Australian writers upheld [letter, 30 June 1941]

[Editor: A letter from Ian Mudie in defence of Australian literature, and referring to Rex Ingamells. Ian Mudie and Rex Ingamells were leading figures in the Jindyworobak cultural movement. Published in The Advertiser, 30 June 1941.]

Australian writers upheld

“Ignorant disloyalty” challenged

To the Editor.

Sir — In his reply to Mr. Rex Ingamells, Mr. Bettison allies himself with the mighty army of knockers and bone-pointers, who forever decry all things Australian. His attack on Australian writers arouses the suspicion that he, like so many others who attack those writers, knows little, if anything, of the best of our literature.

Mr. Ingamells is correct in saying that there are many Australians who are doing work that is essentially and characteristically, Australian; they are translating Australian rhythms of speech, life, and thought into a literature that is definitely and truly national.

Let Mr. Bettison read the dozen following authors — they are but a handful of our best — and then attempt to maintain his ignorant disloyalty. Novelists: Joseph Furphy (not in the English edition distorted to overseas standards of silliness), Eleanor Dark, Xavier Herbert, Miles Franklin, Kylie Tennant, and Katherine Susannah Prichard. Poets: Brennan, Baylebridge, Harley Matthews, Neilson, and Rex Ingamells himself. Literary Critic: A. G. Stephens.

If after that he still maintains his silly charge, one can only conclude that he is incapable of understanding what Australianism really is, or that he mistakes sincere social criticism for what he describes as “overseas types of questionable morality.” Or else that, like so many others in our midst, he wilfully, intentionally, and with malice towards his own country, consistently refuses to see any good in anything Australian.

— I am, Sir, &c., Ian Mudie.

53 Marine Parade, Seacliff.

The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA), Monday 30 June 1941, page 10

[Editor: The original text has been separated into paragraphs.]

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