Two Stylists. "Homage to John Forbes", by Ken Bolton (ed.) and "David Malouf: A Celebration", by Ivor Indyk (ed.). [review]
Literary reputation, especially the posthumous kind, is a deliquescent thing. If it’s not going to melt away, then work is needed from friends and publishers, even critics. Forbes, while not exactly ignored in his lifetime, didn’t get his due. "Homage to John Forbes", published as a companion volume to last year’s "Collected Poems" (reviewed in ABR, September 2001), shows friends, publishers and critics making up for this neglect. "David Malouf: A Celebration" is the latest in the ‘Celebrations’ produced by the Friends of the National Library of Australia. These are short and smartly produced. Not surprisingly, this example is less critical and more circumspect than "Homage to John Forbes", but the five contributors cover disparate aspects of Malouf’s varied, and immensely successful, career.