On Borrowed Time by Robert Manne
In On Borrowed Time, Manne applies his brilliant mind to the topics that have shaped our world over the last five years, including climate change, the media, Australia’s asylum seeker policy, and Wikileaks. This provocative and challenging book features essays on Donald Trump's alleged links to Russia, Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership, the ideas driving Islamic State, and a searing critique of Jonathan Franzen's views on climate change activists.
And the title essay: well that's the reason we're celebrating and listening once more to the voice of Robert Manne:
I have learnt that I am quite a stoical person, who can abide even very unpleasant bodily conditions short of intolerable pain. I have learnt that dignity is a quality of the spirit that can be maintained even in the most compromising or comical situations, as the body gives way. I have learnt that with moral effort – that idea again – even a person as naturally proud as I am can overcome embarrassment over conspicuous physical disability with friends, acquaintances and strangers. Having lived a professional life part of which relied on speech – lecturing, tutoring, speaking at writers’ festivals, launching books, appearing on radio and occasionally television – I have learnt that with a poor quality or unpleasing voice one is expected as a matter of course to vacate the public stage. I intend to challenge that expectation.