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Robert Dessaix

2004
Julian Kingma

type C photograph on paper (sheet: 79.0 cm x 60.0 cm, image: 70.0 cm x 55.7 cm)

Robert Dessaix (b. 1944) is a Hobart–based writer, translator and literary critic. Born in Sydney, he developed an interest in the Russian language as a boy, and went on to study and teach Russian at the Australian National University, with stints on exchange in Moscow. In 1984 he joined the ABC; he produced Radio National’s Books and Writing program for ten years. Before he published his first work of fiction Dessaix translated volumes of Chekhov, Dostoevsky, and Russian and Estonian poetry into English, edited Australian Gay and Lesbian Writing: An Anthology (1993) and wrote the autobiographical A Mother’s Disgrace (1994). Since then, his novels Night Letters (1996) and Corfu (2001) have been widely translated, and he has become a star attraction at literary festivals and events throughout Australia. Subsequent books include Twilight of Love: Travels with Turgenev (2005) and Arabesques: A Tale of Double Lives (2008), the latter a series of ‘encounters’ between Dessaix and the French Protestant writer André Gide.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2006
© Julian Kingma

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

Artist and subject

Julian Kingma (age 36 in 2004)

Robert Dessaix (age 60 in 2004)

Subject professions

Media and communications

Donated by

Julian Kingma (6 portraits)

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

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