Southerly's new blogging program has now started, with poet and novelist Tracy Ryan making the first post: http://southerlyjournal.com.au/2011/04/14/repetition-compulsion-reading-glen-duncan/
Tracy starts off with:
When it comes to reading fiction, I’m not averse to the single isolated encounter. It may be because the author only wrote one novel (Emily Brontë), or because there’s only one that appeals. It’s not the writer that’s in question, it’s the individual work. And after all, you can read that one book again and again – and again, with different outcomes at various stages in your life.
She is so right about the way texts change with the context of your changing life! James Joyce keeps changing for me ... When I'm out and about at a local litfest, I may sport my On The Road shirt but I am somewhat shocked at much of Kerouac's writing when I go back to it today. As a reader, each book is a stepping stone to the next, but you can return to earlier books with a new understanding and a deeper perception simply through the amount of experience life has thrown your way.
I'll shut up now and let you return to Tracy.
The Southerly blog is a great idea and a great addition to Australia poetry life. May it long prosper!