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The Failed Nationalism of Alex Buzo by Stephen Sewell | A response to Norm and Ahmed by Alex Buzo

'Language is and remained Buzo’s central concern. The tough, violent, sinuous vernacular filled with Australian history but somehow ignorant of it. Like all great writers, Buzo loved the cadences and rhythm of his own language, and thrilled to his virtuosity with it. “Yes, he was a real ratbag, my old man. Mad Dan Gallagher...”, Norm says, relishing the words as they tumble forth. Later he tells Ahmed, “Sometimes when I’m out in the backyard, watering the frangipanis, I feel very lonely, I really do...” and the menacing poetry entrances us as much as it does the hapless Pakistani who has had the misfortune to fall into the web of the darkly malevolent stranger.' - Stephen Sewell

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