'Much has been written during the last three or four years about Australian fiction. Its possibilities have been discussed from many aspects; and if the participants have lacked discernment they have not been found wanting in patriotism. The subject is too large to be treated adequately in an editorial note, but it is probable that future issues of Desiderata will contain further comments. This increased production of novels by Australian writers makes one wonder as to where the path will lead.
Unquestionably this attempt at self-expression is a healthy sign. Perhaps the trade depression has impelled many to write in the hope of earning a livelihood. Possibly the encouragement of certain successful publications is responsible for some effort. Whatever the cause, in spite of the increased output, there is little sign of improved quality...'(Source: introduction)