Thursday, September 17, 2009
Saturday, February 7, 2009
• 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.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
In the same issue of the FT I find a piece by Peter Carey, who has taken his website live. Carey had a look on Google and was appalled to find that, as one of THE great living writers in the English language (my words, not his), his fame had gone before him - that is, the first 85 hits or so for Peter Carey were for totally unrelated sites with idle chit-chat about one of THE GREAT LIVING WRITERS IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE (my words, not his), with the result that the fledgling website was waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay Down Under. I'm actually baffled by this, because he paid someone to set up the site, and normally when you pay someone one of the things they do is register it with Google and Yahoo! as the eponymous website. Google does not say, What do you think we are, dumb or something? when you suggest that people running a search for YOU would probably be deeply thrilled to have your very own personal website at the top of the hitlist - they have a mechanism in place that enables you to accommodate the madding crowd. For reasons that remain unclear Carey's designer skipped all that boring stuff. I used to be aggrieved because my ex-webdesigner seemed to be more interested in her gigs with Sugar Cowboys than in my website, but she certainly did the boring paperwork (or rather etherwork) to get it squared with the search engines.
Carey's life, it has to be said, has not been made easier by coming late to the parade. A realtor in San Jose has staked a claim to petercarey.com, the domain name on which fans are likeliest to gamble a dime, and he seems to have rejected pleas to relinquish it to the more famous bearer of the name. (Talks about talks have clearly taken place, since the site of the California realtor includes a tip: Are you looking for Peter Carey, the Australian Author? If so, go to www.petercareybooks.com, or Click here!) Anyway. Even if you weren't LOOKING for Peter Carey, the Australian Author, but just hoping for more idle chit-chat about Our Man in Port Moresby (another Australian Author), why not Click here?