fic Coleman
Type
Fiction

Noplace

Message Received 21/06/2051:

MAYDAY MAYDAY MAYDAY. Immediate evacuation requested, sanctuary and aid requested. MAYDAY MAYDAY MAYDAY.

Reply Sent 30/06/2051:

Attn: Noplace, mayday received. Parliament is discussing your situation, expect decision within six months. Please tender more information on your situation to assist with Parliament’s decision. Please state the nature of the emergency.

Biron crop
Type
Essay
Category
Reading
Writing

The eleven best Australian essays of the past 3,533 days

It begins with the admission that my entire life is a facade. I teach but am not a teacher, write but am not a writer, edit but am not an editor, take photographs but am not a photographer. On occasion I have attempted to make art or play music, yet I am the mere simulacrum of an artist, the bare chalk outline of a musician. Moreover, I hold no claim to scholarly influence, nor do I pretend to boast any kind of public reputation. The ultimate confirmation of this – if you enter my name into Wikipedia, it responds: Did you mean: dead bison?

profunda
Type
Article
Category
Fiction
Gentrification

In the grip of Melbourne: revisiting Monkey Grip

Text’s new edition of Helen Garner’s 1977 novel Monkey Grip is an opportunity to revisit the book’s influence on Melbourne. In addition to being widely considered a classic of Australian fiction, Monkey Grip is frequently referred to as an iconic ‘Melbourne’ novel. Certainly, it is a novel absolutely grounded in and shaped by place. For Nora, the narrator and protagonist, it is the locus of the social encounter and emotional intensity on which the book’s narrative depends.

robertaperkinsfinalfinal
Type
Article
Category
History
Queer politics

Remembering Roberta Perkins

Pindi remembers running from the cops with Roberta at her side. It was Darlinghurst in the late 1970s, when being a sex worker was a crime, and transgender sex workers in particular were targeted by police. Scared of being arrested, Pindi stuck out her leg, apologised, and sent her friend flailing to the ground. Through the tumble of her own limbs, Roberta may have seen Pindi dart around a corner and disappear.

6156141184_2288117534_z
Type
Article
Category
translation
War

Like light on the sea floor

Ota Yoko (1903-1963) was the only prominent novelist to survive the bombing of Hiroshima. After it, she wrote only essays and fictional stories, which documented the experiences of victims, carving out the field of atomic literature in which she is renowned. Her obsessive dedication to realistically relating what happened was driven by her conviction that she was the only one left to do so. Burdened by survivor responsibility, she wrote on tranquilisers to dull the visceral trauma triggered by remembering, and struggled to find the right words, saying new vocabulary was needed to render ‘the reality of Hiroshima’.

455111587_8194ef80bd_z
Type
Polemic
Category
Class
The future

From boomer to millennial bust

‘New York Millennial can’t afford to move to DC before her job in Congress starts’ read a recent headline in VICE for an article on how Congressmember-Elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez couldn’t yet afford to move to Washington DC, as the rents in the city are so high.

Not a week goes by without a media report revealing how difficult it is for young people to afford a house; simultaneously, we’re inundated by articles on disgustingly wealthy baby-boomers.

Coonardoo crop
Type
Polemic
Category
Long read
Writing

Subjects of the imagination: on dropping the settler pen

In 1857, English journalist and author Frank Fowler visited the colony of NSW and wrote with much excitement that ‘our fictionists have fallen upon the soil of Australia, like so many industrious diggers and though merely scratching and fossicking the surface have turned up much precious and malleable stuff.’ Fowler’s brief nineteenth-century summation of the Australian literary landscape still resonates today.

6808409460_42f8f372a9_z
Type
Reflection
Category
Climate change
New South Wales

Travelling a darling river

We came from Melbourne up over the Great Dividing Range to be atop the Barrier Range. Then onward to a river camp in the corner country of northwest New South Wales. The idea was to travel once more to the desert, starting at Broken Hill, then camp, explore, immerse ourselves and stay awhile, not just hop from roadside postcard photoshoot to national pretty park, not to blithely pass through.

female jesus
Type
Article
Category
Capitalism
Food

In the act of eating: food culture in late capitalism

Somehow over the last decade, food has become supreme arbiter – moving around the cultural landscape and absorbing our biggest fears and desires, before transforming everything into a café-ready salve. What’s strange about food culture’s claim to authenticity is not so much the baroque propositions – slow food, local food, homemade food – only that the stuff we eat has taken on such a potent, transformative quality in the first place.