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samedi 31 mars 2012

Writing internationally: workshops and journeys

Get away to write - Desert, Bali, Laos, Burma, Morocco - Booking Now!


Desert Writers Workshop in Tjilpa Valley NT

Do you need support for your writing process?
Are you dreaming of getting away, somewhere, anywhere, just to write?

Writers Journey offers intensive programs for writers in inspiring international locations.

With the guidance of writing tutor JAN CORNALL, you can work on a current writing project or start a new one. In daily workshops and reading sessions you will revise the essential elements of writing craft relevant to your work and receive feedback and critiquing in a supportive and creative atmosphere.

If you like the idea but are thinking it sounds just a little too indulgent, all the more reason to do it. How much time do you really devote to your writing? Yes I thought so. You and your writing project deserve better than that! If you could spend time in a great location in the company of other writers and a skilled tutor, no meals to cook, bills to pay, other people to look after - only you and your writing, why wouldn’t you? For less than the cost of one meal out per week you could have the writing experience of a lifetime!

WRITER’S JOURNEYS

Walk and write the central desert along the Larapinta Trail near Alice Springs. Rediscover your creativity on the edge of volcanic caldera in Bali. Find your writer’s voice by the Mekong River in Laos. Explore the vast plain of temples in Burma’s ancient city, Bagan. Ride a Moroccan caravan into the heart of your story.

Take your pick of our annual journeys and book today!

Fiji Writers Lab – March

Desert Writers – June

Backstage Bali – July

Mekong Meditations – November

Burma Temple Tour – December

Moroccan Caravan – January

COACHING & MENTORING
In the meantime if you are looking for mentoring and coaching closer to home, Writers Journey has a range of packages to suit your writing needs.

Weekly Wake Up Call – 30-minute check in calls at the beginning and end of the week.

Desperate Debrief – a once off session to unload or discuss ANY creative problem.

Kreatif Kickstart – series of three weekly or fortnightly sessions to kickstart your writing project.

Six Week Stint – weekly creative development sessions towards a six week deadline.

Troubleshoot – work on a particular creative problem over three, six or nine sessions.

Procrastinators Purge – a six week program designed to cure you of writer’s block forever.

The Real Deal – frank and supportive feedback on your draft manuscript.

Check the prices here: http://www.writersjourney.com.au/workshops/mentoring/

FREE PROCRASTINATION ANTIDOTE

Take advantage of our subscription offer and receive a free Avoidance Busters eBook with tricks and tips for beating procrastination and writers block.

Subscribe today and get your free eBook and support package.

ALL PRICES, BOOKING & INFO www.writersjourney.com.au

CONTACT JAN: jnana@ozemail.com.au M: +61415921303

vendredi 30 mars 2012

Call for essay proposals: Teaching Australian and New Zealand literature



Essay proposals are invited for a volume in the MLA’s Options for Teaching series entitled Teaching Australian and New Zealand Literature, to be edited by Nicholas Birns, Nicole Moore, and Sarah Shieff. The volume is designed to offer teachers strategies for teaching Australian and New Zealand literature in a range of global contexts.

The opening section will help instructors orient students to the histories, contexts, and concerns of these national literatures, both as they differ from and resemble each other. A second section will offer approaches to teaching canonical figures such as Patrick White, Christina Stead, Janet Frame, and Witi Ihimaera. A third will discuss teaching techniques emphasizing global, Asia-Pacific, and postcolonial connections, and a fourth will address the teaching of Australian and New Zealand literature in a variety of courses (for example, as part of a course on children’s literature, on literature and the environment, or on Indigenous literatures) and classroom settings.

If you are interested in contributing an essay (3,000-3,500 words) to one of these sections, please send a summary proposal to Nicholas Birns (birnsn@newschool.edu), Nicole Moore (n.moore@adfa.edu.au), or Sarah Shieff (sshieff@waikato.ac.nz) by 1 August 2012.


This call for proposals is also available at http://www.mla.org/options_australian_nz.

Tim Storrier's self-portrait wins Archibald Prize 2012


Tim Storrier

Title
The histrionic wayfarer (after Bosch)

Tim Storrier was represented in last year’s Archibald Prize with another self-portrait without a face. Entitled Moon boy (self-portrait as a young man), the figure was represented by a suit of empty clothes hanging as if on a scarecrow in a barren landscape.

This year’s self-portrait is, as he notes, a work in a quite different mood. ‘It refers to a painting by Hieronymus Bosch called The wayfarer painted in 1510 where the figure is believed to be choosing a path or possibly the prodigal son returning,’ says Storrier. ‘It also has other references, I believe, but they are rather clouded in biblical history and time.

‘A carapace of burden is depicted in The histrionic wayfarer, clothed in the tools to sustain the intrigue of a metaphysical survey. Provisions, art materials, books, papers, bedding, compass and maps, all for the journey through the landscape of the artist’s mind, accompanied by Smudge, the critic and guide of the whole enterprise.’

Though there is no face to identify him, Storrier believes that identity is made clear by the clothes and equipment carried. Storrier has included a drawing of himself in the painting, scribbled on a piece of paper being blown away by the wind.

Born in Sydney in 1949, Storrier studied at the National Art School in East Sydney and now lives and works in Bathurst. Renowned for his mysterious, poignant landscapes that capture the melancholy vastness of the Australian outback, he has exhibited all over Australia and in Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, New York and London. He won the Sulman Prize in 1968 at age 19 – the youngest artist ever to received the prestigious award – and again in 1984. His work has been collected by all major Australian art museums and is included in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the National Gallery of Australia and the Art Gallery of New South Wales among others. In 1994, he was awarded an Order of Australia (AM) for services to art.

mercredi 28 mars 2012

Miles Franklin Longlist

The Trust Company, as Trustee of The Franklin Fund, has announced the longlist for this year’s Miles Franklin Literary Award. From a pool of sixty-one entries, the judges have longlisted thirteen novels for the $50,000 prize.

The longlist comprises: Blood by Tony Birch, Spirit of Progress by Steven Carroll, Spirit House by Mark Dapin, The Precipice by Virginia Dugan, All That I Am by Anna Funder, Sarah Thornhill by Kate Grenville, Five Bells by Gail Jones, Foal’s Bread by Gillian Mears, Autumn Laing by Alex Miller, Cold Light by Frank Moorhouse, Past the Shallows by Favel Parrett, The Street Sweeper by Elliot Perlman and Animal People by Charlotte Wood.

Speaking on behalf of the judging panel, Professor Gillian Whitlock, Australian Research Council Professorial Fellow at the University of Queensland, noted the ‘strength of historical fiction in the contemporary novel’.

The 2012 shortlist will be announced on 3 May at the State Library of New South Wales with the winner announced at an award event at the State Library of Queensland on 20 June 2012.

To read the longlist media release, click here; for more information on the award in general, go to the Miles Franklin Literary Award website.

samedi 24 mars 2012

Patrick White's centenary - cocktail reception

28 May 2012 marks the centenary of the birth of Patrick White. To celebrate, the Association for the Study of Australian Literature (ASAL) will host a cocktail reception, followed by a film screening of Fred Schepisi’s The Eye of the Storm (2011), based on Patrick White's 1973 novel. The film will be introduced by Producer, Antony Waddington, and Professor Emerita Elizabeth Webby (University of Sydney). A flyer is available at www.asaliterature.com.

Date: Monday 28 May 2012
Time: 6pm-­7 reception, 7-­7.20 introduction, 7.20 film screening.
Venue: Dendy Opera Quays
Price: $37.50 (includes film, refreshments and hors d'oeuvres).

Seating is strictly limited to 150 people. To register, visit:
https://www.registernow.com.au/secure/Register.aspx?ID=5810.

For further details, contact:
Bernadette Brennan
bernadette.brennan@sydney.edu.au

Trouble's analytics report

Good news everyone! Our FEB stats have been compiled. Here is our monthly analytics report that shows how clever your descision to advertise in Trouble has been. We had a massive total of 36,054 page views and 22,028 visits recorded on our own site for Feb issue, and much more besides. We have a #1 Google ranking in searches for 'trouble', which places us higher than both Wikipedia and dictionary.com.

See also our editorial report below, detailing how busy we've been generating and sharing content across multiple platforms. The February issue is still available to view on our ISSUU newsstand.

Re-making Trouble as an exclusively online magazine has been an incredibly challenging experience, but the rewards have been equal to the challenge. I think we can afford to say now that it has been an amazing success. The enthusiasm of our readers has been gratifying, and the patience and support of our listers and advertisers remarkable.

Thanks from Team Trouble

Soon in Trouble!

ABOVE: Roy Lichtenstein, Crak! 1963–64, colour lithograph. National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Purchased 1996 © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein. Licensed by Viscopy. BELOW: Marion Manifold, Le Sphinx 2010, linocut.

Well, we promised a little Lichtenstein for you this April and that's what we're delivering. Stay tuned to Trouble, and by the time Roy Lichtenstein: A Pop Remix opens at Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery on the 19th, you will be fully versed in this artist's oeuvre, and much more besides. We have a host of other goodies lined up including images from printmaker Marion Manifold, who has been busy beheading Marie Antoinette all over again for her show at Art Gallery Ballarat (opening this Friday), while Jean-François Vernay gives us both barrels with an article on surrealist painter Charles Billich, as well as his usual view on Stralian Books, this month asking 'Are Books in Trouble?' ...

If you were to rank all cinematic endevours based on risk potential, literature adaptations would unquestionably be right near the top. Adaptation of one medium to another of significant difference is a process that rarely goes smoothly, frequently running afoul of narrative, pacing and developmental issues, as the components unique to each medium come crashing together. ...

The APRIL ISSUE of Trouble will go online from 1st April 2012.

Look out for our APRIL issue of Trouble, uploading on 1st April 2012.

mardi 20 mars 2012

ASAL 2012 Conference: ‘The Colonies’

4-7 July
Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand


Thanks to the large number of excellent papers proposed for ‘The Colonies’ we have decided to run the conference for an extra day. 4 July will be devoted to the postgraduate Masterclass and ASAL Executive meeting. On the evening of 4 July will be the Barry Andrews Address, the ASAL awards ceremony and the welcome party. The main programme will run from 5 to 7 July.

Acceptance letters will be arriving soon, and we expect the registration website to be up shortly. The conference will be held in Rutherford House, which is part of the downtown campus – near the Railway Station.

Conference attendees should arrange their own accommodation. There are a large number of Hotels and B&Bs in Wellington. Hotels within walking distance of the conference venue include: Novotel, Rydges, Intercontinental, Ibis, Bolton, Kingsgate Hotel.

The following website is useful for arranging accommodation: www.wellingtonnz.com/accommodation.

Masterclass Series: Readerships and reception

NATIONAL CENTRE FOR AUSTRALIAN STUDIES
SCHOOL OF JOURNALISM, AUSTRALIAN & INDIGENOUS STUDIES
presents

‘READERSHIPS AND RECEPTION’

A MASTERCLASS SERIES

Reception and the negotiation of meaning are key concerns in the field
of cultural production, particularly in relation to authorship,
publishing, journalism, television and now digital media. This
Masterclass Series will concentrate on the ways in which we understand
the activity of readers and audiences and the ways they make sense of
cultural products. We will consider them spatially, temporally and
materially, and will cut across a range of reception practices from
in-depth reading to online browsing. How can we as researchers engage
with these changing forms and practices of readership? What might we
gain by bringing together insights from different media and contexts
of reception? These Masterclasses bring together an illustrious,
interdisciplinary panel of Australian and international experts to
address these questions.

MASTERCLASS ONE: Friday 30th March 2012

‘The Persistent Audience’


‘To counter the Jay Rosen proposal that what we are dealing with now
is “the people formerly known as the audience” - at least in theory
and approach!’

Prof. Sue Turnbull (University of Wollongong)

When: Friday 30th March 2012 (9.30am – 4.00pm) Where: The Wheeler
Centre, Melbourne



Keywords: television, reception, readership, audience, memory

Dr Sue Turnbull is Professor of Communication and Media Studies at the
University of Wollongong. Her research interests include media
education, media audiences and television studies. She is currently
writing a book on television crime drama for Edinburgh University
Press and has recently co-edited a collection of essays with Dr Kate
Darian–Smith entitled Remembering Television (forthcoming 2012), which
brings together television history and memory studies. She is a former
President of the Australian and New Zealand Communication Association
and currently editor of the academic journal Media International
Australia as well as co-editor of Particip@tions, the online journal
of audience and reception studies. Sue is a frequent television and
radio commentator and is crime-fiction reviewer for The Sydney Morning
Herald.

Enquiries: Jinna.Tay@monash.edu or Louise.Poland@monash.edu
RSVP: Robert.Kelly@monash.edu
Please include a 100-word expression of interest. Readings will be provided.

jeudi 15 mars 2012

Opening tonight: Darren Gannon


Opening tonight: Darren Gannon | 6 - 8pm, Thursday 15 March

Please join us for drinks with Hazelhurst Prize finalist Darren Gannon

6 - 8pm, Thursday 15th March

15 March - 3 April 2012 | 1046 High Street Armadale, Melbourne Australia | PH 03 9509 8292

Lourigan Collection 'A Piece of History' catalogue

Archibald Prize 2012 Packing Room Prize Winner


Raelene Sharp A strength of character, John Wood Archibald Prize 2012 Packing Room Prize winner

Melbourne artist Raelene Sharp has been awarded the Packing Room Prize in conjunction with the 2012 Archibald Prize for her portrait of actor John Wood.

See the painting

John Wood is one of Australia’s favourite actors with a career spanning over 40 years. He starred in Network Seven’s Blue Heelers for eight years, winning a Gold Logie in 2006 after being nominated ten times in a row. He has also won several Silver Logies for his work in Blue Heelers, Rafferty’s Rules and Power without Glory.

Sharp visited Wood in his home where she sketched him as they talked and got to know each other. “His dogs kept jumping into his lap so it wasn’t easy,” she says. Wood then did several sittings in Sharp’s (dog-free) studio.

Sharp decided to focus on Wood’s very recognisable, well-known face. “I did a few studies of him to find the right look in order to represent his personality. We have now become quite good friends.”

Born in Melbourne in 1957, Sharp began her career as a graphic artist. She now concentrates on portraiture, although she also paints in other genres. She has received many corporate and university portrait commissions. She is a five-time finalist in the Shirley Hannan National Portrait Award, winning in 2006. She has also been a finalist in the James Farrell Self Portrait Award and the Black Swan Prize for Portraiture among others, and has been hung in Melbourne’s Hidden Faces of the Archibald Prize – the Victorian equivalent of the Salon des Refuses. She is part of Fusion6, which has had two successful portrait exhibitions in recent years. This is her first time in the Archibald Prize.

The Packing Room Prize gives the gallery staff who receive the entries for the Archibald a chance to vote for their favourite Archibald portrait. This is the Gallery’s head storeman Steve Peter’s 29th Archibald and the 21st Packing Room Prize.

Raelene receives $1,000 and a $500 ANZ debit card.

Finalists for the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes were also announced today details available on the Gallery’s website at www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au

This year there were 839 Archibald entries, 783 Wynne and 654 Sulman entries.

Archibald opens to the public on Saturday 31 March 2012.

On view
31 Mar – 3 Jun 2012
Art Gallery of New South Wales
Art Gallery Road, The Domain, Sydney

Admission
$10.00, $8.00 concession

mardi 13 mars 2012

Writer's Profile: Lee Kofman


Lee Kofman, the author of three fiction books (in Hebrew), emigrated to Australia in 2000. Her fiction, creative non-fiction and poetry in English have been published in Australia in Australian Best Stories 2007, Modern Australian Short Stories 2008, Griffith Review, Heat, Westerly, and more, and in US, UK and Scotland. She is the recipient of the Australian Council grant, the Varuna Flagship Fellowship, KSP writer-in-residence, Varuna Awards Masterclass, Booranga writers’ centre fellowship, ASA mentorship and Rosebank fellowship. She holds MA of Creative Writing (the University of Melbourne), teaches writing and mentors writers. Lee’s memoir-in-progress has been shortlisted for the Harpers Collins Varuna Award 2012.
Here's the link to her most recent publication:

http://griffithreview.com/edition-35-surviving/passion-in-a-time-of-war


Her memoir-in-progress has been shortlisted for Harpers Collins Varuna Awards 2012 and she is currently one of the two judges in the nonfiction section in the Telescope writing competition (Scope organisation). Her course 'Taming the Beast: managing the creative process' in Writers Victoria will begin in July. Enrollments are open.

Book Launch: Brandl & Schlesinger releases a new work


Ester was a four-year-old child during the Holocaust in Poland when she was told that both her parents had been killed. In Letter from my Father Dasia Black (born Ester Hadasa), a psychologist, tells of her struggle as a child to survive the loss of her family, her name and identity.

Please join us to celebrate the launch of

Dasia Black’s memoir

Letter from my Father

published by Brandl & Schlesinger,

to be launched by

Diane Armstrong

at Gleebooks Upstairs

49 Glebe Point Road, Glebe 2037

On Tuesday 27 March 2012 at 6.00 for 6.30 pm

RSVP

www.gleebooks.com.au/events

9660 2333

or

vsumegi@brandl.com.au


mercredi 7 mars 2012

CONFERENCE: “Transculturation and Aesthetics”


BERGEN (Norway) 31 AUGUST - 2 SEPTEMBER, 2012

To mark the close of the three-year Nordforsk funded project on Literary Transculturation an international conference open to all interested will be held at the University of Bergen. This conference aims to bring together the concerns previously explored in the Network's research seminars/symposia, opening them up to a wider conceptualization of transculturalism.

The meaning of the transcultural and the aesthetic expression of this is the site of muchcontemporary thinking in the wake of postcolonialism. Issues of borders and border-crossings are of central interest, be they geographical, epistemological, cultural, personal, temporal, or symbolic. The notion of writing history “to reconstruct on entirely new terms” (Attwell) is fraught with theoretical perplexities. This is very much what underlies theories of globalization processes, and of course it is not coincidental that precisely postcolonial theories of culture and identity politics have so strongly influenced how we understand our own current and interconnected realities. This interconnectedness, of routes/roots and cultures, is not a phenomenon “elsewhere;” it increasingly circumscribes and describes the realities and lives lived in our own contemporary societies, evident in the processes of migration, border crossings and responses to an integrated Europe.

The literary expression of this is a key element in understanding this world, not least since literary transculturation is linked to other cultural phenomena from folklore to film, further emphasizing the need for creating and developing interdisciplinary approaches. The emphasis on the simultaneity of multiple sites, heterogeneity and heterochronos is important in helping to create an understanding of the contemporary cultural and social aspects of everyday life.

Papers or panels (of three) are invited on topics including but not limited to:

• Theories and methodologies of transculturalism

• The aesthetics of literary transculturation

• Memory and storytelling

• Identity and border-crossing

• Transcultural v.postcolonial

• Translated identities and cultures

• Place and dislocation

• Configurations of belonging and identity

• Mismatching perspectives

• Transcultural indigeneity



Plenary speakers:

Dominica Dipio (Uganda): "Negotiating Transcultural Identities in African Literature: Timothy Wangusa's Upon This Mountain and Ngugi wa Thiongo's The River Between"

Norma Klahn (U.S.): "Re-Plotting Border Imaginaries: A Tale of Two Cities"

Ato Quayson (Canada): Periods vs. Concepts: Space-making and the Question of Postcolonial Literary History"

Richard Rodriguez (U.S.): "After the Border Wall is Built"


Deadline for abstracts of up to 300 words: April 11th, 2012.

All abstracts should be submitted to Anne.Ronning@if.uib.no

Registration fee for non-network members: €150, which includes lunch and coffee breaks all days, reception Friday, and conference dinner Saturday.

Accommodation: The conference takes place at historical Hotel Grand Terminus. For room reservations please contact the hotel directly at http://www.ght.no/en/

The conference starts at 10.am on August 31st and ends 4.p.m. Sunday afternoon. The City of Bergen will host a reception Friday evening at 7 pm for the conference participants at historical Schøtt stuene.

If there is sufficient interest for the Norway in a Nutshell tour either the day before or the day after the conference, this can be arranged. Please notify the organiser if you wish to book a trip.

For queries regarding the conference, please contact Anne.Ronning@if.uib.no or lene.johannessen@if.uib.no

LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING YOU IN BERGEN!

Lethbridge Gallery presents Jodie Wells

Exhibition Opening: Darren Gannon

Please join us for drinks with Hazelhurst Prize finalist Darren Gannon

6 - 8pm, Thursday 15th March

15 March - 3 April 2012 | 1046 High Street Armadale, Melbourne Australia | PH 03 9509 8292

Click here to view the exhibition

Images top row:
Clouds and Shadows, acrylic on canvas,
76 x 61cm
The Blue Lake, acrylic on canvas, 76 x 61cm
Spring Melt, acrylic on canvas, 76 x 61cm

Images bottom row:
The Lake, Dusk, acrylic on canvas,
76 x 61cm
Rock, ice, Water 2, acrylic on canvas, 76 x 61cm
Rock, Ice, Water, acrylic on canvas,
76 x 61cm



Exhibition: The Bright The Bold & The Beautiful


The Bright The Bold & The Beautiful

A Vibrant & Colourful Celebration of Indigenous Australian Women

artwork: Angelina Tjaduwa Woods, Minyma Kutjara Tjukurrpa (Two Sisters) 200x149cm

All the works have now arrived and the show is hung ready for the celebration tomorrow night!

Click here to view the exhibition online or here to download the price list

Opening International Women's Day Tuesday 8th March 2012 at 6pm
To be officially opened by Fashionista artist Jenny Kee



Coo-ee Aboriginal Art Gallery 
31 Lamrock Avenue, Bondi Beach

To view the invite if it does not download please click here

Click here to view the exhibition online

Click here to download the price list


An exhibition curated as a bright and colourful celebration of female Indigenous women young and old from across the country. The artworks and the artists have all been chosen to represent an inspirational and powerful group of Australian women. 



Artists include: Sally Gabori, Rosella Namok, Emily Kngwarreye, Gloria Petyarre, Eubena Nampitjin, Lorna Fencer Naparrula, Maggie Napangardi Watson, Christine Yukenbarri and Minnie Pwerle. 




Artist Painting Workshop Date to be confirmed

To be conducted with leading Lockhart River Artist, Rosella Namok

Cost: $65 includes materials

Booking essential for the workshop as places are limited. You can express your interest and we will contact you once the date and time are confirmed.

RSVP: info@cooeeart.com.au or (02) 9300 9233

Coo-ee Aboriginal Art Gallery 
31 Lamrock Avenue, Bondi Beach


Organised in conjunction with International Women's Day and Art Month Sydney


Helen Tyalmuty McCarthy, Landmarks, 2012, 150x120cm

Emily Kame Kngwarreye, 230 x 165 cm

Eileen Taritja Stevens, Piltarti, 2005, 140 x 174 cm Sally Gabori, Dibirdibi Country, 2009, 154 x 104 cm


Click here to view all the works in this exhibition

dimanche 4 mars 2012

Get into Trouble in March

We've been caught with a smoking nun in March issue of Trouble. It's actor Naomi Parszos playing Sister Catherine in Nuns at The Imperial Hotel in Erskinville (NSW) this month. The new mag has landed with a hefty thump, weighing in at 98 pages – officially our biggest issue ever!

Inside, Huffington Post blogger Jay Weston gives us a unique view from the diamond encrusted bunkers of L.A. High Society, accompanied by a graceful pic from Grace Kelly: Style Icon at Bendigo Art Gallery. We also have our longest feature article yet from Inga Walton, on the National Gallery of Australia's Renaissance exhibition.

Elsewhere, Liza Dezfouli interviews Tina C. (UK cabaret performer Christopher Green), who is doing a show about saying sorry at the Malthouse Theatre this month. Katy Mutton goes north to give us A Short Stay at the Art Vault (Mildura), while Ben Laycok heads south to MONA in Tassie. We also have an interview with Jeff Khan, curator of NEW12 at ACCA, plus March Melburnin', Greenwish#4, and Stralian Books with Jean-François Vernay - this month discussing the poetic works of Philip Salom.

You can read it all from the LATEST ISSUE tab at troublemag.com, or at our online newsstand ISSUU. We have some BACK ISSUES available there too. The ISSUU reader works beautifully with iPads, pods and phones, so you can bookmark it now and take it home with you to read over the weekend – perfect!

A couple of featured images below ... click and flick to page 41 and our MARCH SALON to see many gorgeous others.

vendredi 2 mars 2012

Stralian Books: P.S. – Philip Salom or the Poetic Streak

http://www.troublemag.com/index.php

In TROUBLE MAGAZINE

Raised in rural Western Australia, Philip Salom started publishing poetry before engaging with the novel. Since The Silent Piano (1980), he has authored another thirteen collections of poetry, some of which have been rewarded with esteemed prizes. Salom belongs to that cluster of Australian writers (like Patrick White, David Malouf, Christopher Koch, Peter Goldsworthy, Randolph Stow and Sallie Muirden) who have imported their poetic proclivity in the novel, for the greatest benefit of the latter genre.

Playback (2001), which won the WA Premiers Prize for fiction, is a subtle regional mystery novel that unfolds in a fictitious country town called Windrup and involves a “gifted listener” keen on oral history, Jack Biner, who is well aware that he “can only collect what people remember”. In this narrative informed with Salom’s formative background in agriculture, Jack, a folklorist by trade, gets caught in the detective game that lures him in. To cut a long story short: people talk, speculate and suddenly comes the revelation.

In Toccata and Rain (2004), a narrative of poetic bent that has a lot to share with his debut novel, Salom iterates his interweaving of storytelling and memory issues, peppered with mentions of explicit sex (when it comes to sexuality, far from being metaphoric or euphemistic, Salom is the kind to call a spade a spade!), psychoanalytic concepts and guilty secrets, but from a different angle. It tells the story of a forty-eight-year-old eccentric, referred to as Simon, who has built two Freudian “gaudy and metallic beauties” towering over eight meters high in a Melburnian backyard. Becoming an object of curiosity at the heart of a controversy, media coverage of these arty monstrosities results in a late-night call from Simon’s Perth-based wife Margaret who addresses him as Brian. Thanks to medical aid, Simon/ Brian fills in the gaps of his life through analeptic accounts surfacing during psychoanalytic sessions and hypnotic trances.

Constructed like a fugue, Toccata and Rain shows all the versatility of a well-rounded artist who is at once novelist-cum-poet-cum-musician. As in all fugues, the well-matched subject (memory) and countersubject (identity) echo each other while developing at different paces: memory issues often surge in the narrative flow whereas thoughts on identity are more occasional, remaining closely related to the subject of the fugue.

The narrator, Brian Tyrell, who suffers from memory loss, ends up being void of identity – “Amnesia is an emptied story”, so we are told. He is fragmented like the syncopated poems colouring the discontinuous and gap-packed narrative presenting slices of his life. On the surface, Toccata and Rain appears as a befuddling tale multiplying contradicting information and identity ambiguities. At the core of the account lie the complexities of a pathology known as fugue amnesia or dissociative fugue. To resist split, Brian has to overwrite himself like a “human palimpsest”, one story overwriting another. The message the author is probably trying to get across is that any story, like identity itself, is the result of a construct.

Readers might feel that with Salom’s efficiently graphic and thought-provoking prose their sensitivity and intellect are toccata (i.e. “touched” in Italian).

Touché!

P.S.: Two new books of poetry by Philip Salom have recently been released through Puncher & Wattmann – The Keeper of Fish and Keeping Carter.

Jean-François Vernay, author of

The Great Australian Novel – A Panorama (Melbourne: Brolga, 2010).

jeudi 1 mars 2012

Les livres finissent par vous hanter


Dur! dur! En ce moment je relis les épreuves de mon prochain livre à paraître en mai-juin sur le fait littéraire, le statut de la fiction, la critique et la lecture en tant que pratiques socioculturelles et esthétiques, sans oublier... La suite à parution.
C'est incroyable, quand on croit en avoir fini avec un texte, il revient toujours vous hanter.
Aujourd'hui encore on me réclame Panorama du roman australien, et pour ceux qui souhaitent le lire, cf: http://www.editions-hermann.fr/ficheproduit.php?lang=fr&menu&prodid=664

Ce livre a fait l'objet d'une nouvelle invitation à un festival australien, en mai 2012. Je vous tiendrai au courant.