Monday, March 29, 2010

The Mitchell Library, in Sydney, one of Australia's most beautiful and historically important buildings, is now welcoming virtual visitors to areas of the library once off limits to mere members of the public.

A slide show of some of those areas, collections and exhibits from ABC News

One of the collections includes the death mask, and mementos, of one of my childhood literary heroes, Henry Lawson :

(photo from ABC News)

Henry Lawson wrote the perfect Australian short story for bored boys sitting in late 1970s stiflingly hot classrooms wondering what droning story their teacher was going to read to them next. That perfect Australian short story is The Loaded Dog. Not only did Lawson go into great detail about how to constuct a devastingly powerful bomb (for fishing purposes), the tale romped along and had a gruesomely funny ending.
...there was a vicious yellow mongrel cattle-dog sulking and nursing his nastiness under there - a sneaking, fighting, thieving canine, whom neighbours had tried for years to shoot or poison.

Nearly a dozen other dogs came from round all the corners and under the buildings - spidery, thievish, cold-blooded kangaroo-dogs, mongrel sheep- and cattle-dogs, vicious black and yellow dogs - that slip after you in the dark, nip your heels, and vanish without explaining - and yapping, yelping small fry. They kept at a respectable distance round the nasty yellow dog, for it was dangerous to go near him when he thought he had found something which might be good for a dog to eat. He sniffed at the cartridge twice, and was just taking a third cautious sniff when --


When the smoke and dust cleared away, the remains of the nasty yellow dog were lying against the paling fence of the yard looking as if he had been kicked into a fire by a horse and afterwards rolled in the dust under a barrow, and finally thrown against the fence from a distance.
Read The Loaded Dog By Henry Lawson Here