Blog

And Speak of Miracles

David Malouf

To celebrate our 75th birthday, we’re presenting exceptional works from Meanjin’s past that have defined and challenged Australian literary culture.   I had not sought a miracle. New flesh upon the old wound’s scar, New light in the empty socket, still Tongue struck with prophetic fire. I had no martyr’s faith that love Could kindle the dry thatch of my heart. Or raise, from the ashes white bones give. Such flame, such visionary light. And now, like doubting Thomas, I Must take my logics back and speak Of miracles in this latter day: Unscathed in your body’s flame I walk. […]

9.7 Milligrams of Heaven

Barry Cooper

To celebrate our 75th birthday, we’re presenting exceptional works from Meanjin’s past that have defined and challenged Australian literary culture.   I watched the movie Praise while bombed off my face on codeine tablets late the other night. I like the codeine tablets. They make me able to laugh at things, and when I get real tense in the shoulders they help me relax. I am worried about my kidney or liver though, and my piss in the morning is real yellow. Sometimes I get a pain in the right side of my body down near my stomach, but I […]

Myths and Other Realities of Aboriginal Education

Jim Wafer

To celebrate our 75th birthday, we’re presenting exceptional works from Meanjin’s past that have defined and challenged Australian literary culture. To provide a meaningful counterpoint we will also be publishing a series of creative, critical and insightful responses to these works from contemporary writers and artists. See comic artist Joshua Santospirito’s response Other Aboriginal Realities and Myths of Education.  Driving north from Alice Springs along the Stuart Highway, only two monuments to the civilising influence of Europeans in Central Australia are encountered in the first hundred and thirty miles: the road-houses of Aileron and Tea-tree. Soon after Tea-tree, a turn-off […]

My Sister…

Olive Hopegood

To celebrate our 75th birthday, we’re presenting exceptional works from Meanjin’s past that have defined and challenged Australian literary culture.   (My sisters, let us go mad for God.—St. Theresa.) My sister, let us drink methylated spirits out of the beautiful pliant glasses whispering still of the colour of canals. That will be a little shout beneath the plated cover. Let us tread grapes in the streets ‘till the red wine runs to the gutter. Let us wear furs against our naked skins and give to the rain and wind white linen. Let us toss up our febrile thoughts against […]

As Flames Were My Only Witness

Russell Erwin

To celebrate our 75th birthday, we’re presenting exceptional works from Meanjin’s past that have defined and challenged Australian literary culture.   After three days of wind pounding the midriff of hills and nights of dry lightning fracturing the sky into the crazing of old porcelain it was no surprise when it came. In five minutes a towering cauliflower was spilling white curds, froth and tumultuous blossom, a fractal coolly replicating from a moment that was now far below, with birds like flakes of soot tossed in its turbulence, their cries plangent and scattering, and consumed. Driving beneath into that apricot-soft […]

What I’m Reading—Graham Priest

Graham Priest
800px-Nietzsche1882

Working in New York, with family in Australia, I spend quite a lot of time on airplanes. If I’m not sleeping, I usually work—at least till my brain turns to mush. After that, I usually read. I don’t read fiction much; I prefer philosophy. I figure that there is so much good philosophy I’ve never read, that I’d rather learn about that. Just before I returned to Australia for Christmas, I was buying books as presents in a New York bookstore, and I came across Basic Writings of Nietzsche, an anthology of some of Nietzsche’s books. Nietzsche is an intriguing […]

Autumn

Nazim Hikmet

To celebrate our 75th birthday, we’re presenting exceptional works from Meanjin’s past that have defined and challenged Australian literary culture. The following poem was written by Nazim Hikmet while we was in a Turkish prison, waiting for his wife to visit.   The days are shortening The rains are going to start. My doors, wide open, waited for you. Why are you so late? Upon my table, green peppers, salt and bread. Half the wine that I kept for you in a jar, I drank alone, Waiting for you. Why are you so late? Here, swelling fruits, under branches ripe […]

The Tribesman Welcomes the Scientists

Ian Mudie

To celebrate our 75th birthday, we’re presenting exceptional works from Meanjin’s past that have defined and challenged Australian literary culture. To provide a meaningful counterpoint we will also be publishing a series of creative, critical and insightful responses to these works from contemporary writers and artists.   Yes, here I am awaiting you beside my campfire, awaiting your coming with tents and with trucks, with cushions and comforts and with white flour, and I with my songs, my dances, my weapons, and the sacred objects you will have me sell you; I am awaiting you beside my camp-fire. Yes , […]

What I’m Reading—Katerina Bryant

Katerina Bryant
The Watch Tower

When domestic violence campaigner Rosie Batty first addressed the media after the death of her son Luke she said, ‘I want to tell everybody that family violence happens to everybody. No matter how nice your house is, how intelligent you are. It can happen to anyone, and everyone.’ This idea is brought to life in Elizabeth Harrower’s 1966 novel The Watch Tower, republished recently as part of the Text Classics Series. Protagonist Laura is a young middle-class woman who aspires to be a doctor. She isn’t the stereotyped ‘battered woman’ and her experience represents the pervasive nature of domestic violence; […]