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Issue Details: First known date: 2017... 2017 Ekphrastic Effects in Helen Garner’s The Children’s Bach
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Helen Garner's 1984 novella, The Children's Bach opens with a description and commentary on the famous photograph of Alfred Lord Tennyson and his family taken en pleine air at their house on the Isle of Wight in 1862:

'Dexter found, in a magazine. a photograph of the poet Tennyson, his wife and their two sons walking in the garden of their house on the Isle of Wight. To the modern eye it is a shocking picture: they are all, with the exception of the great man himself, bundled up in such enormous, incapacitating garments. Eye-line: Tennyson looks into the middle distance. His wife, holding his arm and standing very close to his side, gazes up into his face. One boy holds his father's hand and looks up at him. The other boy holds his mother's and looks into the camera with a weak, rueful expression. Behind them, out of focus, twinkles the windy foliage of a great garden. Their shadows fall across the lawn: they have just taken a step. Tennyson's hands are large square paws, held up awkwardly at stomach level. His wife's face is gaunt and her eyes are set in deep sockets. It is a photo of a family. The wind puffs out the huge stiff curved sleeve of the woman's dress, and brushes back off his forehead the long hair of the father's boy who is turned towards the drama of his parents' faces; though he is holding his father's hand, he is separate from the group, and light shows between his tightly buttoned torso and his father's leg.' (Introduction)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Southerly Mixed Messages vol. 77 no. 3 2017 14149814 2017 periodical issue

    'The theme of this issue, Mixed Messages, relates in the main to a thread running through the essays, all of which engage with texts that challenge the limits of genre. These challenges include the status and influence of what might be termed a secondary genre deployed by writers whose renown is based on another form: Brigitta Olubas considers the short fiction of novelist Shirley Hazzard; and Cheryl Taylor introduces the poetry of novelist Thea Astley. Kate Livett delves into the mixed media, specifically music and photography, at the core of Helen Garner’s The Children’s Bach, and Peter Kirkpatrick examines the fusion of Gothic and Romance forms in Chloe Hooper’s The Engagement, and David Brooks thinks through the miscenegy of the human and the non-human in relation to the famous scene of Derrida standing naked before his cat. Another strand in the issue is of comedy and errors and includes fiction by Debra Adelaide, John Kinsella, Mark Macrossan, Sara Bucholz, Nasrin Mahoutchi, Niki Tulk and Scott McCulloch. The poetry spans its usual wide range from the lyric to graphic experimentation and the reviews introduce some of the exciting new work published across creative and critical forms.' (Publication abstract)

    pg. 66-82
Last amended 2 Aug 2018 08:45:16
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