'Malouf invites us on an intimate, beautifully described journey into his own past, beginning in his childhood home.
'This remarkable book combines autobiography with a subtle, almost painterly sense of the ways in which the objects which we surround ourselves, and the places in which we live, build up our private maps of reality and shape our personal mythologies. David Malouf begins by describing in love, evocative detail, the house in Brisbane where he was born and grew up, moving from room to room, always relating the smallest items in it to the life he remembers and his widening perception of the world at large. He moves on to describe life in the Tuscan village where he lived, and the arrival of an Australian Television crew; reflecting on his first visit to India, he touches on the problems of interpreting and evaluating unfamiliar places; back in Australia, he recalls a traumatic wartime journey with his father from Brisbane to Sydney. Funny, humane and beautifully written, this is a unique and extraordinary essay in autobiography.'
Source: Publisher's blurb (Vintage reprint). (Sighted: 9/5/2014)
'The spaces of our childhood maintain a particularly enduring hold when they cease to exist or are so reconstructed that the previous version is effectively obliterated. Recollections of an early home that no longer exists provide the framework for David Malouf’s celebrated 12 Edmondstone Street. In this article, I juxtapose Malouf’s experiences with recollections of my own family home in Kyogle, coincidentally situated at the other end of the old railway line that began just a couple of hundred metres from Malouf’s childhood dwelling. In addressing both the similarities and differences between Malouf’s and my own example, the discussion will develop around the fact that in contrast to the physical non-existence of the address of 12 Edmonstone Street, my own family home in Kyogle has not been extinguished; instead, it is today a disfigured ‘renovation’ of its former self. Ultimately, 12 Edmondstone Street – a piece of writing whose poetic power and mnemonic resonance go beyond the mortal limits of physical space – will operate as a literary shelter through which the power of memories of former living spaces can be articulated.' (Publication abstract)
'The folkloric power of place cannot be underestimated. This article examines the importance of David Malouf's childhood home in South Brisbane–12 Edmonstone Place–in shaping the imagination of one of Australia's most celebrated writers. It also addresses another very different kind of South Brisbane architectural site, hairdresser Stefan Ackerie's phallic Skyneedle. What will be considered is how Malouf's now long destroyed weatherboard home preserves the sheen of mythology, whereas Ackerie's all too visible Skyneedle short circuits the very possibility of being legendary because of its vertical omnipresence.'
'The essay addresses the poetic dimension of David Malouf's novels, suggesting that a poetics of possibility can be found in all his work. The poetics of possibility is a function both of Malouf’s thematic interest in the future and of his use of poetic language to draw the reader to imagine various kinds of ways of experiencing and knowing the world. The essay draws upon the philosophy of Ernst Bloch to illuminate the utopian dimension of Malouf’s work, whether in seeing the radiance of possibility in simple objects, the silent ‘presence’ at the centre of language, or the possibility of a different kind of future that Australian society might have experienced.' (Publication abstract)