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Literary musings from your contemporaries

Old Narratives, New Narrators

By Nasrin Mahoutchi-Hosaini Karl-Heinz Stierle writes, “The prototype of the narrator, is the storyteller. We have a quite definite conception of him: he is old rather than young; in fairytales he is the kind uncle or—if it is a woman—the kind aunt or grandmother. He...

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The Modern Persian Short Story

By Nasrin Mahoutchi-Hosaini The modern Persian short story is almost a century old and arrived to Persia via the translation of writers such as Chekhov, Poe, Kafka, and Gogol. When in 20’s and 30’s the Iranian government aimed at modernising the country it allowed...

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The Female Voice in Contemporary Persian Literature

By Nasrin Mahoutchi-Hosaini A new diverse and dynamic literary landscape has emerged since the 1978-79 revolution in Iran, “…a fusion of creative resistance and resistant creatively[1].” New male and female writers have succeeded in bringing fresh aesthetic principals...

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Reading Under Candlelight

By Nasrin Mahoutchi-Hosaini During the war between Iran and Iraq (1980-1988), there were constant curfews and darkness. My family used one of our big family rooms to sit, eat, read and even sleep in. At night, it was like a dark classroom with students from different...

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Post (mortem) cards #4: Hodie Mihi, Cras Tibi

By Chloe Wilson I attended Catholic schools and went through all their various rituals: dreaming up things to confess to our sleepy parish priest; allowing communion wafers to adhere to my palate; flicking through hymn books to find the most amusing hymn to request...

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Post (mortem) cards #3: Who Can Be Against Us?

By Chloe Wilson Headline writers seem to find toilets irresistible. Search for the Faggiano Museum in Lecce, Puglia, and the title of every result will mention that its existence is owed to a broken toilet and one man’s obsessive quest to restore functional...

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Post (mortem) Cards #2: We Follow (Because) We Are Virgins

By Chloe Wilson I’m not sure what drew me to read the one- and two-star reviews for Palermo’s Catacombe dei Cappuccini (Capuchin Catacombs). Perhaps it was their inherent potential for absurdity — there’s something so tenaciously churlish in taking the time and effort...

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Post (mortem) cards #1: Ohimè (Oh Me)

By Chloe Wilson In Palermo, I came across a portrait of a rather unhappy-looking nun. The image was cluttered with accoutrements demonstrating her piety: a spindly bunch of white flowers, a crucifix, a crown of thorns. For all that, her expression was sullen, or...

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Metal Gear Socialist

By Mark Steven   In Lenin’s Plan for Monumental Propaganda, first announced in April 1918, we encounter a moment of direct, unmediated contact between state power and the aesthetic regime. Lenin’s objective was a public art that affirmed socialism by using the...

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The Poetry of Reaction

By Mark Steven September 1884. Battle Mountain, Queensland. 100 kilometers northeast of Mount Isa, deep in the Cloncurry Ranges. Land-owning stationmaster Alexander Kennedy and Sub Inspector Frederick Charles Urquhart lead a mounted assault against the region’s...

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Marxism’s Australian Origins

By Mark Steven     Here’s my hypothesis: the Russian Revolution of 1917 is an indictment of the thing we call Australia. That sounds ludicrous, but only because it’s a statement that wants for mediation. To make good on this claim we need to establish a...

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Moscow, 1917 – Sydney, 2017.

By Mark Steven October 2017. One hundred years since the Russian Revolution. This profoundly universalist event transformed global politics, it recast the twentieth century as a battle for real emancipation, and it did so with a frontal assault on capitalism and its...

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Emplacement

by Jessica White ‘One can never fault a Brisbane winter,’ I smugly tell my friends in the south. The air is mild, the light golden, and one only needs a jumper in the evenings. Come summer, though, it’s a different story. I’m far from smug when I’m lying on the couch...

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Extending Our Selves

by Jessica White Every afternoon after school, I changed my black school shoes for joggers and ran through the paddocks for half an hour. On weekends I ran through the hills at the back of our house, my joggers slipping on bark and leaf litter. Heat rose from the...

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Romance and the Deaf Girl

by Jessica White The bus trip from our family property to primary school in town took forty minutes, and with my siblings and cousins aboard, it was a noisy journey. I sat on the left hand side of the bus, so that if someone spoke to me I’d be able to hear them with...

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Fierce/Peace: The Creativity of Disability

by Jessica White Everything begins with the body. With lying on a trampoline on a spring morning, the season in which wattle bursts across dun hills and chilly air tickles bare legs. Except now it scrapes my cheeks and the clear light hurts my eyes. An ache spills...

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New monthly blogger – Jessica White!

An enormous thanks to David Musgrave for his fascinating posts. Our newest monthly blogger is Jessica White. Her bio is below. Jessica is the author of A Curious Intimacy and Entitlement. Her short stories, essays and poems have appeared widely in Australian and...

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Does Australia Need an ICAC for Poetry?

by David Musgrave I’ve been running a publishing company for over 12 years now, and as part of this series of blogs for Southerly, I’ve been asked to write on some aspect of the inner workings of a publishing company, and so I will – on the most important part, which...

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Inside-out or outside-in?

by David Musgrave In May I had the good fortune to be invited to the 4th China-Australia Literary Forum in Guangzhou. There I met four Chinese poets: Yang Ke, whose work I was already familiar with through Simon Patton’s translations, Xi Chuan, Professor at Beijing...

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On Smokeflowers and Hawaiian Pizza

by David Musgrave   A little while ago I returned from three months living in Beijing and found my world subtly changed. I’d gone there with the intention of continuing my study of Mandarin, but in a more intensive fashion than hitherto, and succeeded in that aim...

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July Monthly Blogger – David Musgrave!

A huge thanks to Marija Peričić for her excellent posts. Our blogger this month is David Musgrave. You can read all about him below: David Musgrave has published six collections of poetry, the most recent being Anatomy of Voice (GloriaSMH, 2016) and a novel, Glissando...

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Hearing Voices

by Marija Peričić In my ideal world, I’d live alone in my own apartment, which would be in a small block, filled with books and houseplants and perhaps a cat. The apartment would have large windows, be on the first floor, and look out over a lovely garden. This pretty...

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Why is a literary hoax?

by Marija Peričić   A middle-aged woman poses as a transgender teenage boy; an Anglo-Australian man pretends to be an Indigenous woman; an Anglo-Australian woman assumes a Ukrainian immigrant identity. On the surface, the idea of a literary hoax seems straightforward...

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Why read novels?

by Marija Peričić   “There’s more to life than books you know, but not much more.”                                                 – The Smiths   As an emerging author, and as a reader, every few years I get a small chill of horror as a spate of...

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Stories of stories.

by Marija Peričić “The Universe is made of stories, not of atoms.” – Muriel Rukeyser, “The Speed of Darkness”, 1968.       All we are is stories, and the telling of them, the hearing and writing of them. Stories fill the whole world, and all of...

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A Short History Of My Sentimental Education

By Moreno Giovannoni A Sentimental Education My father who died a few weeks ago left me a legacy. He left me the Italian language and Italy and he left me a book. Working backwards through that list of three, the book he left buried inside me and I had to work hard to...

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A Short History Of Writing (or I Am Not A Writer)

by Moreno Giovannoni Dear Reader   There is a lot of writing about “the Writer’s Life”. This is not an example, except in  passing.   First of all, you must understand, I am not a writer.   Why I Wrote A Book   I just wanted to...

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A Short History Of Reading

by Moreno Giovannoni   John Clarke, who died a month ago, said it:   Our minds were on fire at that age.   He was talking about the creativity he discovered in himself when he went to university. In my late teens and early twenties which is more or less...

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A Short History Of The Italian language

by Moreno Giovannoni   Morè.   Morè.   Only an Italian can say that properly and there’s only one person left who calls me that. The rest are dead.   The first words I ever heard were Italian ones. The first word I ever spoke was an Italian word – papà....

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