I'm still chewing thoughtfully on this comment from David Malouf (same source as my last blog):
"There was a period about 15 to 20 years ago when we created the idea of an exciting national literature. Australian readers were encouraged to read a lot of Australian books [was this publicity then?], and they did. They were doing it partly because they saw it as a reflection of their world, but also because they believed in Australia in a new kind of way. I think people lost faith in that. I think there has been a falling off of a kind of patriotic reason for reading Australian books, and that has put a lot of pressure on publishers because they just can't guarantee that there's a reading public out there." And he adds that 20 years ago every university had a course in Australian literature now none do or maybe one.
Sometimes I think this is a loss, sometimes I think it's because our literature has grown up.