'Somewhere around 1988, Australian literature changed.
'When the Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature was published at the end of winter in 2009, there was a one-day forum to discuss it at the State Library of New South Wales. It featured, among others, an assortment of full professors, including both of the country’s Professors of Australian Literature, Robert Dixon from Sydney and Philip Mead from Perth, and the anthology’s general editor, Nicholas Jose. One session featured all of the section editors, of whom I was one. In the course of a discussion about the Ozlit canon and what we thought had happened to it, we were asked when we had first registered that ‘the canon’ as we had all known it in the 1970s and 1980s had begun to break up, after the fashion of polar ice. My answer felt glib at the time even to me, but over three years later and after a great deal of thought, it would still be the same: ‘ASAL Parody Night, 1988.’' (Introduction)