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Title: A true correspondence: Review of Margaret Harris, 'Dearest Munx: The Letters Of Christina Stead and William J. Blake' Miegunyah Press, $54.95 hb, 574 pp, 0522851738
Contributor(s): Pender, Anne  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2005
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Abstract: This edition of Christina Stead's letters to her lifelong partner, William J. Blake, offers an intriguing window into a passionate literary marriage. It also provides a welcome addition to Stead studies. Readers do not often have access to the personal letters of a great writer, let alone access to such a rich correspondence between a writer and his or her partner. As Stead's partner was also a writer, this correspondence is peculiarly and delightfully literary. Margaret Harris states in the introduction to Dearest Munx that the letters are a true correspondence, as opposed to being a mere collection of letters. This distinction is no exaggeration. The letters answer to one another fully and fittingly, revealing an astonishing mutuality of concerns. Harris also introduces the letters by explaining how they document the relationship in a particular way, being both extensive and intensive. Moreover, the letters are unique in providing 'a firsthand account' of the way the two writers represented their relationship and its dynamic as it was lived, rather than as it was recollected or dramatised in story. In this correspondence, we have an evolving record of the daily lives of two dedicated writers, covering both the minutiae of everyday existence and portraying a world of intellectuals over an extraordinarily volatile period of the twentieth century, from 1929 to 1968.
Publication Type: Review
Source of Publication: Australian Book Review (275), p. 19-21
Publisher: Australian Book Review Inc
Place of Publication: Melbourne
ISSN: 0155-2864
Field of Research (FOR): 200502 Australian Literature (excl Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Literature)
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 950203 Languages and Literature
HERDC Category Description: D3 Review of Single Work
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Appears in Collections:Review
School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

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