Robert Dessaix: As I Was Saying

Grand illusion

Jane Goodall


by Robert Dessaix
Vintage, $27.95 pb, 224 pp, 9781742753072


‘I’m sitting in my tower, cogitating.’ Well, Dessaix admits, it’s not a real tower, though he likes to think of it that way. Actually, it is an elevated writing room in his house in Hobart, with a view of the mountains to the west. He is cogitating, not meditating – he’s particular about this – and the thoughts he proceeds to capture on the page are those of a mind given to rambling. As he sits there, the train of thought moves off to connect him with other writers in other towers, widely distant in place and time: Vita Sackville-West at Sissinghurst in Kent, Michel de Montaigne in rural France, W.B. Yeats in County Galway, Rainer Maria Rilke at the Château de Muzot in Switzerland.

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Published in March 2012 no. 339
Jane Goodall

Jane Goodall

Jane Goodall is a freelance writer and adjunct professor with the Writing and Society Research Group, University of Western Sydney. Her work has appeared recently in Griffith Review, Inside Story, and The Conversation. She won the Calibre Prize in 2009.