'As I write this, we are still in mourning from a rightwing terror attack on Christchurch that took many lives, and damaged us all. Two weeks ago today, the true and brutal nature of fascism yet again showed its hideous visage.' (Jacinda Woodhead : Editorial introduction)
Contents indexed selectively.
'There is a word I love in Italian for which there is no equivalent in English: dimenticatoio, the place for things you want to forget, or have forgotten already. You might say, for instance, that an old, cherished custom has ended up in the dimenticatoio, a concept you would likely render in English with the phrase ‘has fallen into oblivion’. However, oblivion is not a place. It’s an abstract state of being, or rather of not being. Whereas the linguistic shape of dimenticatoio - formed by the verb dimenticare, ‘to forget’, and the suffix -oio, denoting a place or container for the activity described by the root - evokes something concrete. It could be a room, or a large box. For some reason, I visualise it in my head as a cupboard. (Introduction)
'I would like to acknowledge the Boomwurung and Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation, and pay respect to their elders, past and present, and extend that respect to other Aboriginal people here today.
'I would also like to acknowledge the ancestral stories of our people which we safeguard in the world’s oldest library – the land, seas, skies and atmosphere of this country.
'It is a great honor and privilege to give the 2018 Stephen Murray-Smith Memorial Lecture. One small thing that I have in common with Stephen Murray-Smith is that I also came from a home that was bookless, but even so, I would not have traded a childhood that was enriched every day by the oral storytelling culture of my family and our people. Now I live more than a thousand miles from my home in this beautiful city of literature. I read that Stephen Murray-Smith had unswerving principles about the things he believed in, and I am sometimes like this too.' (Introduction)
'When we think, we make categories - that is how we make things thinkable. We sort reality into orders and hierarchies, from the lowest angels to the highest. This is obviously useful, because everyone does it. In the west, we trace the tradition back to Aristotle.' (Introduction)
'Given the global threat posed by climate change, there could be no more crude and irresponsible statement from a political leader than Tony Abbott’s remark that ‘climate change is crap’. The comment could perhaps be dismissed if it were an isolated tag on a toilet wall (pun intended or not), but it’s much more than that. Abbott was at one time the prime minister of this country, and he has continued to adopt a regressive position on climate change in the years since his removal, with the support of a range of extremist wingmen (and the occasional woman, namely Peta Credlin), to the detriment of his own government, the Australian population and the global community.' (Introduction)
'Books are solitudes in which we meet,’ writes Rebecca Solnit in her 2013 essay collection The Faraway Nearby. But in a crowded literary marketplace, thousands of potential solitudes are jostling to be met in, and it’s easy to choose only the ones that call to us most loudly.' (Introduction)
'When Tinder was invented, I was working at a small design company, run by a friend. I was working on websites, and usability, and talking big to clients about hero images and easy interfaces, and so I pretended I was downloading the app for research purposes. Tinder was different then, when it was still new, still determining exactly what it was and what it might yet be. It was sweeter, maybe, less prone to abrupt endings and ghostings; I think of it as being like those very early films that still look and sound like stage shows, before directors and camera operators figured out what their new medium could do - in those early days, it still resembled actual, amiable, human dating, before it fully came into its own. (Sometimes I think this is why I still stick around.) ' (Introduction)