Saturday, August 29, 2015

When monsters invaded the Melbourne Writers Festival

Batman is a bit fed up. From Batman #6 (2011)
Words: Scott Snyder. Pencils: Greg Capullo. Ink: Jonathan Glapio. Colours: FCO.
Jane Sullivan has an excellent write-up of the 2015 Melbourne Writers Festival (MWF15) in her weekly 'Turning Pages' column.

In 'When monsters invaded the Melbourne Writers Festival', Sullivan reflects on the privilege of a public voice, the monstrousness of abusing this, and other variations of the shocking, the galling and the plainly unjust.

She begins her column with my third session from MWF15: 'The Book That Changed Me: Batman':
Last week I went to the Melbourne Writers Festival and beheld a monstrous, fanged thing, screaming, scattering his attackers, driven by his rage.
No, it wasn't Mark Latham. It was the vision of philosopher and writer Damon Young, in The Book That Changed Me session, recalling his first encounters with Batman. 
Young spoke with passion, wisdom and humour about the deeply flawed and perpetually suffering hero of his childhood. Like most writers, he honoured that precious privilege for guests at festivals: a chance to speak out and be heard. It's a privilege not to be squandered.
It's a perceptive summary, which highlights the distinctive pleasure of being listened to. Like reading, hearkening is a fine art.

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