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Subscriberthon 2021

A billion windows

Ludwig Wittgenstein said ‘if a cat could speak, we could not understand her.’ Well, words to that effect. A way of saying that without experiencing a world of sensual life, what could words mean? My human says no, the quote is if a lion could speak, we could not understand him. But honestly what’s the difference? A lion is a cat, no? This sort of quibbling gets you nowhere. My human wants me to say something because she’s too busy wrangling other stories but I’m a kitten; I can’t read and can have no opinion on the stories you like to read or even what a story is. Maybe you are lucky to be able to read and to have endless stories to read; I don’t know.

But I know one thing; old Herr W is right that you could not understand a lion if he spoke to you. But stories – fiction – are the only way you have of trying to enter the worlds of others, to understand their hearts and minds. Look out through their eyes. Stories are likely the only way you will ever have to try to enter in the skin of a lion. I’ve heard that stories at their worst, if they are lies, can narrow your world, turn you against others, feed the flames of hate (flames that burned my ancestors, believed to be witches’ familiars).

The idea it’s wrong to be cruel to the other, even to animals, is recent in your literature and mostly conveyed by animals supposedly speaking for themselves, as in Black Beauty or I Am a Cat. But at their best, stories can open your eyes to those unlike you and even to those who cannot speak for themselves (like me). So please read lots of stories, read widely and read the stories in Overland; my human says they are all about listening to as many different voices as possible, about broadening and deepening how we experience the world and even about living for a time in worlds that never existed except for that story. And that the more of these kinds of stories we read, the more different voices could speak and might be understood.

Wittgenstein also said ‘the limits of my language mean the limits of my world’. This fortunately is not true for me but I think it is mostly true for you and so I would say it is important (and fun!) for you to read widely. Expand your world. I hunt through my house, the indoor plants my jungle; I dash around after flies, twisting and leaping through the air. I dream in so many of its spaces. But you move within a world of language that is as big as you decide it will be. You may think it is bigger than my world of breezes and bird calls and dreaming sixteen hours a day. Maybe it is. But only if you make it so. If I were a human and not a kitten, I would hunt across time and space in endless worlds in the only way possible, through words and stories. My human says the stories in Overland offer unique windows onto other worlds, that the house of fiction has a billion windows and the view is different from each one. I’d peek through all of them if I could.

In solidarity, 
Mabel (the cat)


Today’s prize:

Get Writing!

☟☟☟☟


One-on-one publisher feedback from UQP publisher Aviva Tuffield on a manuscript sample or up to 10,000 words of writing’

How to Pitch online course with Gemma from Global Hobo

The Good Copy Stop. Grammar Time enrolment (online)

Admission to a Faber Academy short or mid length course of your choice 

A one-year subscription to Crikey

The following amazing titles from Transit LoungeNewsouth, and Vagabond:

Hollow Earth by John Kinsella

Almost a Mirror by Kirsten Krauth

The Thinking Woman by Julienne von Loon

Capacity by LK Holt

Cities by Petra White

Watched by Carol Chandler

Clothing the Gaps sticker pack


Major prizes

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Major Prize One
Record Rewind

 

What’s in this major prize?

An absolutely state-of-the-art Audiotechnica turntable from Vinyl Revival

A $50 Vinyl Revival voucher 

A mind-blowing vinyl and beer pairing from Funky Duck Vinyl:

Both Sides of the Sky (Beach Boys) + Blackbilly Sangiovese 

3 x $30Bookshop by Uro vouchers to

Clothing the Gaps sticker pack

✎ ✐

Major Prize Two
Next Big Adventure

What’s in this major prize?

A vintage Yashica point-and-shoot camera from Film Never Die.

5 rolls of Ultramax 400 35mm film

A two-year international subscription to adventure travel magazine Overland Journal

A beautiful ‘Coral’ archival pigment print by Matt Chun

Clothing the Gaps sticker pack


Take me to the subscription options at once!

  

Read all about our incredible sponsors here!

 

Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places.

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Comments

  1. And isn’t a picture said to be worth a thousand words? And I think it was me who said don’t word me. I’ll leave it at that for the time being. Thanks for a stimulating year. Cheers!

  2. Wise words, Mabel. You’re a literary feline and beautiful as well. Who can compete with such a wonderful creature?

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