McMullin, Ross: Will Dyson

McMullin, Ross

Will Dyson: Australia’s Radical Genius, Scribe, Carlton North, Vic., 2006; revised edition 2006

Biography of a war cartoonist, war artist and artist

There is a review here, another one here (quoted below) and the author talks about his book here.

Dyson is certainly deserving of the effort, not only because of the quality of his work but because his biography illuminates so many of the best and worst aspects of Australian life during the early 20th century.  Towards the end of this book, McMullin even claims that Dyson’s experience of the war and its aftermath was perhaps Australia’s experience in microcosm.  That story begins with Dyson and his country being progressive, idealistic, nationalistic, buoyant, successful and on the verge of fulfilling undoubted gifts by achieving real greatness. After the war came only chastened disillusionment. While this schema is crudely correct, it tends to iron out those complexities in Dyson’s character that the author has taken such pains to elaborate. (John McDonald review)

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