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Vicki Viidikas Vicki Viidikas i(A2339 works by)
Born: Established: 25 Sep 1948 Sydney, New South Wales, ; Died: Ceased: 27 Nov 1998 Sydney, New South Wales,
Gender: Female
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BiographyHistory

Vicki Viidikas was born in Sydney to an Estonian father and an Anglo-Australian mother. She left school and home at age 15, and then worked at a string of casual jobs, briefly studying art, whilst gravitating towards the bohemian subcultures of inner-city Sydney. During the later 1960s she was briefly married to artist Bob Finlayson (1940-2001), who was perhaps one of the first people to recognise her talent.

Viidikas' poetry and fiction began appearing in alternative literary magazines in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and she quickly emerged as one of the most original voices of the 'new writing' movement which appeared in Australia at this time. However, whilst many of her works gained wider attention via anthologies and also her own published collections, her early promise was never to translate into a more substantial or influential literary career. Her refusal of the comfortable and the conventional inevitably estranged her from the mainstream, and her unwillingness to compromise with publishers meant that little of her work actually made it into print. Although she continued to write, Viidikas became increasingly invisible to the literary world, living on the margins of society. As Michael Wilding (q. v.) has written, 'In that time-honoured tradition of the avant-garde artist, she preferred bohemia to bourgeois existence, and she preferred the demi-monde to bohemia'.

Viidikas travelled widely - to Europe and the Middle East, and to India, where she lived for over a decade in the 1970s and 1980s. Like a number of her contemporaries, her life was marked by long-term drug addiction, which undoubtedly shaped her artistic vision, but also brought tragedy to her life. In a brief 1977 Australian Literary Studies autobiographical piece she wrote : ' I like all the writers who are out of step, and I guess that's what I try to write about myself, the realities of subcultures in Western society such as bohemians, junkies, criminals, prostitutes, atheists, homosexuals, or people who are just plain amoral...I'm only interested in creating out of the subconscious, on writing on "what I don't know", as a way of putting it.'

The Australian Defence Force Academy Library, Canberra, holds a significant collection of Viidikas' personal papers and manuscript material.

Most Referenced Works

Last amended 3 Jun 2011 00:22:19
Influence on:
Love and Wigs : Poems of Bangkok, Bollywood and Beyond Barry Scott , 2003 selected work poetry
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