None of the women have much to say, but they sure look great striding around in their helmets and breastplates, muscles gleaming in the shimmery light of the Aegean sea.
Rorty, who died in 2007, was one of our most compassionate philosophers. You can gauge his worth by the fact that he seemed to get under the skin of just about everybody, occupying a transient between-space in a manner off-putting to commentators who spend careers building conceptual fortresses behind which to protect their worldview.
Among the various portentous ‘deaths’ that seem to be befalling contemporary culture – the death of the ‘manly man’, the death of ‘Australian values’, the death of the personal essay – is the lesser-known apparent death of the editor. In a 2008 long-read for Essays in Criticism, Harvard University’s J Stephen Murphy lamented the slow demise of my long-beloved profession, largely as a result of the changes to the publishing landscape wrought by new media and their ostensible democratisation of writing and literature.
You shall know me by the books I kept.
I realise that it is a romantic and questionable notion, applying only to some people and in limited ways. But I live by the example of my parents, for whom books and reading were tools of emancipation.
Seventeen weeks after they moved to the city, Sofia stole her boyfriend’s mouth. She’d been toying with the idea, on and off, for months. She knew it was the lazy way out. She didn’t want things to just be handed to her – she wanted to work, to grow. She had been to the Volkshochschule and sat on a hard chair for three hours waiting to be given a number to be given a lesson.
Whether you’re an emerging writer or you’ve been around the traps for a while now, Overland is sure to have an opportunity for you.
6.30pm, Thursday 17 August
The Wheeler Centre, Melbourne
Drawing on MIFF’s Sci-fi retrospective and looking at how cinema harnesses contemporary anxieties to show us where we might be headed, some of the best minds around dissect the darker corners of the future in this panel discussion about Dystopia on Film.
A complete* collection of Australian Prime Ministers, Dave Drayton’s P(oe)Ms is the neat, satisfying, wordplay that haters of poetry (and me) often forget is its benchmark. These kinds of engaging, playful works are increasingly coming from younger poets – politically and technologically on top of it, and very present. Or is that prescient? Anyway, P(oe)Ms is funny. Very.
Workers are providing free labour for Shires and private companies, and they face eight weeks suspension if they miss work. ‘It’s a form of slavery,’ Matthew Ryan explains. ‘We’re working hard for peanuts. People are hungry under the CDP changes … There’s less money to provide food for the kids. It’s starving our people … you might as well give us rations, like back in the old days.’
A few years back, News Corp was warning, almost every week, about antisemitism in Australia. Invariably, the claims were bogus: more about slating the Greens and the BDS movement than genuinely exposing bigotry. Today, with a small but significant coterie of genuine antisemites raising their heads, we find News Corps again in the thick of the action: not calling out the racists, mind you, but providing them with political cover.
Clicking from source to source, I’m not surprised to find the same detailed descriptions of her clothes over and over. ‘She is believed to be aged in her 20s wearing a black long sleeved top, blue denim shorts and white runners …’ I wonder what I am supposed to deduce from this information.
The words come from another time, but they spoke to the real significance of Corbyn’s appearance on Glastonbury’s mainstage. Shelly wrote The Masque of Anarchy to mark the occasion of the Peterloo Massacre. An occasion when, on another summer day 198 years prior, a rally of between 60,000 and 100,000 English workers was violently attacked by a local militia, while peacefully protesting for the right to elect their MPs.
In Ta-Nehisi Coates’s powerful polemic Between the World and Me, racism in America is seen as the equivalent of a physical law of the universe, a cosmic injustice with tenacious gravity. When a cop kills a black man, Coates explains, the officer should be understood as ‘a force of nature, the helpless agent of our world’s physical laws.’ Society is equally helpless against this natural order because in America, ‘it is traditional to destroy the black body – it is heritage’.
At the start of the 2013 school year I stood at the front of a school gymnasium and outed myself as transgender to 250 Year 10 students. I believed myself to be a pragmatist. I was about to commence a medical transition that would alter my voice and appearance. I had changed my name. Disclosing my transition to the students whom I saw every day was an inevitability.
Screening of Dead-End Drive-In
From 9.30pm, Saturday 12 August at The Astor, Melbourne
In the spring issue of 1972, Overland published the short story ‘Crabs’ by then little-known writer from Bacchus Marsh, Peter Carey. In 1986, ‘Crabs’ was made into the film, Dead End Drive-In. To celebrate the forty-fifth anniversary of the story, Overland has teamed up with the Melbourne International Film Festival.
Who, I wonder, will play Elon Musk in the inevitable biopic? Were such a film made tomorrow, it would be easy to imagine John Barrowman in the lead role. Beyond the obvious physical similarities – square-jawed and Hollywood B-list handsome – both are around fifty, and exude that slight exoticness that comes from having attained US citizenship after being born elsewhere (Musk in Pretoria, Barrowman in Glasgow).
It’s been almost ten years since 21-year-old Australian Jock Palfreeman found himself alone one night in Sofia, Bulgaria, confronted by a group of fascist football hooligans he’d witnessed attack two Roma men. In the ensuing altercation Jock was injured and one of the gang, a young man called Andrey Monov, was fatally stabbed.
Among the jumble of papers in my desk drawer are some disturbing notes I made in the Wellcome Library a few years ago. I was in London researching how medical scientists took possession of the dead for dissection during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It was proving to be a dark tale: I found accounts of body-snatching and of mutilated corpses being unceremoniously disposed of in crude coffins alongside rubbish and animal parts. As my research continued, I noticed that details that had initially shocked me no longer did – until, that is, the day I read about Richard Berry’s activities at the Stoke Park Colony for Mentally Defective Children, near Bristol.
We must also avoid fixating on who is appearing where and in what publisher’s singularities and for how many pages. I will mention author names, but will make no judgements on the quality of writing being produced. I want to further constrain my focus to standalone typeset publications, whether they eventuate on paper or in portable document format. Once I cut into and explore the ensuing projects, they will oxidise before you even finish reading this. That is what makes micro-press publishing, specifically of poetry, exciting.