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y separately published work icon Meanjin periodical issue  
Alternative title: Telling Someone Else's Story
Issue Details: First known date: 2016... vol. 75 no. 4 Summer 2016 of Meanjin est. 1940 Meanjin
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Stories can have a determining power, the authority of the assumed and accepted narrative.

'We all have our own of course, and perhaps the capacity to imagine the stories of hypothetical others. In everyday life that might pass for empathy; in literature it can carry an edge of privilege and controversy. And in fact? In non-fiction?

'In this edition, a timely exploration framed by that great Australian woman of letters Alexis Wright, a long musing on the often vexed intersections between our first peoples and the narrative that explains and explores the Indigenous position in modern Australia. Whose stories are these to tell? Who owns this continuing tale?' (Editorial introduction)


  • Contents indexed selectively.


* Contents derived from the 2016 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
The Great Forgetting : Twenty Years Later, Geoff Page , single work criticism
'I've been asked to reflect on how much (if at all) relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Australia have changed since the publication, 20 years ago, of 'The Great Forgetting', a collaborative book by the late Aboriginal artist Bevan Hayward (Pooraraar) (pronounced 'Poira') (1938-2004) and me. It was published by Aboriginal Studies Press and has just recently gone out of print.'
(p. 8-12)
Letters of a Poet in Exile, Peter Pierce , single work criticism
'In 1961 a woman who would soon be described condescendingly as a Hobart housewife and mother of four punctured one of Australia's most monstrous egos. Her two acrostic sonnets, written under one of the male pseudonyms that she used because of her sense of how poetry by women was undervalued in Australia, was published in the 'Bulletin'. To the petulant rage of its editor, Donald Horne, the pair of poems by 'Walter Lehmann', 'Abelard to Eloise' and 'Eloise to Abelard', had a contemporary satirical point for which the doomed medieval lovers had been enlisted. Read vertically, the initial letters of each line spelled out 'so long Bulletin' 'fuck all editors'. Harwood's first book of poetry, published by Angus and Robertson after unconscionable delays, did not appear until 1964. The Bulletin scandal is what she is perhaps still best remembered for, but her later achievements would lead Clive James at least, and gallantly, to proclaim Harwood as Australia's finest twentieth-century poet.' (Publication abstact)
(p. 16-18)
Australia in Three Books, Hannah Kent , single work essay
I read Elizabeth Jolley's 'The Well' in the first year of my postgraduate study after recognising, in vague, dispiriting shame, that I was ignorant of most writing by Australian women. I'd fed myself on a steady diet of British and North American writers in the heady days of my first years at university, and while I would have earnestly regarded myself as widely read, a feminist and a lover of literature, I had, in my zealous pursuit of 'culture', entirely neglected my own countrywomen. Feeling embarrassed, I picked up 'The Well' out of dry, almost punitive duty to educate myself about my antipodean literary heritage.' (Publication abstract)
(p. 23-25)
The Bad Ideai"No one knows who had it first but soon enough we had the data...", Geoff Page , single work poetry (p. 37)
Is the Personal Still Political?, Dennis Altman , single work essay

'Is Nikki Gemmell right and if so, how does this relate to the 'sexual revolution' we spoke of in the liberationist days of the early 1970s?' (Publication abstract)

(p. 38-46)
The Dog, the Blackbird and the Anxious Mindi"The dog sleeps on the couch as if he's crash-landed", Rachael Mead , single work poetry (p. 45)
Sisters, John Kinsella , single work short story
'One crawled through the window, and another left by taxi. Not immediately, but within half an hour. It took 25 minutes for the cab to arrive, and the older sister, Jessy, stood out in the street waiting, swigging from a bottle of vodka. It was morning. Maybe 9 am. The younger sister, Monica, had called the cab for her. It was the least she could do...' (Publication abstract)
(p. 53-57)
What Happens When You Tell Somebody Else's Story?, Alexis Wright , single work criticism (p. 58-76)
Transporti"He came to our house.", Mark Brandi , single work poetry (p. 82-84)
The Hair Apparent, Katharine Murphy , single work autobiography
'My daughter has just finished school. I contest this fact most days, driving her to distraction. I keep prosecuting the point - darling, it can't be over - because I'm almost certain that in her private life, in the life she enjoys precisely because it exists outside the orbit of my benign parental suffocation, there are practical tasks she may have neglected. I also keep prosecuting the point because there is no other avenue for me to articulate my own incredulity. I'm not sure how we got here. I find rage brimming in me as I contemplate the finality of the milestone. For some reason our local preschool cops the weight of my animus. I drive past it most days, conveying my teenagers to school, driving with heart pounding to work, to get to that radio interview, to that panel I'm supposedly hosting, to get in to work before the car park at Parliament House reaches capacity, to run upstairs to be at my desk in time for a news conference; or driving in less harried fashion in the direction of Civic in times of leisure, crawling mulishly past this totem of our collective past, this prosaic suburban sacred site, which is profoundly indifferent to my current pulses of irrationality.' (Publication abstract)
(p. 85-88)
Marienplatz - Munichi"While at coffee in the Marienplatz you say that possessions, like regrets, are ridiculous", Philip Neilsen , single work poetry (p. 89)
God and I, Andrew Ford , single work autobiography
' I lost my religious faith the day I discovered my father was a fifth columnist. I say lost, though it is perfectly possible I never truly had it. But there I was, 16 years old in my school uniform, wearing a paper badge that read 'Jesus Saves!' or perhaps 'Smile, Jesus Loves You!' - something of the sort. It was about five centimetres in diameter and stuck to the lapel of my blazer. The words, whatever they actually proclaimed, were in orange lettering on a purple background. It was the 1970s.' (Publication abstract)
(p. 101-105)
Cry Wolf, Beejay Silcox , single work short story
'There was once a man who disapproved of me. We caught the same trains to the same places. The 7.32 express into the city; the 6.05 local back again. Twenty minutes in, 30 minutes out. Monday to Friday, ten trips a week, back and forth together. All those shuttled hours and we never spoke to one another, because he disapproved of me. I was certain of it; knew in that wordless way children know which sibling is their parents' favourite. Disapproval is not so different from love. Both are a form of wanting...' (Publication abstract)
(p. 115-117)
The Everyday Injuries, Fiona Wright , single work autobiography
'My friend has just separated from his partner of seven years, for reasons that horrify him because they're so seemingly mundane. He's holding together admirably, his ex-partner is too, but yesterday he almost broke down at a medical centre, filling in a form that asked for an emergency contact, when he realised he didn't know, any more, whom he should nominate. It's the little things, he says. I've got a handle on the big stuff, but the little things still kick me in the guts. I tell him this is always, always how we operate as human beings, that the big things are too abstract, somehow, for us ever really to have to deal with, but the tiny details, the everyday occurrences and injuries are our undoing, as much as they are the things that bring us joy. The small transfers of energy that shock us, sudden and electric.' (Publication abstract)
(p. 125-130)
The Hidden Side to Lovei"All summer, the bees worked between bells of laburnum", Claire Potter , single work poetry (p. 131)
Soaring California, S. K. Kelen , single work poetry (p. 139)
Three Deaths, Zahid Gamieldien , single work short story
'Ali dies first, in 1996, or perhaps it's 1997. He's been travelling through Italy and Greece by himself, on a sabbatical from the academic world that he has come to loathe (he's a professor at York). The pressure to publish work that he finds palimpsestic is becoming excruciating; beneath the words that he prints, he can see the ghosts of the ones he's struck through and erased. He has no new ideas and finds his colleagues in the humanities facile. They can no longer think for themselves, he believes, and he does not exempt himself from this criticism...' (Publication abstract)
(p. 142-147)
Oraculari"'Don't ask me' the wind whispers, and when you check with the middle-aged skater", Aidan Coleman , single work poetry (p. 145)
Remembranceri"Dry-mouthed soothsayers open up the wind with all its false glory, exchanging belief", Anna Nicholson , single work poetry (p. 155)
Write What You Know, Emma Froggatt , single work essay
' I began a writing degree one month after my sister was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. At the time, people would exclaim how fortunate I was to have the opportunity to write about the illness. How insensitive, I thought to myself. This is not literary, it's life.' (Publication abstract)
(p. 160-164)

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Last amended 10 Apr 2017 12:32:11