'Since learning that we are to lose $80,000 a year in funding from 20211, we’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on contemporary literary culture and its public perception.
'To put this figure in perspective, $80,000 is about three editions of the print magazine each year or three roles at the magazine (we only have four positions, or the equivalent of 2.2 full-time staff).
'Anyone involved in the arts or literature is used to precarity: funding and support comes and goes and is often finite; no-one likes to give money to keep the lights on.' (Jacinda Woodhead : Introducing Overland 236, introduction)
'The tabloids revert to tired tropes: Stacey’s ‘heartbroken family’ had been unaware she was supporting herself by stripping; she was a ‘party girl’ whose friends had warned her against working at the club, described by News Corp as ‘a seedy underground den where drug use was rife’. In Daily Mail Australia, Antoinette Aparo, the sister of Salvatore, the club’s owner, insinuated Stacey’s own culpability: ‘I know strip clubs and I know the type of girls who work there.’' (Introduction)
'This sounds cheesy, and in a way it is. And sometimes it doesn’t work. A lifetime in a racist society is hardly undone by one conversation at a door, no matter how convincing. But it is drastically more effective than dismissing or lecturing. If I were to hazard a guess at how the left can win over right-wing voters – and, for that matter, Labor voters who need more than a simple alignment of policy positions with personal concerns – it would be in the articulation of a broad, transformative vision for changing society. This is otherwise known as a politics.' (Introduction)
'Whether through place names, physical monuments or memorial events, the way a country celebrates its heritage sends strong political messages about its identity, as well as those of its inhabitants. It doesn’t take much to realise the symbolic power of historical monuments: some of the most powerful images of the last century show victorious crowds toppling statues of authoritarian leaders after an oppressive regime has collapsed; those doing the dismantling are fully aware that such monuments represent more than the individual depicted.' (Introduction)
'For years now, I have listened to first-hand accounts of the dangers of being overly connected: strangers, acquaintances and friends who either lament their troubled relationship with the internet and its various contributing technologies – email, social media, smartphones, connectedness in general – or who report great benefits to their complexion and psychological health after spending time offline. I believe all these feelings to be plausible and true, even as I am sceptical about the sometimes tacit, often explicit claim that social activities carried out online are inherently less authentic.' (Introduction)
'Television has always been a medium that brings people together. Even when watched alone, it is simulcast into millions of locations, bonding far-flung audiences in a shared zeitgeist. The idea of ‘water-cooler TV’ captures the sense in which we’ve understood TV as a medium experienced simultaneously and reflected upon immediately, among people whose social ties are otherwise loose.' (Introduction)
'Two years ago, two weeks after Christmas, he stops talking to me. ‘Your body has become too depressing to look at.’ One year later he emails to say I’m not to use the word ‘father’ when writing for publication unless a pseudonym is used. He says this after reading a personal essay where the word ‘father’ appears twice.' (Introduction)