John Dalziel

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John Dalziel was born in 1943 into a family environment that lacked opportunity or encouragement for education and spent much of his early years as something of a less than Artful Dodger on the then mean streets of lower Sydney, Australia. Constantly one step ahead of truant officers, he had gravitated to the city libraries, art galleries, and museums as places of refuge, but, most days, would be occupied in the city’s cinemas. Here, his tutors and guides would be discovered to have names such as Kazan, Kramer, Lumet, Wilder and so many others. It was most likely Kazan’s East of Eden that was the initial influence that rescued him from a potential future of alienation and social hostility near to that of a Jack Abbott. The film led to the discovery of Steinbeck at the age of thirteen and consequently to a life-long obsession with reading, particularly of American literature and film history and criticism. For many years, when asked about his family history, he would claim Dostoyevsky as grandfather, Steinbeck for father, and Sartre as uncle. Norman Mailer was the unruly and inspiring older brother.

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