Friday, 4 December 2009

The definitive character assessment of The Mad Monk?

Bob Ellis on ABC Unleashed earlier this year, quoted by Annabell Crabb here...

"Though he sued me and cost me income and influence and a lot of public dignity (I wrongly alleged he listened to Tanya Costello's views on politics - a shocking thing to do, it seemed in those far-off days, to listen to a woman, for it cost my publishers a million dollars) I find him in person curiously disarming, and I find myself agreeing with him uncomfortably and often.

"The person he most resembles, I've just decided, is Scott Fitzgerald. The classic good looks, big flashing smile, easy Irish eloquence, angelic writing style, self-doubt, Catholic guilt, hot temper, Gatsby-like yearnings for past relationships long gone and luminous in remembrance, fondness for football and self-flagellation and his need for a son, all bespeak a literary genius drawn by Life and lesser pursuits into spiritual shallows and drunken remorse like Scott, poor Scott. We have lost thereby good books he might have written, and gained - what? - a cheery, self-mocking buffoon? Or the Tories' last, best hope of power?"
Found the full August '09 essay here ...

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