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Issue Details: First known date: 2014... 2014 Charmain Clift and George Johnston, Hydra 1960 : The 'Lost' Photographs of James Burke
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'In one of her many essays, Charmian Clift writes of the melancholic experience of feeling like a photograph. She has been asked to address a group of students at Wollongong High School, a school she had attended, and in preparing her speech she turns to a photograph that appears in the school's fiftieth-anniversary commemorative booklet. The photograph depicts a class from Clift's time at the school, 'formally posed with the boys lined up behind the girls and their hands resting on the girls' shoulders' ('On Turning slightly Sepia', p. 48 (see References below)), and as photographs do it evokes in Clift's memory small details that are not evidenced in the image itself: 'I can still see one of those girls arched in a perfect swallow dive, and remember precisely a collar of little pearl buttons on a blue crepe dress that another of them wore to an end-of-term dance that year'(48). The photograph also prompts Clift to consider how different her teenage circumstances were from those of the students she is to speak to, their faces shining with the confidence that faith in the goodness of the future affords. Before those faces now momentarily turned to her, she thinks of herself as the past, and wonders, 'if they realized that standing up before them I knew myself to be curling at the edges and turning slightly sepia' (51).' (Publication abstract)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Meanjin vol. 73 no. 1 2014 7126783 2014 periodical issue

    'In recent months, the ‘W’ word seems to have become increasingly prominent in this country’s public discourse. Concerned educators have used it in reaction to the news of a planned national curriculum review, the Prime Minister used it when explaining his reasons for restricting the flow of information about incoming asylum seekers, and journalists have even used it to describe the current government’s attitude to renewable energies. The word is, of course, war. ' (Introduction)

    pg. 18-37
    Note: still images
Last amended 9 Feb 2017 09:39:24
18-37 Charmain Clift and George Johnston, Hydra 1960 : The 'Lost' Photographs of James Burkesmall AustLit logo Meanjin
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  • Hydra, Greek islands,
    Western Europe, Europe,
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