the back, because there were no cartoons in the front … Continue reading