Books, News & Commentary

DEFEND OZ LIT: Richard Flanagan vs The Govt

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These are the first in a series of e-posters of Australian authors and overseas colleagues speaking up for their rights. Watch this space for more, from Magda Szubanski, Jonathan Franzen, Jackie French, Toni Jordan, Jeanette Winterston, Tom Keneally and friends.

Australian literature is in peril — this is not an exaggeration. The Turnbull government wants to take territorial rights away from our authors and publishers, even though these rights are protected in the US, the UK and Canada. Consumers can already buy books online from anywhere but the government says that it will remove a copyright arrangement (PIR or “parallel import restrictions”) that has allowed Australia to punch well above its weight to become the14th largest publishing industry in the world, without any government subsidies. Defend Australian writers and books. Don’t vote for the Coalition.


9 responses to “DEFEND OZ LIT: Richard Flanagan vs The Govt

  1. Australian Literature [not Oz Lit!] needs to be defended as much from grandstanding self promoters as it does from any philistine government.

  2. OZ Lit requires defence and promotion and a bit of loving care, too, it would seem! I can recall just over 30 years ago when a self-opiniated Sydney librarian haughtily declared that there was no such thing as “Australian” Literature. I remember my shock – having spent several years at that point trawling new release bookshops, second-hand bookshops (including Cornstalks then still in Glebe) and buying up hundreds of books fitting traditional and newly defined meanings of Australian Literature – then being argued about and articulated by such visionaries as Angelo Loukakis! I couldn’t have known that that librarian was herself a clairvoyant – forecasting three decades plus into the future to the current philistine LNP politicians determined to kill of our literarily/artistically reflected identity by smashing its necessary financial and legal support. I am with all Aussie writers who write against such crassness and – dare I say it – un-Australian-ness!

    1. For God’s sake , cutting funding to the army of ” little hyenas ” the salt of the earth ‘facilitators’ that have for years been punching the arts ticket, is not the end of civilisation as we know it… take a powder ( or three)

  3. I’m perplexed by Mr Wearne’s comment. Is he accusing Flanagan and Winton of being”grandstanding self-promoters”? If so, it is utterly unworthy of him.

    Nobody is arguing against reading non-Australian literature (or, for that matter, listening to music from abroad); the more that we read, the better. It is simply that a society, or a tribe which makes the telling of its own stories, the making of its own music or the painting of its own pictures more difficult will soon disappear; it will have no moral basis. Unlike the manufacture of electronics or underwear, that intellectual and creative activity canno0t be “outsourced” other than at without enormous cost. Like Faust, we will have lost our souls.

    The problem is that, those who want to give all such activities a monetary or economic value — those, in short, who refer to the “Arts Industry” — don’t seem to understand much about the quiddity of humanity. Without souls — or with mal-nourished souls — we have surrendered our humanity. And it cannot be re-bought.

    JJ Carmody.

    1. John
      We have been parallel importing for years now.Amazon and the like are by now ‘old’.

      The current rules protect a small ( and dwindling) aged subsection of Australia’s authors and publishers ,at some cost to the rest of us. It will end.

      As for ‘ end of the world’ pull the other one..

      As for that awful term :arts ‘industry’ it should be taken out the back and shot. Along with all that crap along the lines of the arts are good for, mental health etc.

      Art is reality unvarnished, book of Job …

  4. It is appalling Government’s continue to reduce the value of the Arts but monies are still available for the politicians to fly their children first class !! PRIORITIES please !

  5. This government has no feeling for arts. It won’t be content until all Australian artforms are reduced to a cultural backwater. Merde! The smell in this creek is awful. Has anyone got a paddle they can lend me?

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