Saturday, 26 August 2006

Robert Hughes, influential expat and art critic, will publish a memoir in November, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

To be entitled Things I Don't Know, the book is described as a "critical insight" into the life of the famous author and car-accident survivor.

He accuses the media of "hateful snobbery".

"So what the assembled meejah saw was the intensely gratifying sight of a wealthy, stuck-up eastern expat who had run over these honest young Australian workers, lads who laboured on a trawler to bring us our daily fish fingers," he writes.

Hughes didn't emerge from the encounter unscathed, although I think the fine was the least of his worries, as a man in his declining years recovering from horrific injuries (according to the Wikipedia "Hughes's right leg was broken in five places and his right elbow was shattered."):

Seven years later, Hughes says he is often racked with pain and unable to stand from the injuries he received in the accident, for which he ultimately pleaded guilty to charges of dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm. He was fined $2500 and banned from driving for three years.

I once possessed a copy of The Shock of the New but it went the sad way of my Bukowskis and Calvinos — it disappeared after I moved overseas in 1992 — but I recently came into possession of his Heaven and Hell in Western Art, which sort of compensates for my loss.

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