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Issue Details: First known date: 2018... 2018 Desert Time
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'Anthony Uhlmann has long been interested in the philosophical function of literature – not only its capacity to contain philosophical discussion, but the formal unfolding of the literary work itself as a philosophical act. St Antony in His Desert, Uhlmann’s first foray into fiction, is an unapologetically cerebral book, incorporating a key debate in the early twentieth-century clash between philosophy and physics.  The tripartite structure of the novel is prefaced by an editor’s foreword, penned by one ‘Anthony Uhlmann’ of Western Sydney University, which is where the author teaches. He has been sent an unfinished typescript – an account of philosopher Henri Bergson’s historic encounter with Albert Einstein – on the verso of which an apparently fictional story is written. The author of these two narratives, we are told, is a priest named Antony Elm, whose brief interjections are also inscribed here and there on the palimpsestic text. The package has been sent to our editor by a nurse working at a hospital in the Northern Territory, to which the priest, perhaps defrocked or disgraced, was taken following his failed attempt at a monastic retreat into the desert. Of Elm the author, we know little more than this. From the opening pages of St Antony – as we parse the editor’s foreword and orient our reading to the multilayered text described – it is clear that the novel’s philosophical preoccupations will inhere as much in its form as in its content.' (Introduction)

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