Saturday, February 7, 2009

ultimi Australi

• My writing life has been made possible by the Australian publishers who accepted my work when it was rejected in London and New York, who believed in a literature that would define Australia for Australians and represent us to the world. All my novels, including the two that went on to win the Booker prize, were first published in Australia by an Australian publisher. I am now read in 25 languages only because of an autonomous publishing market and industry. Australia was not always thus.

Early mercantile life was dominated by importers, distributors and retailers. To anyone still thinking in this colonial way, there will be nothing strange about the present proposal to eliminate territorial copyright and with it the discrete Australian market. What matters, if you are a colonial trader, is that you get the goods cheaper, and you do not weigh, not for a second, the damage to any local culture. If you are a true colonial you will not imagine your colony might even have a culture. You would assume that any indigenous books, for instance, would be inferior to those produced at "home".

Peter Carey in the Guardian, the rest here.

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