An Occasional Free Spirit: Randolph Stow's Satiric Streak

University of Western Australia Press
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Westerly, 2012, 57 (1), pp. 15 - 21
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An aspect of Randolph Stow’s work that has attracted little attention is his gift for comedy and satire. Throughout his life Stow used satire as a way making fun of pretension, as a defence against what he perceived as insidious influences and individuals, and also as a playful celebration of being Australian. The earliest evidence of Stow’s instinct for satire was a story published in the Guildford Grammar High School student magazine, Swan, in 1952, Stow’s final year at the school. In it, Stow parodies the school’s headmaster. The Head, as he was known, was allegedly unpopular among both students and staff, particularly for his habit of surveillance, which took the form of skulking about corridors eavesdropping or suddenly surprising students from darkened corners.
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