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Brendan Atkins

The Australian Museum is starting to develop something of a literary landscape of its own. This is not so much through official publications such as Ronald Strahan’s Rare and Curious Specimens (1979) or the flagship magazine in its various incarnations from Australian Natural History to Explore. Rather, it is through more creative or expansive stories of the weird, wonderful, and personable, from Tim Flannery’s amusingly fictionalised historical recounting of The Mystery of the Venus Island Fetish (2014) to James Bradley’s disturbing future fiction The Deep Field (1999). Museum spaces – front and back of house – have an intriguing capacity to inspire and document their own strange and evolving histories.

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