Scenes of (Not) Reading: a Descent into Australian Uglinesses

After The Australian Ugliness  (2021) 
National Gallery of Victoria and Thames & Hudson Australia

Guest, Riggs wrote an elaborate dog-ate-my-homework chapter for After the Australian Ugliness, a collection of essays reflecting on Robin Boyd’s 1960 publication and whether it’s still relevant today. Our essay is a correspondence about attempting to read Robin Boyd’s The Australian Ugliness (1960) at a time of bushfires, lockdowns, and many other urgent uglinesses.

‘In Melbourne, the book lay perpetually unread. In London, it became a nostalgic surrogate for a tangible connection with home, read only as a last resort, in a kind of reverse cultural cringe.’ Excerpt from our essay, ‘Scenes of (Not) Reading: a Descent into Australian Uglinesses’, in After the Australian Ugliness (2021). 

Published by the National Gallery of Victoria and Thames & Hudson Australia, March 2021.