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Issue Details: First known date: 1952... 1952 Ern Malley's Journal
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

The Autumn 1944 issue of Angry Penguins celebrated the poetry of the deceased Ern Malley, discovered when the poet's sister forwarded a clutch of poems to the editor Max Harris. The poems were later discovered to be a hoax perpetrated by the poets James McAuley and Harold Stewart to expose the aesthetic weaknesses of Australia's modernist movement. Despite the humiliation of the Ern Malley hoax and the subsequent prosecution for publishing indecent material, Harris continued to argue the literary merit of the poetry McAuley and Stewart had intended to be inferior. Most notably, he used the name of the poet for his 1950s extension of the Angry Penguins program, Ern Malley's Journal.

Edited by Harris, John Reed and Barrie Reid, the first number appeared in November 1952, containing poems from Harris, Reid, Joy Hester and others. The journal also supported the short story, initially including contributions from Peter Cowan and Dal Stivens. Most of these writers contributed to later numbers with other contributors including Judith Wright. While not as vigorous as its predecessor, Ern Malley's Journal continued to promote a modernist aesthetic; and like Angry Penguins, Ern Malley's Journal promoted modern art, including reproductions of the work of Charles Blackman, Bob Dickerson and Arthur Boyd.

Ern Malley's Journal survived for only six numbers. The first signs of trouble appeared when the fourth number was published in November 1954, many months overdue. The editorial for that number directed blame outward at what the editors saw as a weak literary culture: 'it is fairly obvious that at the moment there is simply not the volume of creative writing in Australia we had hoped to unearth, nor is there the type of public interest and enthusiasm which best encourages the development of talent.'

The final two numbers appeared during 1955. Without subsidies or a strong subscription base Ern Malley's Journal could not survive. This was Harris's last attempt at a modernist 'little magazine', but he continued to produce magazines, founding and editing, with Geoffrey Dutton, Australian Letters and the Australian Book Review.

Notes

  • RANGE: Vol. 1, no. 1, Nov. 1952 - v. 2, no. 2, Nov. 1955
  • FREQUENCY: Irregular
  • SIZE: 21cm, app. 50 pages
  • PRICE: 4 shillings

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

First known date: 1952

Works about this Work

Angry Penguins and Ern Malley's Journal Peter Cowan , 1981 single work criticism
— Appears in: Cross Currents : Magazines and Newspapers in Australian Literature 1981; (p. 134-147)
Penguins Ride Again Louis Johnson , 1953 single work criticism
— Appears in: Arena , no. 33 1953; (p. 12-13)
Angry Penguins and Ern Malley's Journal Peter Cowan , 1981 single work criticism
— Appears in: Cross Currents : Magazines and Newspapers in Australian Literature 1981; (p. 134-147)
Penguins Ride Again Louis Johnson , 1953 single work criticism
— Appears in: Arena , no. 33 1953; (p. 12-13)
Last amended 7 Jul 2005 13:29:27
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