Essays

 

The Eureka Flag

The Eureka Flag

Len Fox
March, 1945, March, 1945, March, 1945, March, 1947
A pleasing feature of the recently published volume of plays by Louis Esson, The Southern Cross, is that the Eureka flag is correctly drawn in the design on the jacket. To most people the design may look wrong. We've been ...
Nagging at the Daemon

Nagging at the Daemon

AA Phillips
Summer 1946
'The artist is responsible.' He must 'concern himself with present-day social and political problems.' So asserts a Meanjin editorial. It seems a reasonable, almost a necessary demand. The diseased state of our body politic has its origins in the detribalisation ...
Is the Critic Creative?

Is the Critic Creative?

Leslie Rees
Autumn 1946
Critics have always been the bad boys of the literary family. 'You know who the critics are?' asked the novelist Disraeli. 'The men who have failed in literature and art.' Byron and Dr. Johnson were equally scathing about critics, accusing them of ...
Slessor in Reply to Elliott

Slessor in Reply to Elliott

Kenneth Slessor
September, 1945
It is not my practice to review reviewers except on questions of accuracy. In his criticism of my One Hundred Poems (Meanjin Vol. 4, No. 2) Mr Brian Elliott publishes a number of inaccuracies which call for correction. I am ...
Home Again Heroes

Home Again Heroes

Norman Bartlett
Winter 1945
. . . Victory's grey fingers tap Icily on our window pane . . . These lines from a modern French poem by Louis Cauchois express something of the mood in which Europe greets the chill dawn of peace. The ...
A Principle and a Policy

A Principle and a Policy

Arthur Phillips
Winter 1945
What have we to build upon? The desolate ruins of a once reputable commercial theatre, and the germinal activity of the amateur groups. On the credit side, much energetic enthusiasm, a fair supply of potentially effective actors, and an audience ...
A Quarterly of Literature

A Quarterly of Literature

Clem Christesen
Spring 1945
Move then with new desires; For where we used to build and love Is no man’s land, and only ghosts can live Between two fires. — C. Day Lewis  This is the first peace-time issue of Meanjin. A series of ...
The Intelligentsia

The Intelligentsia

Arthur Koestler
Autumn 1945
Intelligentsia is one of those terms difficult to define, but easy to associate. It is logically blurred but emotionally vivid, sur­rounded with a halo, or rather several halos which overlap and vary according to period and place. One may list ...
The Spectre of the Magi

The Spectre of the Magi

Elyne Mitchell
Winter 1944
Cold mist had lain all the day through—breaking with vestiges of sunlight and sudden sights of snow as we left the sheepyards—but now enfolding us entirely with thick, damp touch. The breath of the three horses steamed, mist-blending. Hooves trotting, ...
The Poet in Wartime

The Poet in Wartime

Donovan Clarke
Summer 1943
Historically considered, there are three categories of writing, corresponding to three cultural epochs or phases of civilization—the bardic, the conventional and the truly creative. The bard is the earliest articulate man, differentiated from his fellows by nothing but that articulateness ...
Accent on Music-Making

Accent on Music-Making

Margaret Sutherland
Winter 1943
Until recently music has been largely an imported commodity. Most of our musical life centred round the visits to this country of artists from abroad. In other words, it was imposed on, rather than growing within, the community. In order ...
Letter from Tom Collins

Letter from Tom Collins

Joe Furphy
Summer 1942
Shepparton February 18th, 1904 Dear Mr. Stephens, Sincere thanks for all the contents of your letter. ATHENAEUM man is a heart of oak—no reed shaken by a cat's paw. And when a critic of such displacement gives me a bit ...
The Case for Critics (Letter to Tom Collins)

The Case for Critics (Letter to Tom Collins)

Kylie Tennant
Spring 1942
It was indigestble. Enormous sentences unrolled themselves like strips of fly-paper on which the mind dangled bumbling and bewildered. Those sentences were written by a word-intoxicated man, wallowing, positively wallowing, in print. All that magnificent material, all that humour and ...
Battle

Battle

Vance Palmer
March 1942
The next few months may decide not only whether we are to survive as a nation, but whether we deserve to survive. As yet none of our achievements prove it, at any rate in the sight of the outer world ...
Henry Lawson

Henry Lawson

Miles Franklin
Summer 1942
We meet here to offer a tribute of gratitude and affection to the life and work of one of our most dearly loved Australians. Academic practitioners of letters concern themselves with the appraisal of Henry Lawson. It has been their ...