AustLit logo
Issue Details: First known date: 2016... 2016 Form, Experience, and Desire : Frank Moorhouse’s 1970s Cycles as Experimental Writing
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.

AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Toward the end of Frank Moorhouse's 1977 collection Tales of Mystery and Romance, there is a scene where the narrator-protagonist argues with his would-be lover and rival, Milton, over apparently esoteric matters. The dispute hinges on the possibility of mystical experience, which, according to Milton, is out of reach for the protagonist because he is immature and overly dependent on an unreflective skepticism. Milton is accusatory: "You never experience anything, do you" (122). Milton tells the protagonist that he is "way back on the path of personal development" (127). The protagonist muses, in contrast, that Zen is a cop-out because experience is an unresolved problem that cannot be addressed by "reconstructing the mind" (126). As the pair argue, the protagonist becomes distracted by sexual jealousy, seeing a photograph of Milton and a young man as evidence of the kind of intimacy that he had himself sought with his friend. The scene ends with a displacement of these conflicts as the protagonist confronts some Hare Krishnas in the street, having with them the argument he could not resolve with Milton. Rather than leading to any sort of resolution, this displacement exacerbates the tense ambiguity of the book's central relationship.' (Introduction)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Antipodes vol. 30 no. 1 June 2016 10531896 2016 periodical issue 2016 pg. 89-102
Last amended 6 Jan 2017 11:00:39
89-102 Form, Experience, and Desire : Frank Moorhouse’s 1970s Cycles as Experimental Writingsmall AustLit logo Antipodes
X