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Norman Lindsay Biography

(1879–1969), A Curate in Bohemia, Bulletin, Vision, Creative Effort, Madam Life's Lovers, Redheap

Australian artist and writer, born in Victoria. He left home at the age of 16, and subsequently led a bohemian life in Melbourne where he established his reputation as an artist and illustrator. This period is reflected in his first novel, A Curate in Bohemia (1913). In 1901 he began his long association with the Sydney-based Bulletin as artist, reviewer, and contributor of essays and fiction. His paintings and drawings, often condemned by the establishment as immoral, aroused much controversy for their overt sexuality. He was the main driving force behind Vision, a magazine edited by his son Jack Lindsay and Kenneth Slessor. Creative Effort (1920) and Madam Life's Lovers (1929) express his aesthetic credo. Deeply influenced by Rabelais and Nietzsche, his novels also aroused protest for his revolutionary ideas and their sexual explicitness. Redheap (1930; US title Every Mother's Son), banned in Australia until 1958, was the first part of his trilogy which also included Saturdee (1933) and Halfway to Anywhere (1947); these novels, with their sexually vigorous young protagonists, comically depict small town life. Novels in similar vein include The Cautious Amorist (1932), also banned, and The Age of Consent (1938). Other works include The Magic Pudding (1918), a classic children's book; Norman Lindsay's Book, No. I (1912) and Norman Lindsay's Book, No. II (1915), sketches and stories; and My Mask (1970), an autobiography.

Additional topics

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Lights of Bohemia to Love in Livery