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High Literary Value
To the Editor of the Herald.
Sir.-We should like to congratulate "The Sydney Morning Herald" on the splendid work it has done for Aus- tralian literature in its recent literary competitions.
If they had produced nothing but Jon deary's fine realist novel, "You Can't See Round Corners." they would have been more than' justified.
This book, so far as we have read that is lo the end of the 13th instal- ment-has made a valuable contribution, both in the vigour and accuracy of its characterisation and in its scrupulous re- creation of Sydney background and atmosphere/ to the nll-too-rarc authentic stories of our eily life.
Jon Cleary needs no comparison with Hemingway or any other oversea writer to bolster his novel. -He brings to his subject- originality of vision; his laconic style is admirably matched to his theme and is in no sense derivative.
Here, is a writer who has no need to use any of the worn-out litcrarv stencils which sentimentalise the slums and glam- ourise their inhabitants. The background, the story, the women, and the minor characters come straight from life. Henry Lawson would have recognised Frankie McCoy; so would Louis Stone.
Whether one likes this story or not is a matter of personal taste, but within the terms of its characters and setting rind in the astringent quality of its irony, it takes a high piace not only among the best oversea realist fiction, but is also in the line of development of our finest indigenous literature.
"You Can't Sec Round Corners" is a valuable social document, authentic in characterisation, atmosphere, and idiom, and in addition it reaches a high level of literary craftsmanship which makes it a significant contribution lo our literature.
DYMPHNA CUSACK. I FLORENCE JAMES. Hazelbrook.