As a high-functioning depressive, I’m good at keeping its muzzle on. But it gets its teeth in every now and then, and its bite is poison. There are toothmarks I don’t look at, because on that day I can hobble around and get things done. Some mornings I wake up and see them bleeding, see the flesh blackening around ancient wounds. Then I wonder how I can deal with anything at all. On those days, all I can see is that black dog. It’s got its teeth in everything.
I have spent many hours in outpatient triage-madness, where so many of our elders die way too young from the heaviest of loads, and my heart still lurches when I drive past this hospital. Being anywhere near it triggers ‘re-memory’: the feeling of an uncanny repetition, an encounter with something deeply social and collective. Toni Morrison speaks of re-memories being ‘out there in the world’, waiting for us to bump into them so we can read the signs and know ‘the things behind the things’. Re-memories help us know the whole story.
As this edition of Overland goes to print, refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru have been protesting for 180 consecutive days about their 1153 days in detention. Twelve hundred adults, children and babies rammed into (repurposed) containers or suffocative tents in a camp where water is scarce and food rotten, where rape and sexual abuse is an everyday occurrence, where escape is sought through self-harm or suicide. Misery and pain goes unheeded; broken bones, infections, diseases and ailments are treated with, at best, Panadol.
REGULARS Editorial – Jacinda Woodhead Natalie Harkin Alison Croggon Mel Campbell Correspondence Contributors FEATURES Tim Robertson Inside the sweatshop of the world Labouring in China Ben Eltham Out of touch Politicians and their salaries Rachel Hennessy Engaged and enraged Why writers…
It was going to happen sooner or later. The shortlist for the Man Booker Prize has thrown into relief fears that were tentatively voiced in 2014, when, in the name of globalism, the competition was first opened to American authors: that a US-UK hegemony would cast its shadow over the literary world, sidelining smaller Commonwealth voices and severely curtailing any purchase on diversity.