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A serious history

Peter Timms

Silliness is to be savoured. It exposes the cracks in our reasoning, raising a gleeful two-finger salute to convention and common sense. In a world awash with stupidity and cruel politics, silliness is childish, anarchic, mischievous, rude and sometimes shocking.

But it's not new.

This delightful yet informative book reveals the surprisingly rich history of silliness, going all the way back to the madcap plays of Aristophanes in the fourth century BC. Medieval fools and jesters, strange 'epidemics of silliness' in the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries, and the charming nonsense of Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear, lead us to the often dark and nihilistic silliness of modern times, including Buster Keaton, Monty Python and 'Cats that Look Like Hitler'.

Praise for Silliness
'Silliness, Timms amply demonstrates, has always been with us and of us. His research is detailed, his capacity to let it tumble lightly to the page makes the read simultaneously educative and amusing.' - Jonathon Green, Sydney Morning Herald

'A deeply literary book that is also a lot of fun to read.' - Stephen Romei, Australian

Peter Timms was born and educated in Melbourne and currently lives in Hobart, Tasmania.

Between 1971 and 1988 he held curatorial positions in a number of public art galleries and museums, including Shepparton Art Gallery, Manly Art Gallery and Museum, and the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney. He was awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 1984 for study in Europe, and an Australia Council Senior Writers' Fellowship in 1994.

Since 1988 he has worked as a freelance journalist and author, contributing to publications both within Australia and overseas. He was editor of Art Monthly Australia for five years and has served as art critic for the Age and Tasmanian art critic for the Australian.

Peter writes on a wide range of subjects, including Australian art, garden history, the natural environment and Australian social history.

He has published a dozen books, including Hobart (in the New South Cities series), Making Nature, What's Wrong with Contemporary Art?, Australia's Quarter Acre, and Private Lives: Australians at home since Federation.

'Peter Timms is an accomplished stylist ... He has a sharp satirical eye.' - Sydney Morning Herald

'A witty and assured debut. Peter Timms's stylish novel offers a coming of age story that is also a perceptive exploration of the darkness in a nationís soul.' - Michelle de Kretser on Asking for Trouble

Format Paperback
Size 210 x 140 mm
ISBN 9781743056455
Extent 246 pages
Price: AU$24.95 including GST
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