Marr rubbo’ed out

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Last updated on March 6th, 2018 at 12:29 am

It’s meant to be the season of goodwill, yet Australia’s literary elite is throwing a hand-flapping hissy fit of Normandy proportions:

Three of the five judges of the $42,000 Miles Franklin Literary Award, including writer and journalist David Marr, resigned late last week amid a flurry of claims and counter-claims. Marr, along with fellow resigning judge Melbourne bookshop director Mark Rubbo, said in a statement yesterday that the company responsible for administering the prize had cut the judges’ terms in half, introduced the right “to dismiss any judge at any time without explanation” and stripped the panel of “nearly all decision-making, including election of the chair”.

The third judge to resign, writer Kerryn Goldsworthy, said yesterday his decision to go was “the result of an accumulation of issues and unfortunate events”.

Troublemaker Marr is at the centre of the feud:

The catalyst is believed to have been the decision not to invite Marr to take up the traditional second three-year term of judging. This news is said to have been delivered in a less-than-tactful way …

Hmmm. Dave is often less than tactful himself.

Posted by Tim B. on 12/22/2004 at 05:29 PM
    1. Oh, just give the damn thing to Jackie Collins…

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 12/22 at 05:45 PM • permalink


    1. It was Kim Beazley Sr who once remarked that the ALP was once inhabited by the cream of the working class and was now inhabited by the dregs of the middle class.

      Posted by SB on 12/22 at 05:59 PM • permalink


    1. Mark Rubbo owns Readings bookshop in Carlton (Vic), and he’s been pissing and moaning for ever about how Borders opened up across the road from him.

      He’s obviously got a problem with bookshops which stock a wider range of books and more competitive prices.

      What we therefore need are fewer, and more expensive books.

      Posted by steve68 on 12/22 at 06:00 PM • permalink


    1. When Readings opened up in Lygon Street, it – not surprisingly – spelled the end for a smaller bookshop which had previously operated there.  Rubbo didn’t shed any tears over that.  It’s called competition, Mark: suck it up.

      Posted by cuckoo on 12/22 at 06:07 PM • permalink


    1. Steve68 � Don’t laugh.  A senior officer at IIRC Simon & Schuster actually told Publishers Weekly that too many books were being published and publishers should actually reduce their list to increase demand…

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 12/22 at 06:18 PM • permalink


    1. Hmm, I’d forgotten about that Cuckoo, you are right. But, Borders sells, ughh, ‘mass market’ books and ‘airport novels’ or is this really what Mr. Rubbo (is he a super hero or something?) worried about? Not to worry, plenty of books on fung shui and its influence on early aboriginal cave art at Mr. Rubbo’s establishment.

      Posted by Nic on 12/22 at 06:21 PM • permalink


    1. This is a hoot, especially sweet if it ticks off the gargantuan, superhuman genius we call David marr.

      I’m going to settle back with a beer and watch the fun.

      I wonder how dear Dave will blame THIS on Howard?


      Posted by MarkL on 12/22 at 07:14 PM • permalink


    1. is david the only one to marr the human race?

      Posted by Deo Vindice on 12/22 at 08:03 PM • permalink


    1. oops. please ignore my previous post. i’m pissed as a NIT. chrissie cheer and all that…

      Posted by Deo Vindice on 12/22 at 08:05 PM • permalink


    1. Nic,

      last time I was at Borders across the road from Readings, Borders had just about everything I could find at Readings, except for some of the more obscure gay stuff. It stocked much more than “mass market” and “airport novel” books.

      Posted by steve68 on 12/22 at 08:05 PM • permalink


    1. Hmmmm- David “pounces” about a bit.

      Posted by crash on 12/22 at 09:01 PM • permalink


    1. Actually there are too many books being published, have a look at the stacks of trendoid post modern, radical feminist, queer theory, late-Marxist , post colonial, anti economic rationalist, anti US offerings in progressive bookshops.  Not to mention the boring PHD theses turned into books and the academic remainders that turn up at Cloustons

      Posted by Rafe on 12/22 at 09:56 PM • permalink


    1. I love that Borders – I shop there all the time. NB – their history section is a LOT more balanced than Readings could ever manage (latest purchase: ‘To Hell and Back, the Audie Murphy Story’ – I wish more book shops stocked books about war heroes).

      I used to shop regularly at that Readings, but I couldn’t wait to take my custom somewhere else, seeing as they always have that highly offensive leftist sh#t in their window.

      Posted by kipwatson on 12/22 at 09:58 PM • permalink


    1. I read the story and had a giggle – the arts luvvies stabbing themselves in the back and falling about fainting. And all because of ‘intereference’ from – gasp – commercial concerns.  Let’s have more of it.

      Re Borders – the books are OK, if expensive.  The music is, however, pathetic. Try finding recent Hyperion and Chandos releases – not a hope. It all the same of re-issued 1960-1980 tat. Readings (pronounced Reddings) is better in music, although not by much.

      Posted by walterplinge on 12/22 at 10:34 PM • permalink


    1. David Marr, whose life’s work seems like a sisyphean hissy fit. The kudos of being Patrick White’s biographer might gain many a free dinner in the circles he moves in, however both he and the Great White lack that common touch which endears public figures to the populace at large.

      Posted by blogstrop on 12/22 at 10:48 PM • permalink


    1. this thread reads like judging cats at the royal melbourne show

      Posted by ilibcc on 12/22 at 10:55 PM • permalink


  1. With the Marr off the panel there may be a chance for a novel that isn’t written by an imposter or about Satan America.

    Posted by Inurbanus on 12/24 at 01:47 PM • permalink