y The Sitters single work   novel  
Issue Details: First known date: 1995 1995
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Notes

  • Dedication: for Stephanie.
  • Epigraph: 'The trained hand often knows more than the head' (Paul Klee).
  • Other formats: Also sound recording.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Ringwood, Ringwood - Croydon - Kilsyth area, Melbourne - East, Melbourne, Victoria,: Viking , 1995 .
      Extent: 131p.
      Description: illus., port.
      ISBN: 0670862312
    • Crows Nest, North Sydney - Lane Cove area, Sydney Northern Suburbs, Sydney, New South Wales,: Allen and Unwin , 2003 .
      Extent: 131p.
      ISBN: 174114227X

Works about this Work

Disestablished Worlds : An Introduction to the Novels of Alex Miller Robert Dixon , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Novels of Alex Miller : An Introduction 2012; (p. 1-28)
The Presence of Absence in The Sitters Ronald A. Sharp , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Novels of Alex Miller : An Introduction 2012; (p. 78-88)
'In the second paragraph of Alex Miller's The Sitters (1995) the narrator informs us that his memory of Jessica Keal allows him 'to approach the last enigma of my life - my family and my childhood. That cold legacy of silence and absence' (2). Bernadette Brennan's fine essay on The Sitters, in the context of Maurice Blanchot's meditations on death, notes that the narrator never explains 'why his experience with Jessica has given him the energy to begin painting...his childhood' (104). That it does so is indisputable, and Peter Pierce points us in the right direction, in his article on 'The Solitariness of Alex Miller', when he observes that Jessica functions as 'a Wordsworthian trigger to recover past 'spots of time'' (305). The connection between the frame of the entire narrative - and I use the word 'frame' not only to indicate a narrative frame but also in the sense of a picture frame, since this is a novel that foregrounds the connections between literary and visual art, between a novelist creating a character and a painter creating a portrait.' (Author's introduction 78)
Like/Unlike : Portraiture, Similitude and the Craft of Words in The Sitters Brigitta Olubas , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Novels of Alex Miller : An Introduction 2012; (p. 89-100)
''Portraiture is the art of misrepresentation. It's the art of unlikeness. That's why it's so difficult,' the narrator of The Sitters explains early in his fraught and deeply individual account of painting from life (and death). As the work of painting proceeds, he takes the reader into some of the concerns that have come to characterise Miller's fiction: the dense matter of families and origins, the mechanics of desire and the mediations and complications of art. Within this larger frame, this paper will examine the novel's highly specific concern with the labour of writing and painting, the duplicitous and unreliable crafting of words, lines and images, and will focus on its insistence on the unstable doubleness of words, things and selves.' (Author's abstract: http://sydney.edu.au/arts/australian_literature/images/content/conferences/miller_abstracts2.pdf)
Dougald's Goat : Alex Miller and the Species Barrier David Brooks , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Novels of Alex Miller : An Introduction 2012; (p. 187-200)
'I would like to open with a proposition, a theory if you like, that, in a great many narratives , there is a place, a site, where they confess, or at least pay some acknowledgement to, the stories they have not followed in order to follow the story that they have. Their roadkil, one might facetiously term it, their rejectamenta, their abject. And it is not just stories, it is concepts as well, even or perhaps especially ethical positions: places, sites, where they acknowledge all that has had to be set aside in order for those stories, concepts and ethical positions to come to be. I do not say that they in any way specify or itemise them, or that this acknowledgement is anything but the vaguest symbolisation - indeed, it is so much a matter of the subconscious that it is hard to see how it could be - although in some cases they can take a pronounced and almost indisputable form. In one of the bold philosophical projects of which I sometimes dream, I would in fact go further and attempt to demonstrate a collateral premise that much of our human ethics are based upon a separation from and rejection - abjection is a better term, since this is a matter of our identity and what we do to shore it - of the animal, and that the animal therefore always haunts, unacknowledged, our ethical reflections. Miller's texts, I suggest, are ethical reflections, and so are haunted in this way.' (Author's introduction 187)
y Literary Migrations : White, English-Speaking Migrant Writers in Australia Ingeborg van Teeseling , Wollongong : 2011 Z1860612 2011 single work thesis 'In this thesis, I am arguing that [a] false core/periphery binary has made a particular group of migrants ,-those who are white and have migrated from English-speaking countries - invisible - invisible as migrants, that is. For the writers within this group, this leads to a critical blindness in relation to their work and place within Australian national literature. As a critic, however, I look at the work of Ruth Park, Alex Miller and John Mateer and see it is profoundly influenced by their migrant experience. More often than not they write about themes that are typical of migrant writing: alienation, identity, belonging, home, being in-between cultures, history. For a more appropriate, complete appreciation of their work, this thesis argues that it is imperative to go back to the beginning and return the 'default setting' of migrant to its literal meaning.' [From the author's abstract]
Literature and the Intimate Space of Death Bernadette Brennan , 2008 single work criticism
— Appears in: Antipodes , December vol. 22 no. 2 2008; (p. 103-109)
The essay examines imaginative strategies employed in the attempt to represent the experience of death. Some of Maurice Blanchot's theories about death and dying are utilised to 'negotiate the spaces of absence and death' that inform Alex Miller's The Sitters and Noel Rowe's poem 'Next to Nothing'.
The Solitariness of Alex Miller Peter Pierce , 2004 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Literary Studies , May vol. 21 no. 3 2004; (p. 299-311)
The article presents an overview of Alex Miller's literary career and development as a writer and examines his six novels published to date.
Untitled Ian Adam , 1997 single work review
— Appears in: Australian-Canadian Studies , vol. 15 no. 1 1997; (p. 125-129)

— Review of Emerald Blue Gerald Murnane 1995 selected work short story novella ; The Sitters Alex Miller 1995 single work novel
Alex Miller : Games and Puzzles Robert Sellick , 1996 single work criticism
— Appears in: A Talent(ed) Digger : Creations, Cameos, and Essays in Honour of Anna Rutherford 1996; (p. 443-448)
The Poststructuralist Paint-Box Brian Musgrove , 1996 single work review
— Appears in: LiNQ , May vol. 23 no. 1 1996; (p. 112-114)

— Review of The Sitters Alex Miller 1995 single work novel
Send the Artist Back to the Easel... Daniel R. Willbanks , 1996 single work review
— Appears in: Antipodes , June vol. 10 no. 1 1996; (p. 52-53)

— Review of The Sitters Alex Miller 1995 single work novel
Untitled Daniel R. Willbanks , 1996 single work review
— Appears in: World Literature Today , Spring vol. 70 no. 2 1996; (p. 467)

— Review of The Sitters Alex Miller 1995 single work novel
Untitled Ursula E. Antony , 1996 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Multicultural Book Review , vol. 4 no. 2 1996; (p. 18)

— Review of The Sitters Alex Miller 1995 single work novel
An Interview with Alex Miller Helen Daniel (interviewer), 1995 single work interview
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , May no. 170 1995; (p. 44-46)
Play with the Problem of Evil Jennifer Maiden , 1995 single work review
— Appears in: Overland , Summer no. 141 1995; (p. 82-84)

— Review of The House in the Light Beverley Farmer 1995 single work novel ; Dark Places Kate Grenville 1994 single work novel ; Still Life Rod Wayman 1994 single work novel ; Billy Sunday Rod Jones 1995 single work novel ; The Sitters Alex Miller 1995 single work novel
Fiction Not Fully Imagined Marian Favel Clair Eldridge , 1995 single work review
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 29 April 1995; (p. C10)

— Review of The Sitters Alex Miller 1995 single work novel
Portrait of a Relationship Lacks Third Dimension A. P. Riemer , 1995 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 6 May 1995; (p. 13A)

— Review of The Sitters Alex Miller 1995 single work novel
The Painted Moment Judith Rodriguez , 1995 single work review
— Appears in: The Age , 29 April 1995; (p. 8)

— Review of The Sitters Alex Miller 1995 single work novel
Portrait of the Artist as a Man Simon Hughes , 1995 single work review
— Appears in: The Sunday Age , 7 May 1995; (p. 10)

— Review of The Sitters Alex Miller 1995 single work novel ; The Rose Crossing Nicholas Jose 1994 single work novel
A Portrait of Absence and Silence Veronica Brady , 1995 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , May no. 170 1995; (p. 43-44)

— Review of The Sitters Alex Miller 1995 single work novel
Play with the Problem of Evil Jennifer Maiden , 1995 single work review
— Appears in: Overland , Summer no. 141 1995; (p. 82-84)

— Review of The House in the Light Beverley Farmer 1995 single work novel ; Dark Places Kate Grenville 1994 single work novel ; Still Life Rod Wayman 1994 single work novel ; Billy Sunday Rod Jones 1995 single work novel ; The Sitters Alex Miller 1995 single work novel
Fiction Not Fully Imagined Marian Favel Clair Eldridge , 1995 single work review
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 29 April 1995; (p. C10)

— Review of The Sitters Alex Miller 1995 single work novel
Portrait of a Relationship Lacks Third Dimension A. P. Riemer , 1995 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 6 May 1995; (p. 13A)

— Review of The Sitters Alex Miller 1995 single work novel
The Painted Moment Judith Rodriguez , 1995 single work review
— Appears in: The Age , 29 April 1995; (p. 8)

— Review of The Sitters Alex Miller 1995 single work novel
Portrait of the Artist as a Man Simon Hughes , 1995 single work review
— Appears in: The Sunday Age , 7 May 1995; (p. 10)

— Review of The Sitters Alex Miller 1995 single work novel ; The Rose Crossing Nicholas Jose 1994 single work novel
A Portrait of Absence and Silence Veronica Brady , 1995 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , May no. 170 1995; (p. 43-44)

— Review of The Sitters Alex Miller 1995 single work novel
Between Painting and Language Anne Coombs , 1995 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 27-28 May 1995; (p. rev 8)

— Review of The Sitters Alex Miller 1995 single work novel ; Just a Prostitute Marianne Wood 1995 single work novel
Best Books Janet Chimonyo , 1995 single work review
— Appears in: 24 Hours , June 1995; (p. 32,34)

— Review of The Sitters Alex Miller 1995 single work novel
Still Lives Michael McGirr , 1995 single work review
— Appears in: Eureka Street , June-July vol. 5 no. 5 1995; (p. 44)

— Review of The Sitters Alex Miller 1995 single work novel ; Billy Sunday Rod Jones 1995 single work novel
True Colours John Wright , 1995 single work review
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 24 June 1995; (p. wkd 6)

— Review of The Sitters Alex Miller 1995 single work novel
Art of Reality Katharine England , 1995 single work review
— Appears in: The Advertiser Magazine , 5 August 1995; (p. 9)

— Review of The Sitters Alex Miller 1995 single work novel
Book Reviews Helen Horton , 1995 single work review
— Appears in: Imago : New Writing , Summer vol. 7 no. 3 1995; (p. 139)

— Review of The Sitters Alex Miller 1995 single work novel
The Poststructuralist Paint-Box Brian Musgrove , 1996 single work review
— Appears in: LiNQ , May vol. 23 no. 1 1996; (p. 112-114)

— Review of The Sitters Alex Miller 1995 single work novel
Send the Artist Back to the Easel... Daniel R. Willbanks , 1996 single work review
— Appears in: Antipodes , June vol. 10 no. 1 1996; (p. 52-53)

— Review of The Sitters Alex Miller 1995 single work novel
Untitled Daniel R. Willbanks , 1996 single work review
— Appears in: World Literature Today , Spring vol. 70 no. 2 1996; (p. 467)

— Review of The Sitters Alex Miller 1995 single work novel
Untitled Ursula E. Antony , 1996 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Multicultural Book Review , vol. 4 no. 2 1996; (p. 18)

— Review of The Sitters Alex Miller 1995 single work novel
Untitled Ian Adam , 1997 single work review
— Appears in: Australian-Canadian Studies , vol. 15 no. 1 1997; (p. 125-129)

— Review of Emerald Blue Gerald Murnane 1995 selected work short story novella ; The Sitters Alex Miller 1995 single work novel
The Solitariness of Alex Miller Peter Pierce , 2004 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Literary Studies , May vol. 21 no. 3 2004; (p. 299-311)
The article presents an overview of Alex Miller's literary career and development as a writer and examines his six novels published to date.
Literature and the Intimate Space of Death Bernadette Brennan , 2008 single work criticism
— Appears in: Antipodes , December vol. 22 no. 2 2008; (p. 103-109)
The essay examines imaginative strategies employed in the attempt to represent the experience of death. Some of Maurice Blanchot's theories about death and dying are utilised to 'negotiate the spaces of absence and death' that inform Alex Miller's The Sitters and Noel Rowe's poem 'Next to Nothing'.
y Literary Migrations : White, English-Speaking Migrant Writers in Australia Ingeborg van Teeseling , Wollongong : 2011 Z1860612 2011 single work thesis 'In this thesis, I am arguing that [a] false core/periphery binary has made a particular group of migrants ,-those who are white and have migrated from English-speaking countries - invisible - invisible as migrants, that is. For the writers within this group, this leads to a critical blindness in relation to their work and place within Australian national literature. As a critic, however, I look at the work of Ruth Park, Alex Miller and John Mateer and see it is profoundly influenced by their migrant experience. More often than not they write about themes that are typical of migrant writing: alienation, identity, belonging, home, being in-between cultures, history. For a more appropriate, complete appreciation of their work, this thesis argues that it is imperative to go back to the beginning and return the 'default setting' of migrant to its literal meaning.' [From the author's abstract]
Disestablished Worlds : An Introduction to the Novels of Alex Miller Robert Dixon , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Novels of Alex Miller : An Introduction 2012; (p. 1-28)
The Presence of Absence in The Sitters Ronald A. Sharp , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Novels of Alex Miller : An Introduction 2012; (p. 78-88)
'In the second paragraph of Alex Miller's The Sitters (1995) the narrator informs us that his memory of Jessica Keal allows him 'to approach the last enigma of my life - my family and my childhood. That cold legacy of silence and absence' (2). Bernadette Brennan's fine essay on The Sitters, in the context of Maurice Blanchot's meditations on death, notes that the narrator never explains 'why his experience with Jessica has given him the energy to begin painting...his childhood' (104). That it does so is indisputable, and Peter Pierce points us in the right direction, in his article on 'The Solitariness of Alex Miller', when he observes that Jessica functions as 'a Wordsworthian trigger to recover past 'spots of time'' (305). The connection between the frame of the entire narrative - and I use the word 'frame' not only to indicate a narrative frame but also in the sense of a picture frame, since this is a novel that foregrounds the connections between literary and visual art, between a novelist creating a character and a painter creating a portrait.' (Author's introduction 78)
Like/Unlike : Portraiture, Similitude and the Craft of Words in The Sitters Brigitta Olubas , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Novels of Alex Miller : An Introduction 2012; (p. 89-100)
''Portraiture is the art of misrepresentation. It's the art of unlikeness. That's why it's so difficult,' the narrator of The Sitters explains early in his fraught and deeply individual account of painting from life (and death). As the work of painting proceeds, he takes the reader into some of the concerns that have come to characterise Miller's fiction: the dense matter of families and origins, the mechanics of desire and the mediations and complications of art. Within this larger frame, this paper will examine the novel's highly specific concern with the labour of writing and painting, the duplicitous and unreliable crafting of words, lines and images, and will focus on its insistence on the unstable doubleness of words, things and selves.' (Author's abstract: http://sydney.edu.au/arts/australian_literature/images/content/conferences/miller_abstracts2.pdf)
Dougald's Goat : Alex Miller and the Species Barrier David Brooks , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Novels of Alex Miller : An Introduction 2012; (p. 187-200)
'I would like to open with a proposition, a theory if you like, that, in a great many narratives , there is a place, a site, where they confess, or at least pay some acknowledgement to, the stories they have not followed in order to follow the story that they have. Their roadkil, one might facetiously term it, their rejectamenta, their abject. And it is not just stories, it is concepts as well, even or perhaps especially ethical positions: places, sites, where they acknowledge all that has had to be set aside in order for those stories, concepts and ethical positions to come to be. I do not say that they in any way specify or itemise them, or that this acknowledgement is anything but the vaguest symbolisation - indeed, it is so much a matter of the subconscious that it is hard to see how it could be - although in some cases they can take a pronounced and almost indisputable form. In one of the bold philosophical projects of which I sometimes dream, I would in fact go further and attempt to demonstrate a collateral premise that much of our human ethics are based upon a separation from and rejection - abjection is a better term, since this is a matter of our identity and what we do to shore it - of the animal, and that the animal therefore always haunts, unacknowledged, our ethical reflections. Miller's texts, I suggest, are ethical reflections, and so are haunted in this way.' (Author's introduction 187)
An Interview with Alex Miller Helen Daniel (interviewer), 1995 single work interview
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , May no. 170 1995; (p. 44-46)
Alex Miller : Games and Puzzles Robert Sellick , 1996 single work criticism
— Appears in: A Talent(ed) Digger : Creations, Cameos, and Essays in Honour of Anna Rutherford 1996; (p. 443-448)
Last amended 11 Jul 2006 09:09:19
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