Damaged Men : The precarious lives of James McAuley and Harold Stewart

By: Michael Ackland

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Damaged Men : The precarious lives of James McAuley and Harold Stewart by Michael Ackland
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Allen & Unwin: Allen & Unwin, 2001. Years after his death, poet and political warrior James McAuley continues to provoke controversy. This is the story of his hidden relationship with fellow poet Harold Stewart.<p> 'This book began as a biography of James McAuley. I was at first surprised and then intrigued by how often, and how fruitfully, his path intersected with that of Harold Stewart. When I read the latter's major work, <i>By the Old Walls of Kyoto</i> and heard about his secret life, I decided I wanted to write a book on both.'<br><br>What followed was a quest to discover what McAuley was searching for in the jungles of New Guinea, and what lay behind his terrible nightmares and abiding self-distrust. Best known to the public as the founding editor of <i>Quadrant</i>, an unrepentant Cold War warrior and a public advocate of the sanctity of Christian marriage, the poet and polemicist had far darker and more puzzling traits which escaped the lime-light. Similarly, answers had to be found to what turned Stewart, a writer, critic and habitue of Sydney's bohemian world, into a rabid hater of his native land. Why did this great poet-an intensely private person yet a prolific correspondent-choose to spend the last thirty years of his life in self-imposed exile in Japan? <br><br>The resulting narrative traces McAuley and Stewart's collaborative decades- peaking with Australia's most notorious literary hoax-and their harsh falling-out in later years, set against the swirling backdrop of Australian life between the great depression and the Vietnam war.<br><br><i>Damaged Men</i> probes the lives of two greatly talented and enigmatic figures, whose enduring and prescient contributions to Australia's political, spiritual and literary culture have been too long neglected.<p> Illustrations<br><br>Preface<br><br>Acknowledgments<br><br>Abbreviations<br><br>Prologue<br><br>1. In the realm of Porlock<br><br>2. Around the Quad<br><br>3. <i>Fowle Ayres</i> and false starts<br><br>4. Mental travelling<br><br>5. The threefold strain<br><br>6. The appeal of islands<br><br>7. Turning Japanese<br><br>8. In the shadow of Trakl<br><br>9. Consumed by art<br><br>10. Dream<br><br>Notes<br><br>Index<p> Individual Special Mention : Centre for Australian Cultural Studies Award 2001<p>. Hardback. New.

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