Sunday, June 12, 2011

Patrick Leigh Fermor touched the heart

I have generous and perceptive in-laws who realised that like them, the writings of Patrick Leigh Fermor, who has just died aged 96, could touch the heart. I am grateful for their gifts.  In her Observer obituary Jan Morris says 'Leigh Fermor made of the genre [travel writing] a lovely instrument of grace, humour and reflection'......'travelling with him was like simultaineously travelling through several ages'  .....'a complex soul, but with a stillness at the heart of him'.   I detect in his passing a shift of an era, or perhaps that is merely my sense of loss for a talent capable through his writing of  changing one's appreciative setting (to quote Geoffrey Vickers) in ways that I now mourn.

In a piece in yesterdays Guardian, Artemis Cooper, his biographer is quoted as saying that the long anticipated final book of his travel trilogy, begining with 'A Time of Gifts' (1977) followed by 'Between the Woods and the Water' (1987) will be forthcoming.  I hope so.
New Book on Murray Darling Basin Plan

The book “Basin Futures: Water Reform in the Murray-Darling Basin” has just been published electronically by ANU E Press. You can  access the book here or order a hard copy.  For those interested Phil Wallis and I have the following chapter in the book:

Ison, R.L. & Wallis, P. (2011) Planning as Performance. The Murray-Darling Basin Plan. In Grafton Q & Connell, D. eds. Basin Futures: Water reform in the Murray-Darling Basin, ANU ePress, Canberra.

The official launch of "Basin Futures: Water reform in the Murray-Darling Basin" will be  by Senator Nick Xenophon, Independent Senator from South Australia at Parliament House (Canberra) on Tuesday 21 June at 10:00 am.