All posts tagged: Malcolm Knox

The simple act of reading: Why all reading is created equal

After many years of pondering, I’ve come to the conclusion that all reading is created equal. This is not to say that all books are created equal — I’m not saying that there aren’t good or bad books. What I’m saying is that the act of reading, of diving into a story and experiencing the characters, setting, and themes is universal in literature, regardless of a story’s quality. I think many people were very excited to attend the panel inspired by the book The Simple Act of Reading by Debra Adelaide for exactly this reason. Readers of all experience, who love everything from trashy romance novels to Greek classics, can appreciate the way it feels to dive into a book. This Sunday morning session at Byron Bay Writers Festival included Andy Griffiths, Malcolm Knox, and Joan London, and chaired by Catherine Keenan, and it represented a hugely diverse group of authors, to say the least. The Simple Act of Reading book itself is a collection of essays and memoirs, penned by authors on the ways …

Bastions of Gladitorial Eloquence: Intellectualising Sport

The art of the post-game interview is evidently a fickle one. Listen in to the end of any live sportscast and you’re all-but-guaranteed to hear a flustered and exhausted combatant searching for both words and breath as a hurried reporter jabs a microphone at his think-tank. It’s a highlight of my viewing week. Said exhausted gladiator will invariably pay the sufficient amount of ‘credit to the boys’, reference the general hardness of the contest, and do his darnedest to suppress a brimming F-bomb. He’s tired from running up and down a great big grassy oblong for eighty consecutive minutes, and the last thing that he wants is an over-eager line of questioning about his preparation,  dedication or (in the event of a loss) his lack thereof.  Truly, quality viewing. But suffer as they may at the hands of sideline reporters, and struggle as they may to fill gaps in the awkward silence with meaningful cliches, there’s no denying the intellectual backbone of sport: These people aren’t paid to talk. They’re paid to execute complex game-plans: …

Surf’s up!

Surfs Up! “A giant green cathedral, and I am there”: These were the words uttered by Bob McTavish back in the ’60s to describe the cosmic experience of riding waves. Surf language. You hear it everywhere around these parts and to many it’s become so engrained in the psyche you go ‘dude, ripping, sick, tubed’. Surfing has ripped through the psyche of Byron Bay and Australia as a whole. The language has crept into the vocabulary of so many in these parts and it’s not about to stop anytime soon. Malcolm Knox, Taylor Miller and John Witzig began the Friday morning session at the Macquarie tent of the 2011 Byron Bay Writers Festival to a crowd of faithful surfers and literary lovers. Dropping into the session, I – as a surfer, living on the outskirt of Byron Bay – had the revelation dawn on me that surfing is the one thing that drives me. I go surfing every single day. I wear clothes from surf brands. I am influenced by the archetypes of professional surfers. …