This is the story of the relationship between two grieving men at war: fierce Achilles, who has lost his beloved Patroclus in the siege of Troy; and woeful Priam, whose son Hector killed Patroclus and was in turn savaged by Achilles. A moving tale of suffering, sorrow, and redemption, Ransom is incandescent in its delicate and powerful lyricism and its unstated imperative that we imagine our lives in the glow of fellow feeling.
In the first Quarterly Essay for 2011, David Malouf returns to one of the most fundamental questions and gives it a modern twist: what is it to live a good life? With grace and profundity, Malouf discusses new and old ways to talk about the self, morality and happiness. In an age of environmental peril, and in the wake of the global financial crisis, such questions have returned with new force - we live in unpredictable times and Homo economicus has been found wanting.