Editorial

Type
Editorial

Writers, said Overland’s founding editor Stephen Murray-Smith in one of our early issues,

record the storms of history as they rage through the lives and minds of people. They must respond to the storm from whatever direction it is blowing. You cannot face one and turn your back on another.

Overland 214 cover-rgb
Croggon
Type
Regular
Category
Reading

On reading time and memory

I can’t remember learning how to read. I could read and write before I went to school, reportedly because I demanded to know how. There were books in the house, and presumably I saw my parents reading and, like all small children, wanted to emulate my elders.

RosettaDiskImageHi
Type
Regular
Category
Politics

On measuring our future

Karl Marx once expressed the belief that the end of the capitalist era and the advent of communism would signal the end of human prehistory and the beginning of history proper. Filippo Tommaso Marinetti and the Futurists, for their part, wanted to destroy museums and libraries …

campbell
Type
Regular
Category
Writing

On the athleticism of productivity

Late last year, in his widely shared essay ‘On Smarm’, Tom Scocca introduces the concept of writering: ‘We have a whole word here at Gawker, “writering,” to describe the tribe of writers whose principal writerly concern is being writerly, and who spend all their time congratulating one another on their writing and promulgating correct rules for writing.’

wright
Type
Regular
Category
Writing

On being funnier

I often wish I were funnier, even though I can be reasonably quick off the cuff.

Friend: Oh my God! Someone poisoned ninety elephants in Zimbabwe!
Me: Sounds like a pachyderm lies to me.

But that practice of humour isn’t really funny.

idc2011curtin01
Type
Reflection
Category
Politics

Welcome to Curtin

Those who have talked about life behind the fences tend to do so with the protection of voice distortion and pixilation. There is good reason for this: any government employee or contractor who leaks operational information about how we treat detained refugees is threatened with detention of their own – up to seven years in prison.

morant
Type
Article
Category
Politics

A slippery bastard

In July 2013, a moot appeal at the Victorian Supreme Court ruled that Harry ‘Breaker’ Morant and his co-accused, George Witton and Peter Handcock, were unfairly tried for crimes committed during the final part of the Second Boer War (1899–1902). The three soldiers were court-martialled for the murder of nine captured Boers, and Morant and Handcock were executed on 27 February 1902. Last year’s non-binding verdict – along with a recent two-part documentary, Breaker Morant

Two-toed_sloth_Costa_Rica_-_cropped
Type
Article
Category
Reading
Writing

‘Cats are out, sloths are in’

‘Hi, John, I’m the intern who’s been assigned to fact-check your article. I was hoping you could clarify how you determined that there are thirty-four strip clubs in the city while the source you’re using says thirty-one.’ So says Jim Fingal to John D’Agata in their co-written book, The Lifespan of a Fact, a text ostensibly based on Fingal’s fact-checking of a D’Agata essay on the suicide of a Las Vegas teenager, published in the Believer.

space
Type
Article
Category
Culture

The last space waltz?

On 21 July 2011, forty-two years and one day after the Apollo 11 Moon landing, NASA’s space shuttle program – a program that had spanned three decades – concluded with the final return trip of Atlantis from the International Space Station (ISS). It felt like the end of an era – and it was. My son had just turned twelve, and it seemed the right time to show him 2001: A Space Odyssey

sontag
Type
Article
Category
Culture

On video game criticism

When I first read your essays in 2012, I became so excited. There, in pieces written half a world away, half a century ago, were the same challenges that a new wave of critics are facing today. Like you, these critics are carving out new discourses and vocabularies around an oft-sidelined cultural form.

maternity wards
Type
Article
Category
Politics

A new thalidomide?

The tumult and the shouting has died down since Julia Gillard delivered a formal apology to the victims of forced adoption, but the single mothers whose children were taken and the thousands of adoptee children affected have not forgotten their pain. It was alleviated by the apology, but big challenges still lie ahead for the adoption community.

bond
Type
Article
Category
Culture
Reading

A proletarian James Bond?

The first James Bond novel, Casino Royale, published in 1953, kickstarted the modern fascination with spies. Well-known spy novelists such as Richard Condon, Alistair MacLean, Frederick Forsyth and John Le Carré, as well as a legion of lesser-known writers and pulp imitators, all followed in Bond’s wake.

OBrien
Type
Fiction

When the bough breaks

This story was published in Overland no 32, spring 1965. For our sixtieth anniversary, Josephine Rowe has revisited this story as part of the ‘Fancy cuts’ project.

file000899068767
Type
Fiction
Category
Writing

Little quiet one

When I opened the door she was so backlit by the afternoon sun that I couldn’t focus properly. In the confusion of her coming inside I think I forgot to welcome her.

DSCF1678
Type
Fiction
Category
Writing

Submerging

The veins on Grandpa’s legs protruded like thick tidal lines. Sam and Caleb scrambled to catch up, their toes vanishing and reappearing in the chalky sand as they trailed him homewards.

file5701308552174
Type
Fiction
Category
Writing

What fear was

Where no farmers had ploughed the trees or settled seeds to graze the soil, where the folded arms of scrub bar gullies, where the wide buttongrass plains swelter under peaks of old quartz …

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Type
Poetry Prize
Category
Writing

Topography

the soles of her sneakers scrape the gritty sand
a butterscotch-ripple-trail, glass and melted stone
and tufts of sunburnt grass that somehow find a way
she charts her steps carefully while I travel in leaps, heroic and haphazard
over the scarred edges of shallow craters containing rust-coloured rain

file0001059808964
Type
Poetry Prize
Category
Writing

Lagrange

We could go, then, to the largest shopping
outlet of this lifetime, where among the
stops is the car park concrete roof we will
aim the car onto, much like Lumiere’s
forehead or Athena’s birth in breech.