Frank William Boreham 1871-1959

Frank William Boreham 1871-1959
A photo F W Boreham took of himself in 1911

Friday, January 19, 2007

Boreham: Prophet of the Prosaic

Prophetic Bite
F W Boreham’s depiction of Hobart cinemagoers being transfixed by the flickery scene, yet yawning at nature’s screening of the real thing, typifies how often with a story, sometimes with a cartoon drawn in words, his editorials had an everyday ring combined with a prophetic bite. This word picture is curiously like a drawing by Michael Leunig, the contemporary Australian cartoonist, that reveals a father and child watching the sunrise on a small television, while behind them, framed by a large window, the real thing is happening.[1]

Philosophy of Ridicule
F W Boreham’s editorials on ‘the value of comedy’ and ‘the philosophy of ridicule’ demonstrated his awareness of the power of caricature and revealed his motivation for employing this technique. Expressing the view that humor is not merely about entertainment, Boreham said, “The humorist is often the most effective reformer. He does not scold or preach; he simply exposes the silly side of the thing that he wishes to alter”.[2]

Geoff Pound

Image: Cartoon by Michael Leunig in which he proposes a new Aussie flag.

[1] Michael Leunig, The Penguin Leunig (Ringwood: Penguin Books, 1974), 26.
[2] F W Boreham, Mercury, 10 July 1926.