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y separately published work icon Axiomatic single work   prose  
Issue Details: First known date: 2018... 2018 Axiomatic
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'The past shapes the present – they teach us that in schools and universities. (Shapes?  Infiltrates, more like; imbues, infuses.) This past cannot be visited like an ageing aunt. It doesn’t live in little zoo enclosures. Half the time, this past is nothing less than the beating heart of the present. So, how to speak of the searing, unpindownable power that the past – ours, our family’s, our culture’s – wields in the present?

'Stories are not enough, even though they are essential. And books about history, books of psychology – the best of them take us closer, but still not close enough.

'Maria Tumarkin's Axiomatic is a boundary-shifting fusion of thinking, storytelling, reportage and meditation. It takes as its starting point five axioms:

  • ‘Give Me a Child Before the Age of Seven and I’ll Give You the Woman’
  • ‘History Repeats Itself…’
  • ‘Those Who Forget the Past are Condemned to Repeat It’
  • ‘You Can’t Enter The Same River Twice’
  • ‘Time Heals All Wounds’

'These beliefs—or intuitions—about the role the past plays in our present are often evoked as if they are timeless and self-evident truths. It is precisely because they are neither, yet still we are persuaded by them, that they tell us a great deal about the forces that shape our culture and the way we live. 

'Axiomatic is Tumarkin's fourth book of non-fiction, and her most pioneering. Her three previous books, Otherland  (2010), Courage  (2007), and Traumascapes  (2005), have each and all been critically acclaimed and shortlisted for major prizes.

'More than seven full and long years in the making, and utilising her time as a Sidney Myer Creative Fellow, Axiomatic actively seeks to reset the non-fiction form in Australia.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Melbourne, Victoria,: Brow Books , 2018 .
      image of person or book cover 463597395137787672.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 256p.p.
      ISBN: 9781925704051

Works about this Work

Noted : Axiomatic Helen Elliott , 2018 single work review
— Appears in: The Monthly , June no. 145 2018; (p. 64)
Maria Tumarkin : Axiomatic AF , 2018 single work column
— Appears in: The Saturday Paper , 19-25 May 2018;

'Axiomatic is the fourth work of nonfiction by Maria Tumarkin, one of Australia’s most urgent and necessary writers, but it is the first to keep her accent – the first to fully register the impolitic intensity of her prose and breadth of her world view. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it is also her best.' (Introduction)

Maria Tumarkin : Axiomatic AF , 2018 single work column
— Appears in: The Saturday Paper , 19-25 May 2018;

'Axiomatic is the fourth work of nonfiction by Maria Tumarkin, one of Australia’s most urgent and necessary writers, but it is the first to keep her accent – the first to fully register the impolitic intensity of her prose and breadth of her world view. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it is also her best.' (Introduction)

Noted : Axiomatic Helen Elliott , 2018 single work review
— Appears in: The Monthly , June no. 145 2018; (p. 64)
Last amended 15 Mar 2018 15:20:12
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