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Intimate Antipathies is the much anticipated new book by Luke Carman, the award-winning author of the cult classic An Elegant Young Man. The essays in this collection follow the writer in his oscillations through anxiety, outrage and ecstasy, and in the process explore the connections between writing and dreaming, writing and mental illness, writing and the complications Intimate Antipathies is the much anticipated new book by Luke Carman, the award-winning author of the cult classic An Elegant Young Man. The essays in this collection follow the writer in his oscillations through anxiety, outrage and ecstasy, and in the process explore the connections between writing and dreaming, writing and mental illness, writing and the complications of family life. From his famous jeremiad against arts administrators in ‘Getting Square in a Jerking Circle’, through the psychotic attack brought on by the collapse of his marriage, to his surreal account of meeting with Gerald Murnane at a golf club in the remote Victorian village of Goroke, Carman explores the particular challenges faced by writers who grow up in the contested borderlands of the suburbs – always returning to his great obsession, the home on a small mountain in Sydney’s west, where his antipathies with the real world first began to shape his imagination.


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Intimate Antipathies is the much anticipated new book by Luke Carman, the award-winning author of the cult classic An Elegant Young Man. The essays in this collection follow the writer in his oscillations through anxiety, outrage and ecstasy, and in the process explore the connections between writing and dreaming, writing and mental illness, writing and the complications Intimate Antipathies is the much anticipated new book by Luke Carman, the award-winning author of the cult classic An Elegant Young Man. The essays in this collection follow the writer in his oscillations through anxiety, outrage and ecstasy, and in the process explore the connections between writing and dreaming, writing and mental illness, writing and the complications of family life. From his famous jeremiad against arts administrators in ‘Getting Square in a Jerking Circle’, through the psychotic attack brought on by the collapse of his marriage, to his surreal account of meeting with Gerald Murnane at a golf club in the remote Victorian village of Goroke, Carman explores the particular challenges faced by writers who grow up in the contested borderlands of the suburbs – always returning to his great obsession, the home on a small mountain in Sydney’s west, where his antipathies with the real world first began to shape his imagination.

30 review for Intimate Apathies

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ailsa

    "The average [creative writing] undergrad remains blissfully unaware that the slush piles of publishing houses groan under the weight of rejected submissions from creative writing lecturers. Many students, after being ushered through the most adequate training money can buy, have their first real-world encounter with the publishing industry when their doctorate-cum-fictionalised autobiograpghy - a work they've spent ten years writing - is rejected by an intern who has happily never heard of Rene "The average [creative writing] undergrad remains blissfully unaware that the slush piles of publishing houses groan under the weight of rejected submissions from creative writing lecturers. Many students, after being ushered through the most adequate training money can buy, have their first real-world encounter with the publishing industry when their doctorate-cum-fictionalised autobiograpghy - a work they've spent ten years writing - is rejected by an intern who has happily never heard of Rene Girard's mimetic theory." - Getting Square in a Circle Jerk, 19. "what kind of writer concerns themselves with what the reader wants? Not a very interesting one. For interesting writers, the relationship between reader and writer is pure 'sub and dom'. The writer commands, the reader obeys. " - Dreams in the Daylight Country, 159. "Efficiency is not my forte as a reader - I am cursed with the inability to finish books wherein I find the greatest peasure. The writing I enjoy most tends to get me so exercised by its effects that I am soon deep in a fugue state of mind, a kind of dissociative wandering from which I am required to return before I can come back to the page that started me off in the first place. " - In the Room with Gerald Murnane, 210.

  2. 4 out of 5

    A

    oftentimes, i was enraptured by carmans sentences, and enjoyed being lulled into his descriptive prose style. highlights included the whistleblowers lament and father and son. but there was also an engineering to perfect epiphany in many of the endings, which is another notch in the myth of the all-seeing writer, always in love with his own conclusions. oftentimes, i was enraptured by carmans sentences, and enjoyed being lulled into his descriptive prose style. highlights included ‘the whistleblowers lament’ and ‘father and son’. but there was also an engineering to perfect epiphany in many of the endings, which is another notch in the myth of the all-seeing writer, always in love with his own conclusions.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Veronica

    A really great collection. Although Id read several of these essays in earlier forms in various publications, rereading them challenged anew my uncritical assumptions and blind spots about the arts industry the festivals, organisations and institutions I orbit, enter and admire (the jerking circles in which I get square?). The Cult of Western Sydney takes on a prevailing orthodoxy with clarity and bruising wit. My enduring takeaway from Intimate Apathies no heroes, no idols; art should both A really great collection. Although I’d read several of these essays in earlier forms in various publications, rereading them challenged anew my uncritical assumptions and blind spots about the arts industry – the festivals, organisations and institutions I orbit, enter and admire (the jerking circles in which I get square?). ‘The Cult of Western Sydney’ takes on a prevailing orthodoxy with clarity and bruising wit. My enduring takeaway from Intimate Apathies – no heroes, no idols; art should both comfort and discomfort, but not be used as a tool to alienate individuals and create hierarchies of power.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lee Kofman

    This collection of personal essays is just wonderful, and how shall I say it? Healthy both intellectually and morally, especially in its call to stop the anti-intellectualism that permeates Australian literary scene, as well as its politicisation. The prose is often breathtaking and is never condescending to the readers nor trying to appease us. The label 'brave' and 'bold' gets thrown around a lot in our literary landscape and I often cringe at it, but this book really deserves it. This collection of personal essays is just wonderful, and… how shall I say it? Healthy both intellectually and morally, especially in its call to stop the anti-intellectualism that permeates Australian literary scene, as well as its politicisation. The prose is often breathtaking and is never condescending to the readers nor trying to appease us. The label 'brave' and 'bold' gets thrown around a lot in our literary landscape and I often cringe at it, but this book really deserves it.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Dave Leys

    A personal take on the writing and intellectual life of letters in Australia. Carman grounds his discussion in a blackly humorous take on the foibles of literature and the arts scene. Mostly compelling and insightful, and always giving voice to the quirky, complex sensibility of its author

  6. 4 out of 5

    Henry Stoop

    I think a lot of the more academic and cultural critique elements of Carmans writing were out of my league, but I loved his dissections of the australian literary art communities as I see the similarities between his literature ghetto and my comedy ghetto. I also found truthful but ducking funny heartbreak in his matter of fact explorations of his mental health decline and rebound and decline again and lastly was joyed to learn of the wonderfully esoteric existence of Gerald Murnane. I ought to I think a lot of the more academic and cultural critique elements of Carmans writing were out of my league, but I loved his dissections of the australian literary art communities as I see the similarities between his literature ghetto and my comedy ghetto. I also found truthful but ducking funny heartbreak in his matter of fact explorations of his mental health decline and rebound and decline again and lastly was joyed to learn of the wonderfully esoteric existence of Gerald Murnane. I ought to read Luke’s first book as soon as I can. Oh yeah the cult of western Sydney chapter funny as fuck too, worthy of a film... but I say that as someone who holds film in the highest regard as artistic product which might be at odds with Luke’s own preferences for what is the most important form of expression.

  7. 5 out of 5

    S.E. Crawford

    A roller-coaster ride - style and story - a ride worth taking. Jeremiad, confession, dreams and psychosis conspire with not uncommon domestic dilemmas to weave a narrative through this collection of essays. The great wars about what is literature find an armed foot soldier in this author. And yet, there are moments of peace and revelation. Any writer inspired by Australian legends whose work is as different as Kate Forsythe and Gerald Murnane, is likely to enhance one's curiosity about the A roller-coaster ride - style and story - a ride worth taking. Jeremiad, confession, dreams and psychosis conspire with not uncommon domestic dilemmas to weave a narrative through this collection of essays. The great wars about what is literature find an armed foot soldier in this author. And yet, there are moments of peace and revelation. Any writer inspired by Australian legends whose work is as different as Kate Forsythe and Gerald Murnane, is likely to enhance one's curiosity about the artistic life. A book I dip back into for the strong prose and unpredictability.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Maureen

    I don't think the editor did this book any favours when he or she chose to place an 'insider's' view of the arts establishment as the first story. I was ho hum about it and regretting I had taken it out of the library, when I came to a gripping account of his descent into mental illness and was hooked. His account, of suddenly thinking that the man in the green car behind him at a set of lights is out to kill him, takes us deep into the world of psychosis as few others have done. I'm sure they I don't think the editor did this book any favours when he or she chose to place an 'insider's' view of the arts establishment as the first story. I was ho hum about it and regretting I had taken it out of the library, when I came to a gripping account of his descent into mental illness and was hooked. His account, of suddenly thinking that the man in the green car behind him at a set of lights is out to kill him, takes us deep into the world of psychosis as few others have done. I'm sure they lost a lot of readers who simply didn't push on.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Sini

    Like any collection, some essays are better than others. Most are concerned with writing and being a writer and Im still trying to figure out whether the book is apologetic or unapologetic about that. Like Garner and Murnane and a handful of other Australian writers, Carman is a great sentence-by-sentence stylist, so even if I wasnt too involved in the subject matter it was just a joy to read. Like any collection, some essays are better than others. Most are concerned with writing and being a writer and I’m still trying to figure out whether the book is apologetic or unapologetic about that. Like Garner and Murnane and a handful of other Australian writers, Carman is a great sentence-by-sentence stylist, so even if I wasn’t too involved in the subject matter it was just a joy to read.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Justin

    4 stars

  11. 4 out of 5

    Michaela

  12. 4 out of 5

    Tien Tran

  13. 5 out of 5

    elbiduubled

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jason Gray

  15. 5 out of 5

    CT

  16. 4 out of 5

    Damien Mulcahy

  17. 5 out of 5

    Max Easton

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sam

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Blake

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tien Tran

  21. 4 out of 5

    Reuben Mackey

  22. 4 out of 5

    Chris Fleming

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lachlan

  24. 4 out of 5

    Aleesha

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mikaela Hart

  26. 4 out of 5

    Corrie Allegory

  27. 4 out of 5

    Victoria

  28. 4 out of 5

    Rumell Khan

  29. 5 out of 5

    Paige Townsend

  30. 5 out of 5

    Winnie

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