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Harris S. Journalism and Literature. 2011.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://e-publications.une.edu.au/1959.11/10638
Journalism and Literature
Roger, Thanks for your reliable and continued support; that you are willing to pen what you call 'sentimental and lurid fiction' in support of my vocational cause gives me confidence. For where would I be without your fiendishly amiable subversion of what we both know as my career? (Think of it as your Dickens gig: your long-running, serialised drama, all written under the protective pseudonym of 'Referee'.) All jesting aside, I would not be writing from a position of comparative professional security (compared, that is, to my extended period of attenuating tenure) were it not for the support you have given me both professionally and personally. Indeed, your satirical capers and affectionate burlesques - the price I soon learnt I had to pay in New Zealand for being a migrant from the great 'West Island' - have also been the measure of your dependability, generosity and worldly comradeship. This is to say that I feel a deep appreciation for the friendship that has developed between us over these last 10 years; it is an outcome - no, it is an achievement - I find all the more worthy for having germinated through our shared years of toil in the Gradgrindian mills of academe, as we had occasion to describe the shape-shifting world of higher education at the time. (And on that note - one of Dickens's own metaphorical grace notes perhaps - I see us propped opposite each other in your old office on the eighth floor of the Von Zedlitz building, reaching for our copies of 'Hard Times' with mock-heroic solemnity, sharing a conspiratorial grin. Seriously, however, from where I am sitting at the moment, with the noise of political controversy over education scams that exploit vulnerable foreign students dinning in one ear, and the lament of collapsing standards across the tertiary education sector sounding in the other, it is hard not to think that we have all been reduced to little more than Dickensian 'hands' in the grim mills of 'market-driven' education.) It is still more pleasing to me that our friendship has endured the parting of our professional ways, following my return to Australia.