Neutral Bay, Australia (PressExposure) September 17, 2009 -- Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull are among the disguised anti-heroes of Australiaâs latest epic poem. In an extraordinarily ornate piece of writing, the book The Common Weal: A fictitious Australian tragedy makes a valiant and visible attempt to be as Australian as Henry Lawsonâs Man from Snowy River though in style it is more akin to Miltonâs Paradise Lost, in bloodiness to Hamlet and in macabre wit to King Lear.
Perhaps it is unfair to psychoanalyse such an obscure author as Kundan Misra. However, it is tempting to regard the book as reflective of an attempt to overcome the ambiguity of Misraâs his background which is multicultural in the extreme. Other interpretations of the authorâs latent motivations are extant.
An interviewee, who asked to be identified only as âa former close friendâ of the author, said of the author, âGreat guy, donât get me wrong. But letâs just say that I wouldnât blame him if he wasnât. When I knew him well, he struck me as following an intensely dissipated and directionless path. But, then, maybe thatâs a direction in itself. Still, I wouldnât be surprised if a very mixed up fellow emerged at the other end.â Is he mixed up? The former friend says, âIf so, then maybe heâs channelled it into a devastating indictment of some fictitious national tragedy, as he subtitles his book.â Ah, so the ânational tragedyâ is this obscure fellowâs personal tragedy or youthful idiocy âprojectedâ, as the shrinks say, onto the nation? Or, âtherein was he imitating the sun?â
To be fair, Australiaâs youth suicide rate is among the highest in the world, and divorce is now a fact of life the Western world over, so perhaps we shouldnât hold cerebral confusion against anyone. Perhaps much of personal tragedy is symptomatic of a far greater national tragedy, a decades-long maelstrom into whose true depths we are possibly only just now descending.
Notwithstanding official statistics in which a person who works one hour per week is regarded as employed and as âparticipatingâ in the labour force, the real unemployment rate may be pushing 15% in Australia. Considering this country as part of Western society as a whole, the USA and Great Britain have real unemployment rates that are higher still.
Add globalisation, privatisation, rising (skyrocketing?) home foreclosures and personal bankruptcies, the global financial collapse and the humanity-hating global warming fraud into the mix, and any individualâs supposedly mixed up life might be nothing but a microcosm of the opening innings of the 21st Century.
Perhaps an author who has experienced the worst that the Western world has to offer is well-positioned to describe a national tragedy or two in rhapsodic verse.
But why target the poor buggers Rudd and Turnbull? They didnât create this mess. Perhaps theyâre also symptomatic. Perhaps the national tragedy is that we manage to spew forth leaders who are skilled and fearless in charging us as a nation into disaster, while convincing us that we need it and while a fair percentage of us cheer them along.
But, author Misra protests, âWho said anything about Rudd and Turnbull? The characters are Ruddward and Turdball. Anyway, two characters do not a tragedy make.â Okay, so, to mix tragedy with history, the fault, dear Brutus, lies not in our leaders but in ourselves? âYouâll have to read The Common Weal and find out,â says Mr Misra in a rare, yet still barely perceptible, fit of mercenary promotion of his creation.
Where is the book available? Mr Misra does not let on, but a spokeswoman for the publisher, Gambol Books, advises that Australiaâs latest epic poem is available from Berkelouw Books in Newtown and Paddington NSW, online from SeekBooks here: [http://www.seekbooks.com.au/book/The-Common-Weal/isbn/9780980532036.htm] and online from Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/common-weal-fictitious-Australian-tragedy/dp/0980532035
The book is illustrated on the cover and inside with artwork commissioned for the book from Australian artist Anna Boros, with profile here: [http://www.artfiles.com.au/annaboros]
About the book: The book The Common Weal: A fictitious Australian tragedy is 186 pages long and available in paperback. ISBN (13 digits) 9780980532036. ISBN (10 digits) 0980532035.
About the author: The author and editor of several books, Kundan Misra has been published by Springer and in international science journals. Kundan has a law degree, science degree and technical research degree from universities in Australia and the United Kingdom.