'Writing has long been recognised as a way of locating the self. As a concept, this functions in multifaceted ways, from the importance of cultural expression and representation, to philosophical and linguistic conceptualisations of subjectivity in language. Emile Benveniste wrote of the fall into language :
'it is in and through language that man constitutes himself as a subject, because language alone establishes the concept of 'ego' in reality, it its reality which is that of the being. '
(From the Editors 8)
Story-telling, the pleasure of sitting in close company and listening to a story, allowing oneself to float free in the moment and enter, both in the senses and in imagination, into the story’s events so that the story becomes our own, must be one of the oldest and earliest of our pleasures—a function of that uniquely human faculty in us, the capacity to step beyond the actual into the possible.
- ‘A Unique and Necessary Form’ by David Malouf
Only literary material within AustLit's scope individually indexed. Other material in this issue includes:
Wayne Price If You Can't See Me, I Can't See You
Carrie Etter The Message
Vahni Capildeo Divination: Linen and Dolphins
Mariko Nagai Occupied State
Jane Monson The Patchwork Boy
Holly Iglesias Suitable for Framing
'Story-telling, the pleasure of sitting in close company and listening to a story, allowing oneself to float free in the moment and enter, both in the senses and in imagination, into the story's events so that the story becomes our own, must be one of the oldest and earliest of our pleasures - a function of that uniquely human faculty in us, the capacity to step beyond the actual into the possible.' (Introduction)
'Julie Dowling yarned up her exhibition Yagu Gurlbarl (Big Secret) with Westerly's Editor of Indigenous Writing, Elfie Shiosaki. This exhibition is touring with Art on the Move in 2018.' (Introduction)
'In 2017, CAN (Community Arts Network) ran its 'Rekindling Stories on Country' program with the Northam Noongar community on Ballardong Country. The participating group chose poetry as a form to share memories, anecdotes an expressions of place, family and local history. Some participants had written poetry in private for many years. Others were keen to try their hand at poetry as a starting point for documenting personal and family stories.' (Introduction)
'In 'The Death of the Author', Roland Bathes develops a post-structuralist approach to the issues of reading, writing, and the relationship between texts and the signs that comprise them. Barthes begins the paper with an illustration of the novella Sarrasine by Honore de Balzac, in which a castrato is disguised as a woman, and of whom Balzac writes the following sentence :'This was woman herself, with her sudden fears, her irrational whims, her instinctive worries, her impetuous boldness, her fussings, and her delicious sensibility' (Balzac in Barthes 142). (Introduction)
'Faces swollen and sticky with tears and dust, they clung to one another.'
Jimmy Casim was a teenager when he came to Australia in the 1880s. He was a deckhand on an Indian cargo vessel, of which his uncle was the bosun (Fraser: 2003). At that time, ships from the subcontinent delivered teams of Afghan cameleers and their camels to Australian ports for the 'opening up' of the inland. They were heady days when his uncle's ship made several trips a year back and forth from Karachi to Fremantle (State Records Office). Jimmy became ill on one of those voyages so with his uncle's encouragement to seek help he 'jumped ship' only to remain the Western Australia for the rest of his life (Fraser: 2013; Goodall et al. 57). Like others from his part of the world the young seafarer merged into a life of indentured labour, and he merged with Aboriginal peoples. Jimmy Casim was my maternal great-grandfather.' (Introduction)