Accessibility Tools

  • Content scaling 100%
  • Font size 100%
  • Line height 100%
  • Letter spacing 100%


Unlike his compatriot Jan Vermeer, Rembrandt van Rijn was never forgotten. Like a Beethoven of visual art, he has always been a beacon and has always inspired later artists. Famous for his biblical storytelling on a symphonic scale, he was also a supreme portraitist and master of the self-portrait in oils (he made more than forty). Public familiarity with Rembrandt’s oeuvre in the centuries before photography came from his unmatched mastery of the artist’s print.

... (read more)

Walt Whitman’s famous line ‘I sing the body electric’ could well serve as the epilogue to Etchings 2, whose dynamic offerings are gathered under the theme of connectivity and the generation of energy. indeed, being ‘wired’ has become a predominant feature of modern existence. This is obviously true of our relationship to the internet and of our addiction to instantaneous transactions and connections. Yet we are wired in other ways as well. To be wired is also to be anxious and edgy; it implies a disconnection, a nervous distance. The pieces showcased in Etchings 2 examine the multifariousness of this experience.

... (read more)

Famous Reporter edited by Ralph Wessman et al. (eds) & Etchings edited by Sabine Hopfer, Christopher Lappas and Patrick Allington

February 2007, no. 288

Here we have one brand new literary journal, Etchings, and one which, by comparison, is practically geriatric: Famous Reporter. There is now a proliferation of literary journals, and SPUNC (Small Press Underground Networking Community) has emerged to advance their cause. We know that mainstream publishing is producing less diverse material, and that it is increasingly not Australian. The vast majority of publishing in Australia, as Michael Wilding has highlighted, is now done by local branches of big transnational corporations. Malcolm Knox has revealed the ‘governing management principles’ of such organisations. These include ‘segmentation and internal competition’: whereas in the past a publisher subsidised ‘book sections’, now a publisher will say ‘each of these books is a discrete unit and is at war with each other unit, and if the CSIRO Diet Book does well, we will reward the diet books section with the money to repeat that success. And if the poets continue to languish, we’ll have no more poetry.’ Poetry, of course, was effectively given the flick by mainstream publishers Penguin and OUP in the 1990s. As Mark Davis says, publishers are now akin to gamblers who ‘back winners’. This may always have been true, but now they’re putting more money on the favourites and none on the roughies. In this environment, literary journals that publish poetry are crucial to maintaining a diverse local literary culture.

... (read more)