Trashing the premises on the way out

The cultural commissars have abused their power again, determined to do as much damage as they can before the regime changes. Described as A New Low for the Literature Board the Commonwealth subsidy to Quadrant monthly has been halved to $20K per annum following a reduction from $50K a few years ago.

Last month, the Literature Board of the Australia Council slashed its annual grant to Quadrant magazine by 50 per cent. The board reduced our funding from the $40,000 we received in 2012, to just $20,000 for 2013. This is a big chunk out of our modest operating budget. All our Australia Council grant goes to the writers of Quadrant’s literary content, that is, our book reviews, poetry, short fiction, and essays on literature, film, theatre and the arts. We have to account for every dollar of this expenditure. The Literature Board does not fund our opinion pieces, political commentary, administration, printing, Quadrant Online, or the books we publish.

In contrast.

The only other literary magazine that, like Quadrant, publishes monthly is Australian Book Review. For several years it has had a special deal with the Australia Council that has netted it more than $110,000 a year. This deal was done when ABR pledged to review all Australian published trade books in literature and the other humanities. Yet even though ABR no longer keeps this pledge, its funding continues unabated. It has never reviewed any of the works published by Quadrant Books, even those written by such well-known and acclaimed authors as Peter Ryan, Peter Coleman, Les Murray and Sophie Masson.

Another highly questionable decision by the Literature Board was to give a total of $60,000 to Meanjin and Griffith Review in April 2012 to create apps for their magazines to be used on iPad and computer tablets. The grants were for $30,000 for each publication, an amount that raises questions about their probity. When Quadrant commissioned the US firm, MagAppZine (now MAZ Digital) to create our iPad app in June 2011, we paid $3,696. If that was the market rate then, why did the Literature Board give grants of nearly ten times this amount to Meanjin and Griffith Review? On top of this, the board gave Overland magazine $15,000 at the same time to “optimise” its website and create an app.

And this brings me to the far bigger issue underlying last month’s Literature Board decision. When state grants are subject to the kind of overt left-wing politicking revealed by that decision then they definitely come with strings attached. With this move, the Australia Council abandoned any sense of fair play or dispassionate review in order to reward its leftist friends and cronies, and to demean its conservative enemies. If this happened to us, you can bet it has also happened to other organizations that do not toe the currently acceptable political line.

This is plainly not just a problem invented by the Gillard government and her brand of radical feminist socialism. The fact that the Literature Board can use our application for funding to treat us in such an audacious fashion – we’ll show these right-wing misogynists who’s on top – is evidence that there is something deeply wrong not just with the kind of people who get appointed to its boards and divisions but with their entire approach to the allocation of state funding. The Australia Council is overdue for a serious review that goes to the heart of what it stands for and what it should be doing.

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72 Responses to Trashing the premises on the way out

  1. tbh

    Why is taxpayers money going to any of these publications?

  2. Alice

    Eaxctly TBH – why are they?
    Quadrant is known to publish biased media anyway. Why should taxpayers fund one political champion output or the other?

    nugger that. Quadrant was popular when Howard was in power but most people know it solicited postings from pro conservatives (and is known as a pro conservative rag).

    Taxpayers shouldnt be asked to subsidise either pro conservative media or anti conservative media like the communist weekly.

    Why should taxpayers provide money for political campaigning which is all Quadrant ever was? Let the bastards (all) raise their own money from party members (and leave the beleagured taxpayers out of funding political campaigns).

    Someone here dare tell me Quadrant is a high art / literature forum?

  3. Eyrie

    Why is there an Australia Council that appears to be taxpayer funded?

  4. Borisgodunov

    Abolish ALL these bludging “interlekchul” crap income for the bludger s self opinionated groups! Give the money to Cancer Research,do some good instead of pandering to the rich uniwankers.

  5. Alfonso

    Yawn…….now get used to uncle Tony doing absolutely nothing about it.
    See Their ABC and LibLab terror at any suggestion they fix it.

  6. Borisgodunov

    Correct Alphonso, we need a GrassRoots Peoples Movement to Whip the pollies into shape ,and Force them to Obey the Will of the People ,or suffer the cosequences.

  7. Alfonso

    It’ll never happen Boris.
    The vast majority want cheques in the mail sourced from the income / wealth of others.
    It’s all over.
    Save yourself.

  8. Poor Old Rafe

    Quadrant was a vital intellectual and cultural force on the side of the angels during the cold war and the lefties will never forgive them for being on the honourable side in that contest. If you don’t belive me have a look at the material.

    http://www.the-rathouse.com/Quadrant/McAuley-Q-1957.html

    There has been a bipartisan policy of funding literary and cultural magazines, of course there is a case for not funding them and if funding is contracted it should be across the board.

    Quadrant remains a class act compared with the opposition, you really need to read it some time Alice. Please raise some concrete objections directed at particular articles or shut up. You don’t need to agree with all the content, it caters for a very wide spectrum of opinion.

  9. Alice

    Ive read if Rafe. Ill raise some concerns – like Keith Windschuttle who used to be a marxist and then became a paid contributor of Quadrant.

    I really hate these sort of prostitute writers who dont write from the heart but become highly pulitical media personalities and can switch sides depending on who is in power ? (what do you call them – journo slutwalkers?)

    I just dont want to pay for any of them, I dont care which side they are on. Political mags should raise funds via donations from members.

    The culture wars are over Poor Old Rafe. The younger gen dont know what the culture wars are. They were about fighting communism and that fight is over isnt it? Communism lost and isnt on any rebound.

    We face different problems now.

  10. Rabz

    Rafe, you poor ol’ bipad,

    I agree that if these indulgences are being dished out, they should be allocated on an even handed basis.

    However, I also agree with tbh – ultimately, there should be no taxpayers’ dollars misallocated to the propagation of any of this type of propaganda – right, left or centre.

    Let the arguments stand or fall on their merits.

    I donate to the IPA because I think they work hard enough and argue their case well enough to deserve a contribution.

  11. mareeS

    Quadrant is usually a very good read if you have time to sit down with its lengthy essays. The writers who contribute their time and intellects offer thought-provoking views on many aspects of life apart from, and above, politics.

    As a paying subscriber to entities ranging from Quadrant to Foxtel, my internet provider and various other media products, and as a heavy buyer of books, I’m happy to pay as I look and listen and read.

    But I resent my depressingly spare tax dollars subsidising crap products (that would include the ABC, most live theatre, self-indulgent literary awards, opera, ballet and dance companies, homeless person choirs and anything else in the arts that can’t pay its own way).

    The Australia Council has outlived its time. It’s just another form of the dole for arts types who don’t qualify for Centrelink because they don’t meet the work test.

    And, forestalling accusations that I’m a cultural philistine, my income is from writing, my husband’s is from art and design, all from the private sector, not a government subsidy to be found on the tax records.

  12. Louis Hissink

    Someone here dare tell me Quadrant is a high art / literature forum?

    No point really – porcine stupidity seems unaffected by simple facts.

  13. I wrote a comment which didn’t arrive for some technical reason, I suspect. But I shall just resend this article on government subsidy for the arts, which is from the Cato Institute:

    http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa137.html

    It includes an interesting assertion that more great writing came out of Mississippi than New York in the last century.

    Personally, I dislike government subsidies for the arts, since they tend to go the Left and they tend to support mediocre work. But Les Murray and Alan Gould have done OK from grants, I believe, and they are two good Australian writers. Also, to take an overseas example, David Cronenberg’s interesting films got a lot of funding help from the Canadian government. Also, the Irish government provides subsidies to arts people who choose to live there. I am not sure whether that is a good thing.

    Here is an interesting discussion which touches on arts funding. Helen Rittelmeyer defends subsidies for the arts, although she has a reputation as broadly right wing. She has recently moved to Australia and has a blog. (She was born in Mississippi.)

    http://bloggingheads.tv/videos/2821

  14. Louis Hissink

    That wrote – all guvmint financed op-eds are variations of state propaganda – so how silly are the Alices of this place who can’t, as opposed to won’t, realise that.

    Stupid is as stupid does.

  15. Helen Armstrong

    I subscribe to Quadrant and consider it good value. If funding is to be reduced because of making some kind of sleight of hand appearance of a surplus, then reduce it across the board, not more reductions for the conservative voice (which is very balanced by the way) at the benefit of the lunatic lefty voice.

    How is it we have become afraid to cry foul, when it would be the first thing the lefty would scream if the position were reversed? But we wouldn’t cut lefty funding, because conservatives play fair.

    Alice many of us here thought differently at one stage, green or socialist or what ever, but as we have grown up, so have our beliefs, underpinned by facts. If someone was once a Marxist (and I have seen no evidence that KW ever was) and is now conservative, well I call it natural progression.

  16. Louis Hissink

    Helen Armstrong – good summary, and it extends the view that only dinosaurs are incapable of adaptation under changing circumstances.

    My only problem is finding a dinosaurial adjective to put in front of our Alician fossil.

    Bravo!

  17. Alice

    Louis

    You have not made any sense in your last two points (but rarely do you in any and you want to talk about porcine stupidity. W hat you really dont like is b=me calling your fav quadrant a political rag – exceot that is one, no matter how good you find the articles fit with you.

    I dont see why taxpayers should fund political rags, be they communist weekly, unions workers weekly, ALP news or whatever.

    Let them pay their own way or share equally with redfern news digest. If they cant pay their own way they cant afford a printing press. Last time i looked some big miners didnt mind funding quadrant so let them do it.
    Tbh is on the money.

  18. Alice

    Louis you are apparently too stupid to argue with.

  19. m0nty

    Quadrant published Steve Kates’ disgusting article about damaged women voting for Obama, didn’t they? A classless piece, that one. If that is the standard they keep, they really are no better than Communist Weekly or pamphlets from the League of Rights, and don’t deserve funding.

  20. Splatacrobat

    There are a lot of organisations who refuse to take money from the government because once you do you can be obligated to them. Left, right, or center there is always a price for fre money.

  21. Louis Hissink

    Alice, any rag advocating political policy is, sensu strictu, a political rag, as you say it.

    So what’s the problem, madam?

  22. M Ryutin

    A very easy answer to the fakers and rent-seekers who try and tell us that state funding of left newspapers and other left media would be most fair if only an Australia Council-type “independent body” was in charge of the funding!

  23. Louis Hissink

    Monty, when are you going to do something about your inability do recognise facts from fiction? Damaged wimmin I interpret as a youfemminism for something arcane. I suppose that state might be comparable to what the German wimmin felt during 1944/1945 when the Slavic hordes invaded the civilised west.

  24. Louis Hissink

    nilk, that would cast bad motives on the fossilised :)

  25. mareeS

    I’m not trying to give Sinclair & the Cats ideas, but this is a remarkably free forum in every sense of the word. The writers and moderators are very generous with their time and ideas, with no price on the product. Sometimes things that are free of charge are also of great value.

  26. nilk

    It would? My bad. I actually meant pre-cambrian. I rather like trilobites.

  27. M Ryutin

    “The culture wars are over” Alice? (15 Dec 12 at 9:46 pm)
    Alice is just mindlessly playing his/her miniscule part in trying to stem the current counter attack. e. Dutifully, with just an amount of supposed even-handedness (poorly displayed in this instance –very unsubtle and s/he got a bad script). The culture war was fought many years ago and on its back the political war. Only relatively recently has it been truly joined, thanks to alternate and new media. Andrews Breitbart summed it up perfectly in Righteous Indignation:-
    “The army of the emboldened and gleefully ill-informed is growing. Groupthink happens and we have to take it head-on. We can’t win the political war until we win the cultural war. The Frankfurt School knew that – that’s why they won the cultural war and then, on its back, the political war. We can do the same but we have to be willing to enter the arena”.

  28. Abu Chowdah

    Alice, you’re a clown.

  29. Leigh Lowe

    Agree with tbh.
    Why the fuck is any of MY money going to funding ANY publication.
    Live or die by the quality of your ideals and your ability to articulate them.
    Anyone bleating for public money to express their views in the Internet age sounds like ….. well …. they should retire to the ABC.

  30. Abu Chowdah

    Quadrant is brilliant. The fact that it needs funding to survive is testament to the fuckwit mouth breathers who can’t tell shit from cold plum pudding.

  31. mct

    Quadrant may well be brilliant, but it can damn well be brilliant on its own twenty cents.

  32. Infidel Tiger

    Pretty fucking ordinary that Big Gina has wanked a couple of hundred million bucks over the carpet on Channel 10 and Fairfax when she could have set Quadrant and innumerable other conservative/libertarian publications or lobby groups up for life.

    There’s no accounting for taste and money sure as shit don’t buy class and taste.

  33. Blogstrop

    Forget your ideological purity and get back to the reality of current politics. This reduction is another proof of the disgraceful attitude of the power elites, and can’t be fought with ideas that will never see the light of day as far as the general voting public is concerned. It has to be fought with practical measures. I will be sending money. After that we are all voting, some time this year.

  34. Abu Chowdah

    Buy a friend a subscription. I did for a Canadian colleague, who can’t believe such a great body of political writing flies under the radar.

    Many here have indeed entirely missed the point, Blogstrop, which has not escaped you. I can’t believe what a bunch of dumb arses we allow into this mahogany paneled club room at times.

  35. areff

    First off, I’m the editor of Quadrant Online, just to make any bias clear. Second, in a perfect world, this would not be an issue because government should not be in the business of picking winners, be it building windfarms, supporting inefficient auto manufacturers or subsidising literary magazines. Shouldn’t happen, but it does — and that, sadly, is the game as it is played at the moment.

    So step back from the general argument and look at the specific outrage in this instance, which has nothing to do with the arts and everything to do with yet another manifestation of cronyism and institutionalised, Lit Board-approved moral and intellectual corruption. Oh, and waste, too, lots of that.

    Consider: As Keith mentions in his Quadrant piece, we made Quadrant iPad-ready for under $4000. Some $30,000 is being made available for the Lit Board’s mates to do the same thing.

    This may seem like a minor matter, and in the grand scheme of tax dollars wasted it is. But as a case study in the need to reform not just the funding of the lit mag scene but all the other subsidised propaganda spigots, from Jon Faine’s ABC to Barrie Cassidy to The Drum and Jonathan Holmes weekly pulpit, this cannot be beaten. The petty, spiteful, in-your-face arrogance of the Lit Board in this instance is so blatant it needs to be remembered. More than that, when we see the longed-for change of government, it has to be Exhibit A for doing more than simply adding a couple of conservative voices to the Arts Council and the ABC board. Howard tried that and the result was a loud, luvvie frenzy until his appointments could be shown the door, followed by a return to (funny) business as usual. Howard poked a stink into the ants’ nest. What it needs is a good shot of Dieldrin to shut down the colony for good.

    Remember this eruption of pettiness — and remember, too, that Abbott’s feet will need to be held to the fire, otherwise we might as well elevate Ted Baillieu to the Lodge.

  36. Blogstrop

    The first thing I did when I heard that Macleans magazine had some strife over publishing Steyn was to take out a subscription. Their electronic edition zinio’d into my computer for a year, but sorry to say I read little of it. Quadrant grows in significance at a time when the barbarians are so far inside the gates that we’re being jostled by them at every turn.

  37. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    Keith Windschuttle is a very good example of someone who jumped the ideological divide, as he was a genuine Marxist in a Marxist Faculty during the 1970′s. Thus he is now ideological poison to all of those old ‘friends’ and the fact that he writes for Quadrant means he is an ‘anti-red’ rag to some of those old bulls, who for all I know sit on the Australia Council or advise it.

    That, and a few other things, mean that a vibrant and ‘broad church’ conservative mag like Quadrant doesn’t get a look-in in these Gramsci’d times.

    Alice, I buy it on newstands occasionally and find much of interest in it. The level of discourse is scholarly and yes, it is partisan, but then, if you are honest, and without wishing to get horrifically post-modern on you, so is all commentary and analysis. It’s field of coverage is broad: I recently enjoyed very much an in-depth piece on origins of the textual material found in the Koran.

  38. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    ooops, early morning, and the dreaded apostrophe man has struck even me, generally so pure in this regard. There is no possessive meant in ‘its’ above.

  39. Poor Old Rafe

    Granted many of the Quadrant articles are too long. It is still on the side of the angels as it was in the 1950s. It is good fun to debate whether the state should support the arts but the central issue at the moment is the blatant diversion of funds to the left so they can fight the war of ideas (the one that really matters in the long run) using our money.

  40. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    The petty, spiteful, in-your-face arrogance of the Lit Board in this instance is so blatant it needs to be remembered

    It also needs to be raised and pointed out to a much wider audience. How about a piece in The Australian, areff, and a serious complaint and request for coverage of this funding issue on the ABC (at least their reply would provide a paper trail of their general viewpoint for later retaliary action)? Also, many, like me, buy an occasional copy (I am very time poor so don’t subscribe, but may revise that given the above comments, btw) and many more are at least interested in the type of issues Quadrant covers.

  41. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    aarh. Morning again. Retaliatory action.

  42. areff

    Lizzie, I’ll be on 3AW this morning from 10 until noon and will try to steer the conversation to this very subject — not because of my personal interest but because it speaks to the whole issue of government support for government mates.

    Melbourne Cats should feel free to call in.

  43. Rabz

    Keep up the good fight, areff…

  44. Tom

    Areff, the culture wars are an abstract that doesn’t reach ordinary people: they’re too busy having lives to be concerned with what the thinkers are saying. But I’m sure they’re interested in cronyism and corruption, particularly when their own money is being used to support those peddling fashionable leftwing causes that usually sneer at the middle class as “bogans”. Should be a fun session this morning.

  45. face ache

    Louis, I’m just listening to the Messiah, on vinyl, on my 1972 stereo (still working perfectly and sounds wonderful) at 6.30 am. You still got that that fantastic gear you had about 1980? Hope this has diverted you from pointless scoring with Alice. Cheers mate.

  46. Helen Armstrong

    As Blogstrop said upstairs, I will buy a subscription for someone else. I remain ever thankful to Quadrant that it was the first publication I came across that questioned AGW. Such a relief to know my suspicions had foundation.

  47. dover_beach

    But, Tom, the culture wars are concretely being waged against ordinary people via the “peddling [of] fashionable left-wing causes that usually sneer at the middle class” and so on. This simply needs to be clearly explained to them and any one else with the sense to understand.

    areff, any chance of an app for Android or Windows 8 users?

  48. Louis Hissink

    Face Ache,

    Good grief – a blast from the past – but pointless?
    Never :-) .

    1980? Heck what did I have then….Gales, Linn Sondek and Accuphase. I have no idea what happened to that gear – must have traded it in I suspect. Had a period of Hi Fi drought from 1990 to 2010 when I got back into it after realising CD’s could be ripped as high resolution computer files and replayed via the computer driving a digital to analog converter etc.

    Nowadays you can download very high resolution studio master tapes as computer files via the internet and that indeed is a most pleasurable diversion.

    Usually listen to ABC Classical (brain turns off during the news and some of the PC crap they occasionally broadcast) via FM. The music listing can be accessed on the internet and as the FM tuner I have has a digital out I can record music digitally onto the computer; saves buying CD’s.

    But yes, I’m still into the high audio hobby. Into electrostatic headphones and valve amplifiers at the moment (Stax and Woo Audio).

  49. Entropy

    There are windows 8 users?

  50. tbh

    Areff, the culture wars are an abstract that doesn’t reach ordinary people: they’re too busy having lives to be concerned with what the thinkers are saying. But I’m sure they’re interested in cronyism and corruption, particularly when their own money is being used to support those peddling fashionable leftwing causes that usually sneer at the middle class as “bogans”. Should be a fun session this morning.

    I think that is spot on. Most people in Australia couldn’t give a rats arse about what some lofty tenured academic or think-tanker passes off as their thought bubble of the day. They generally do care about corruption though.

  51. Infidel Tiger

    Most people in Australia couldn’t give a rats arse about what some lofty tenured academic or think-tanker passes off as their thought bubble of the day.

    Aha, but that’s the beauty of taking over the institutions. They don’t care if you care, just as long as their view becomes the established wisdom.

    That’s why kiddies think Jesus and Captain Cook are just stories, but the Rainbow Serpent is an historical fact.

  52. Vagabond

    I subscribe and I have also contributed. That serves multiple roles of keeping a valuable journal afloat, helping it be independent of the government dollar and frustrating the fascist lefties trying to starve it.

  53. johninoxley

    Infidel puss, Gina’s money is hers, not yours, not mine and definitely not the governments, to do as she wishes.

  54. Infidel Tiger

    No shit, joxley. I couldn’t care if she shoved $30 billion in a vending machine.

    My opinion is she’s spending it badly.

  55. M Ryutin

    Some unclear thinking going on here and I won’t disturb you for long on it, but who the hell do you think the culture war effects if not those unknowing people who are apparently only capable of getting upset about corruption? Something so simple that the little people can understand maybe? Perhaps I have it all wrong, that the culture war means a few poets get published that are not of the dominant political persuasion and don’t write about the poor refugee policy and the heartfelt stories about their persecution by the misguided government policies? That it has nothing at all to do with the inferior classes, who obviously cannot be enlightened to the bigger picture.
    Obviously those who think in terms appropriate for the comprehension of such ignorant people wouldn’t lower themselves to attempt to get the fact of the cultural war to those most effected by it would they? Better off leaving THAT discussion for the higher levels of intellectual discussion and vacate the public arena altogether.

  56. DrBeauGan

    There are two opposed models of the relationship between people and government; the one is the westminster model, what PJO’Rourke calls the appliance theory of government, the people hire politicians and trade them in when they no longer work. The other is the African model, where those in power extort money from the people and give it to their friends. Old fashioned folk call this corruption. In Oz these days we are seeing this as the new norm. There is no point moralising about it, and no point hoping that pointing out to the mass of people that it has unpleasant consequences will accomplish anything. It won’t. Thought is required, and is very much a minority taste.
    At least the collapse of our civilisation is being well documented. I only hope our successors study the record.

  57. kae

    Quadrant – I subscribe.

    It’s a good read.

  58. Interesting discussion, but I reckon DrBeauGan has hit it right on the head. I too hope the collapse of our civilisitaion is well documented, because even though our children have the opportunity to learn from our mistakes, they have the opportunity of making even more stupid mistakes, and in all probability, they will do just that.

  59. Giffy

    I buy Quadrant
    It’s excellent
    (but the poetry isn’t the sort I like)

  60. Poor Old Rafe

    In fairness to all the ordinary and busy people who don’t get to spend years of their lives on postgraduate study and don’t look forward to a lazy afternoon browsing the stacks in Fisher Library, whenever you get around to making a serious study of some moderately complex topic you find that most of the your assumptions at the start turn out to be false.

    So we have to be prepared to keep learning and sometimes changing our ideas all our lives.

    Before we do serious research on our own account we have to depend on “second hand dealers in ideas” to provide our information and to a large extent our opinions. To brutally oversimplify, we start off learning from parents, then school teachers,then maybe uni teachers and then our favorite newspapers, magazines and TV programs, plus friends and random influences like books that we encounter by accident.

    In our lifetime the second hand dealers, apart from our parents, have been overwhelmingly leftwing (or paternalistic and economically illiterate conservatives like Malcolm Fraser) and they have fairly successfully occupied the institutions for propagation of ideas. People at large deserve better service from the second hand dealers and the conservative/free enterprise groups are trying to do that. Whether we can succeed against the odds remains to be seen. Everyone who cares can help in their own way. Maybe even by subscribing to Quadrant. Memo to Keith, it will help if the articles are shorter.

  61. Abu Chowdah

    For god’s sake, shorter? In this issue there are several pieces as short as two pages.

    But why would you want to slash Kerryn Pholi’s piece? Or Paul Monks?

    I remember reading Peter Ryan’s revelations about Manning-Clark years ago and wishing it was twice as long.

    Shorter? Goodness me.

  62. Poor Old Rafe

    Point taken, there is a place for long articles but with discretion…And a lot of things can be said better with less words, especially if you want to reach a less highbrow readershp.

    Peter Ryan’s short pieces are great but I am not suggesting that everything should be a page and a half.

    That is the way the Spectator operates but I appreciate that Quadrant his to provide an outlet for longer pieces that the Specie will not run.

  63. rebel with cause

    I subscribed as a Christmas gift to myself!

    Just to add – I think that those complaining about public funding for the arts are missing the point a bit here. While I agree the government shouldn’t fund the arts, if we are going to have arts funding then it should be equally and fairly distributed – not used to reward friends and relations of the sitting government.

    As another aside, this is a classic example of why ‘big government’ conservatism is such a terrible idea. The luvvies play the institutional game so much better! No way to fix this imbalance in funding without incurring serious luvvie wrath!

  64. I agree Rafe. Now that Windy has made Quadrant a bumper issue every month, there should be more space in there for a wider variety of material: cartoons, short snippets, satrical pieces, amongs the longer essays, complementing the longer essays.

    Quadrant used to be a bit more unpredictable in the ’70s and ’80s in this respect – there were more photos, a few cartoons, I think they even had pictures on the cover. By the time I started reading, in the 2000s, virtually all that remained of this past was the satirical news section in the middle – forget what it was called now. It was replaced, during Paddy McGuinness’s editorship, by the regular Frank Devine columns – a good choice as the satire of that column had lost its sting and Devine is always a joy to read.

    But it could be time to bring back a few of these old traditions; cartoons and cover pictures used to be expensive, in the pre-internet/multimedia days. Now expenses must have gone down substantially.

    I’m still unconvinced that Windy has been a good editor for Quadrant – he’s expanded Quadrant’s website substantially (good) but there’s so much more he could do with the print version of the magazine. Unlike McGuinness, I’m not convinced he has the charm or imagination to do this.

  65. In fairness to all the ordinary and busy people who don’t get to spend years of their lives on postgraduate study and don’t look forward to a lazy afternoon browsing the stacks in Fisher Library…

    Heh. That was, funnily enough, how I was introduced to Quadrant as a first place as a student.

    I hear most of the books have been carted out of Fisher Library now, Rafe, and the old library shelving space turned into offices, meeting rooms, computer space and other non-book related areas. Sacrilege!

  66. Poor Old Rafe

    By an incredible stroke of good fortune you can find summaries of all the contents in the first five years of Quadrant edited by James McAuley.

    Links to the other four years are at the bottom of the page.

  67. henry

    Alice’s point about political publications and funding avoids any consideration of quality. I gave up reading Meanjin a long time ago. It was effing terrible, deliberately and proudly obscurantist and arcane. There is no comparison with Quadrant. Australian Book Review I enjoy but it’s a publishing-trade vehicle. All of this is subjective, but so is the judgement of the Lit Board. Quadrant deserves an increased subsidy because it’s a good read.

  68. Abu Chowdah

    While I agree the government shouldn’t fund the arts, if we are going to have arts funding then it should be equally and fairly distributed – not used to reward friends and relations of the sitting government.

    Bingo. Give that chap a Cuesta Rey cigar.

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