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Literary Anthology

The Lifted Brow: No. 28 edited by Stephanie Van Schilt, Ellena Savage, and Gillian Terzis

March 2016, no. 379

Melbourne-based 'attack journal', The Lifted Brow, has gone through another evolution. Once teetering on the edge of the defunct-journal abyss, it was reborn in 2015, phoenix-like, bigger and better than ever. The earlier newspaper-style format has been replaced by a quality A4 magazine. There have bee ...

Arrival is the first volume in a new series of literary anthologies comprising previously unpublished fiction, non-fiction, and poetry edited by John Freeman, former editor of UK-based Granta. The book begins with a boring and self-indulgent introduction about the choice of theme: Arrival. Freeman explains that after experiencing serious turbulence ...

‘What is it that distinguishes “the experience of being in the archives” from other types of research?’ The introduction to The Intimate Archive indicates that this is a crucial question underpinning the book. Neither dry repositories of records nor merely the random detritus of lives, archives are understood as constructed artefacts, shaped by cultural and political practices as well as by chance. Their meaning also depends on the historical moment: what is overlooked by one generation of researchers may be important to another. What is regarded as evidence by a researcher trained in literature may be questioned by an historian. Particular interests, as well as factors like gender, may also influence the materials researchers select from papers and how they interpret them.

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‘The Man of Slow Feeling’ is the title story of a selection of Michael Wilding’s short stories published between 1972 and 1985.

These stories vary widely in setting, content, character, tone, but Wilding’s voice is consistent. By ‘voice’ I mean that if I was given an unidentified story in an envelope I’d be able to tell if it was Wilding’s before I was halfway through. It would be a plain, sealed, brown-paper envelope, of course.

The voice I hear is that of the writer as condemned observer. It records experience, it records itself in the midst of experience, it records itself recording. The title story is apt: the man of slow feeling is broken in the attempt to record and experience at the same time. The voice telling the stories is so distinctive that very soon I gave up trying to keep writer and writing separate in my mind. Whether they are first person narratives or not, the stories are intensely personal. They always seem to reveal what the writer chooses to expose of himself.

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Portrait: A west coast collection edited by B.R. Coffey and Wendy Jenkins

August 1986, no. 83

Portrait presents a selection of short stories and poems from twenty-four writers from Western Australia: it celebrates a decade of publishing by the Fremantle Arts Centre Press by recognising (to quote from the brief introduction to this collection) ‘the achievement of writers who have been part of the history of the Press’. As we would now expect from this Arts Centre press, the book is beautifully produced, its stunning cover lifted from a painting by Guy Grey-Smith. In fact, the title of the collection itself announces the link between fine art and the writing this book contains. This is a ‘portrait’ of a publishing house and the writers it has fostered, and the stories and poems are themselves ‘portraits’ of people, places, flora and fauna, streets, and houses – colourful, exotic, introspective, delicate, distanced, isolated.

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