dimanche 30 septembre 2012

Pourquoi "Un doux petit rêveur" ?

Pourquoi "Un doux petit rêveur" ?

La république des lettres
Cette histoire a germé dans mon esprit à la quatrième lecture du Petit Prince (1943) d’Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, conte philosophique que je relis avec un regard neuf à une décennie d’intervalle depuis l’âge de sept ans. J’ai reconnu en ce jeune enfant – isolé, excentré et le plus souvent confiné dans son propre monde – autant la condition des écrivains et des insulaires postcoloniaux du Pacifique que celle des personnes qui souffrent de troubles envahissants du développement (TED). Ces situations analogues m’ont permis de développer deux fils que j’ai tressés en raccordant au premier qui tirait sur le merveilleux afin de les nouer ensemble.
Un doux petit rêveur se veut à la fois un apologue philosophique et une fable postcoloniale pour adultes, même si ce court texte de fiction prend l’apparence d’un conte moderne destiné à un plus jeune public. Le trait saillant de cette histoire est l’ambiguïté qui offre des possibilités de lecture multiples, brouille les positionnements clairs et tranchés et gomme la ligne de partage entre raison et déraison, représentation de la réalité et représentation onirique, perception et imagination.
Vous pouvez contacter mon éditeur Les 2 encres pour obtenir un dossier de presse.
Bonne lecture...
Jean-François Vernay

Je ne crois pas qu'il faille écrire pour le simple fait d'écrire, sinon je l'aurais fait depuis des années. J'entends par là que je ne suis pas de la race des écrivains compulsifs qui doivent absolument passer trois heures par jour à leur bureau pour accoucher d'un monde fictionnel et se sentir bien. Ce court récit (de la taille du Petit Prince de Saint-Exupéry) est un conte moderne qui renseigne sur la condition postcoloniale insulaire et qui a quelque chose à dire à ceux qui ont une vision condescendante des cultures du Sud.

samedi 29 septembre 2012

Trouble Magazine Editor does not pay a commissioned article on Tasmania

Below is Part IV of my Tasmanian Travelogue commissioned by Trouble Magazine Editor Steve Proposch. While part 1, 2, and 3 (to be found here:
   were duly paid a miserly 50 dollars an A4 page (check ASA standards for decent rates!), part 4, which was equally commissioned, was never paid by Trouble Magazine Owner who claims to support and respect artists. You can check the advertising rates that are being applied for this magazine at the bottom of this travelogue.

 NO ARTIST WISHES TO BE EXPLOITED AND ROBBED. I WILL NEVER EVER CONTRIBUTE TO THIS PUBLICATION AGAIN. I guess this is typical of what to expect of someone who wants to take advantage of distant collaboration.

I find it utterly disgusting.

Jean-François Vernay

One morning I woke up and saw over forty vintage cars parked in front of my hotel. As part of Tasmania’s Veteran Car Club, a group of retirees enjoying Tasmania’s laid-back lifestyle to the full were on a country trip nonchalantly preparing for their next rally. The great freedom you experience when driving a vintage car is that you need not buckle up, according to legislation. Why? Probably because of the cars’ low maximum speed and the fact that these collector’s items were not originally fitted with seatbelts. How convenient!  
They were all heading for Bicheno, a township where you may meet award-winning novelist Arabella Edge who runs a cosy chalet and Glamorgan Spring Bay Council Mayor Bertrand Cadart. Donned in conspicuous outfits, quipping his guests with the most surprising ideas, Cr Cadart, whose inquisitive mind keeps him mentally alert, cuts a very colourful figure in the Australian political arena.
Widely known as “The French Mayor”, Cr Cadart has developed a French connection in Tasmania that extends all the way to New Caledonia. Last February, he hosted Nouméa’s Mayor Jean Lèques in the hope to establish partnerships between New Caledonia and Tasmania. School, sport and cultural exchanges, linguistic programmes, investment opportunities and tourism are the main areas where he would like to develop mutual benefits. The French Mayor knows that he has a lot of support and appeal in Nouméa where he returned last June for La Foa’s cinema festival to present George Miller’s Mad Max, a movie in which he played a minor part.
Bertrand Cadart and his fiancée Catherine Fouquet introduced me to the best winemakers in this quaintly picturesque region. I guess there is no denying that the French love their wine! And this certainly contributes to making the French Mayor beam with optimism. He has even turned one of Winston Churchill’s quotes into his motto: “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
Oddly enough, despite the aging population, a sense of dynamism pervades the region. When interviewed in Square (an Arte programme that most Australians would dismiss as arty-farty), Austrian movie director Ulrich Seidl, who was lamenting that our society was squeezing out solidarity while increasingly getting individualistic and egocentric, would probably have qualified his jaundiced vision if he saw how Tassie solidarity manifested itself under so many guises: locals volunteering for the reptile rescue or in the emergency services, dedicated men restoring sailing boats in Tassie Men’s Sheds, environmentalists saving Tasmanian Devils, culture vultures setting up and running a Francophile festival, etc. – every little helps. The closely-knit township communities are united in boosting the local economy that suffered from a severe blow ever since wealthy environmentalists Jan Cameron and Graeme Wood bought out the the Triabunna woodchip to shut it down.  
But passion-driven Bertrand Cadart, who has made Glamorgan Spring Bay Council the first motorcycle-friendly municipality in the Southern Hemisphere (Here comes the Southern Hemisphere complex again!), hopes to bring optimism-tainted solutions to his adoptive country. The stakes are high but the odds may not be against him. The future will tell. 

 Jean-François Vernay acknowledges the financial assistance of La Coopération régionale du Gouvernement de la Nouvelle-Calédonie for generously sponsoring this Tasmanian experience.

mercredi 26 septembre 2012

Speaking at Gold Coast Writers Festival!


Swell! I’m speaking at the Gold Coast Writers Festival at Robina Town Centre on 27 th October. 

Kathy Stewart, GCWF organizer, invited Karen Tyrrell to speak on an author panel, sharing how my school student and his parents abused and terrorized me, leading to my mental breakdown, and incarceration in a psyche hospital. Brisbane teacher who cared too much, ended up in psychiatric facility. Serves as a warning to all of us. Make a great movie! ” Spencer Howson: ABC Radio

Like Karen Tyrell, I’m revealing ALL on Truth or Dare: Memoir and Faction Panel

Karen'll be answering questions about ME & HER: a Memoir of Madness.  TV celebrity of “Beauty and the Beast” fame, Jan Murray  will divulge secrets from her memoirs Goodbye Lullaby AND Sheer Madness: Sex, Lies and Politics and I will disclose enigmas from my book The Great Australian Novel. John Clark will be chair.

Truth or Dare: Memoir & Faction

Time: 3-3.45
Place: Robina Town Centre auditorium

Events on Saturday 27th October are FREE…

Events include: Writing for Children, The Thrill Of The Chase, Comedy Writing, Romance VS Erotica, The Novel Journalist, Become a Human Lie Detector, Fantasy and Sci-Fi.

Check out the awesome line-up of Authors appearing at Saturday’s FREE events.    

Tim Ferguson, Krissy Kneen, Jennifer Bacia, Louise Cusack, Michael Jacobson, David Reiter, Meg Vann, Andy McDermott, Sandy Curtis, David Craig, Sally Collings, Rowena Cory Daniells, Pamela Rushby, Michelle Worthington, David Craig and my writing buddies Alison Reynolds, Angela Sunde, and Anita Bell.
Children’s author and friend, Dimity Powell will be signing her book PS: Who Stole Santa’s Mail?

Check out the FULL Gold Coast Writers Festival Program HERE

Check out  our bionotes on the festival WEBSITE. We’ll all be signing copies of our books at the Festival.

Please write these details in your diaries for 27th of October.

Don’t forget to book a seat via the Gold Coast Writers Festival website. SEE ABOVE
We would LOVE to see you there. Please share this FREE day of events with your friends.
Thanks for your AWESOME support :)

Profile: Karen Tyrrell and her latest book

Karen Tyrrell is an Australian motivational public speaker, pro-active multi-genre author, mental health advocate, teacher, experienced Toastmaster, workshop presenter and accredited speaker with SANE Australia. Karen taught as a primary school teacher for over 20 years, specializing in Gifted and Talented classes. After parents at Karen’s school repeatedly harassed her to breaking point and beyond, she developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and severe bipolar disorder. She was hospitalized in 2005/6. She’s now recovered, sharing her passions for writing and mental health, reclaiming her life.
In 2010, Karen became the coordinator of Logan City Writers collective, now with over 120 members and organized Logan Writers Week festival. In 2011, she developed and presented the Life Writing program to mental health patients at a Brisbane hospital, contracted by Queensland Mental Health. Karen creates writing and mental health articles for South City Bulletin magazine.
Karen’s gutsy memoir, ME & HER: a Memoir of Madness (2012) narrates her struggle and triumph over bipolar disorder. She’s proud to state that many people have labelled it "Brave and inspiring." ME & HER is listed as a VIP resource on Sean Costello’s Memorial fund Bipolar Research site.
Karen plans to publish her next round of books including a sequel to her memoir, ME & HIM: a Guide to Recovery; a true crime novel, Sayonara; plus a children’s science fiction series and a picture books series.
In August 2012, Karen launched her free eBook, 30 Tools for Mental Wellness and her Resilience Training workshops in the corporate world.  Her self-penned recovery life story appears globally in magazines, on guest blogs and live radio. Karen shares her guide to recovery, tips for mental wellness and resilience skills, both locally and with the global community.
Karen can be contacted through her website: You can buy Me and Her: a Memoir of Madness from Amazon as an eBook or in print here: And you can also download her FREE eBook Healthy Mind, Happy Day here:

"Brisbane teacher who cared too much - ended up in psychiatric facility. Serves as a warning to all of us. Make a great movie! Very well edited book." Spencer Howson: ABC 612 Radio
 ‘Karen’s story of courage and inspiration. Traveling through the story with Karen and her family has allowed me to understand the impact of mental illness and what the joy of recovery really means.’
Richard Nelson, CEO of Queensland Alliance of Mental Health
#21 *5 STAR* Reviews on Amazon.

#38 Reviews on Goodreads, mostly *5 STAR*

dimanche 23 septembre 2012

Melbourne Salon at the Alliance Française: Thursday 11th October 2012, 6 – 8.30 pm

Dear ISFAR and Melbourne Salon members,

You are invited to the final Melbourne Salon for 2012, to be held at the Alliance Française (51 Grey St, St Kilda) from 6 - 8.30pm on Thursday 11th October.

As you will see from the attached flyer, it promises to be a wonderful evening, with some very distinguished guests and a number of activities to accompany the main presentation (hence earlier start time). Our main speaker, Cédric Crémière (Director of the Natural History Museum of Le Havre), will be in Melbourne to retrieve the illustrations from the Lesueur Collection currently on loan to the NGV for the Napoleon exhibition. The website and book launches are all related to French exploration in Australia, and we are delighted to have so many experts on the topic together at once.

Please reserve your place by responding to this email or calling (03) 9925 2264. Places are limited. Cover charge $15 payable on the evening (includes wine and cheese) - cash only please. (Anyone who has already reserved a place does not need to rebook - your places are secured.)

We look forward to seeing you there.

*Curiosity is the lust of the mind** *(Thomas Hobbes Philosopher 1679)

*The Melbourne Salon is* brought to you by RMIT University, ISFAR
(Institute for the Study of French-Australian Relations) and the Alliance
Française de Melbourne.

*The Melbourne Salon* is a place where curious and open-minded people can
engage in French-Australian cross-cultural dialogues. Talks are in English;
subsequent discussions in French or English.

*The Melbourne Salon* meets 3 times a year at the Alliance Française de
Melbourne, 51 Grey St., St Kilda.

Sites of knowledge, sites of power:
the Paris Museum, collecting the world (1739-1832)
The Natural History Museum of Paris, founded as “the King’s Garden” in 1635, was a site for
cultivating and curating medicinal herbs. The nomination in 1739 of Georges-Louis Leclerc,
later Count Buffon, ushered in a significant period of development for the institution and for
Natural History as a discipline, thanks to the inspirational spirit of the Enlightenment and the
positioning of France as a great world power. The Natural History Museum of Paris
progressively became the centre of a world network that Buffon and Cuvier in particular were
responsible for constructing. At the same time, French science came closer to those in power,
associating itself, for example, with the conquests of the Napoleonic régime and with the great
expeditions it sponsored (Egypt, Terra Australis). Through selected examples, this talk aims to
show how imperialism supported Natural History and why this particular discipline found
favour in that context.
Cédric Crémière is an historian of science. Since 2005,
he has been Director of the Natural History Museum of
Le Havre (Normandy), and is also general curator of the
“Terre d’eaux” festival (Land of Waters) held every
summer. Following his studies in philosophy and
museology, he earned his PhD in 2004 with a thesis
entitled Science at the Museum. Comparative Anatomy
at the Jardin du roi and at the Natural History Museum
of Paris, 1745-1898 (to be published in 2013). During
that time, he also trained as a Heritage Curator at the
Institut National du Patrimoine (National Institute of
Heritage). He was Honorary Research Fellow at the
Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medecine at
University College London in 2004, where he conducted research into the history of mechanical
obstetrics in 18th and 19th century France. Cédric was Honorary Fellow in the Department of
History and Philosophy of Science at Cambridge University in 2005. He has curated several
exhibitions, including Avant la naissance, 5000 ans d’histoire (with René Frydman, Émile
Papiernik, Jean-Louis Fischer) in 2008. In 2010-2011, he was selected as an affiliate of the
prestigious Institut des Hautes Études pour la Science et la Technologie, with the title of
Cédric is a member of the team, led by Stéphane Schmitt, that is currently engaged in re-editing
and re-publishing the complete works of Buffon – one of the most prominent and influential
figures in natural history during the eighteenth century.
Launch of The Baudin Legacy Project
The Baudin Legacy project was funded in Australia through an Australian Research Council
Discovery Grant and in Belgium from the National Fund for Scientific Research (Fonds national
de la recherche scientifique). The five year project commenced in 2005, with its primary aim
being to provide an online archive and reference guide accessible to all those interested in the
Baudin expedition and French exploration in general. The Baudin Legacy web site thus
comprises the French transcriptions and the English translations of the writings generated by
the expedition: the journals of Baudin, his officers, scientists and crew. This is supported by an
iconographical archive and other reference tools such as archival sources, library holdings and
bibliographies. Two of the project team, Jean Fornasiero and John West-Sooby, will provide a
short tour of this web site as part of this Melbourne Salon.
Jean Fornasiero is Professor of French and Head of the School of Humanities at the University
of Adelaide. John West-Sooby is Associate Professor and Head of French, also at the University
of Adelaide. They have worked extensively on the early French exploration of Australia, and in
particular on the Baudin expedition. They were both members of the “Baudin Legacy” research
team, funded by the Australian Research Council, and have published widely on that topic. They
are the co-authors, with Peter Monteath, of Encountering Terra Australis. The Australian Voyages
of Nicolas Baudin and Matthew Flinders, which was awarded the Frank Broeze Memorial
Maritime History Prize in 2005. They are currently preparing a critical edition, and translation,
of the confidential report on the British colony at Port Jackson compiled by Baudin’s zoologist,
François Péron.
Launch of Discovery and Empire: French Ships in the South Seas
edited by John West-Sooby (University of Adelaide Press)
The essays in this book, edited by John West-Sooby, deal with various aspects of the history of
French exploration in the Pacific. The first section of the volume seeks to analyse the
motivations as well as the scientific and political outcomes of the succession of voyages that
were undertaken by the French in the southern hemisphere from the sixteenth century through
to the early nineteenth century. It focuses in particular on the geopolitics of this period, known
as the “Age of Discovery”, and on the rivalries that emerged between France and the other
European nations engaged in the exploration of the southern oceans. The essays in the second
part of the volume are primarily concerned with questions relating to the contact between the
French voyagers and the native populations they encountered, notably the Australian
Associate Professor John West-Sooby teaches French language and literature, in particular the
literature of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, as well as the mediaeval period. He has a
long-standing research interest in the nineteenth-century novel, including the works of
Maupassant, Barbey d’Aurevilly and, in particular, Stendhal. He has also identified the existence
of the picaresque tradition in twentieth-century writing and has applied this methodology to
another of his great interests, French crime fiction. In 2003 he was awarded the Palmes
académiques by the French government, and in 2011 he completed a book with Jean Fornasiero
on François Péron and his ‘spy’ document on the colony of New South Wales: French Designs on
New South Wales, a critical edition of the Memoir on the British Settlements in New Holland by
François Péron, Adelaide, Friends of the State Library of South Australia, forthcoming.
Launch of Almost a French Australia:
French-British Rivalry in the Southern Oceans
by Noelene Bloomfield (Halstead Press)
Many Australians have only recently realised how close this continent was to becoming partly
French, like Canada, with two languages and two cultures. But Australian history books
neglected these early chapters of our nation’s history for almost two centuries.
In a strategic battle with her perennial rival across the English Channel, France sent numerous
scientific and commercial expeditions to the Indian and Pacific Oceans in the 1700s and 1800s,
attempting to solve the mysteries of the legendary Terra Australis Incognita, and to locate
suitable ports for trade below the Equator. Numerous French captains, officers, scientists and
crewmembers died from a variety of illnesses during these voyages and were therefore unable
to report their exciting discoveries directly to their King or Emperor. And the outbreak of the
French Revolution in 1789 and its subsequent turmoil meant that France was not in a position
to develop colonies in the southern oceans for many decades.
Noelene Bloomfield explains why the French, despite having claimed the western side of this
country, drawing detailed charts, and making many thousands of important scientific
discoveries, eventually withdrew from the Australian continent, allowing the British carte
blanche to develop this nation and effectively block France from both Australia and New
Noelene Bloomfield, Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes
Académiques, is Honorary Research Fellow in European
Languages and Studies at The University of Western Australia.
Noelene taught French in NSW before gaining a Master of Arts
degree in the United States. She lectured at the University of
Oregon before joining the staff of French Studies at The
University of Western Australia from 1968 till 2002. Noelene
published a textbook entitled Voyage de Découverte and
produced a DVD and a CD-ROM on the extensive French
exploration in Australian waters. She then created an
exhibition entitled A French Australia? Almost! which has been
displayed in many locations in Australia and overseas, a
French version of which is currently touring in France.
Noelene, who is listed in Who’s Who of Australian Women, has
recently co-authored a book on the first 100 years of the
Alliance Française association in Perth, Western Australia.

mercredi 12 septembre 2012

Premier festival des écrivains de la Gold Coast

Je remercie Monsieur Pierre Frogier, ex exécutif de la Province Sud, et l'association ACCES, pour me permettre de représenter les auteurs néo-calédoniens en Australie dès la fin octobre 2012.
 J'y présenterai la traduction de Panorama du roman australien des origines à nos jours (Paris: Hermann / Collection Savoirs Lettres, 2009), 250 pp, livre qui,  après réimpression, entre dans sa deuxième édition (2012). URL:

La dernière fois que The Great Australian Novel – A Panorama (Melbourne: Brolga, 2010) (traduction de Marie Ramsland et avant-propos de Nicholas Jose) fut proposé à la lecture devant un public, c'était au Festival de France à Freycinet en mai 2012 avec le concours d'ACCES et de la coopération régionale du Gouvernement de la Nouvelle-Calédonie :
 Qu'ils en soient remerciés.

On peut désormais tout savoir sur les invités du premier festival des écrivains de la Gold Coast, il suffit de cliquer sur la rubrique WRITERS:

Longue vie au festival des écrivains indépendants de la Gold Coast!

Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship

Mitch Cairns wins 2012 Scholarship

Mitch Cairns Poor Mum 2012, oil on linen and One half of a woman’s waistline repeated 2012, oil on linen
13 September 2012: Mitch Cairns, 28, from Balmain, Sydney, has won the Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship for his body of work, highlighted by One half of a woman’s waistline repeated 2012 and Poor Mum 2012.
Begun in 1999, this scholarship for young Australian painters is now in its 14th year. Ninety five entries were received from around Australia and eleven were selected as finalists. Their work is featured on the Brett Whiteley Studio website. A small selection of the finalists is on display at the Studio until 25 November (except 24 September – 12 October).
Mitch Cairns won the Gruner Landscape Prize in 2003 and featured in the Salon de Refuses in 2004 whilst a student at the National Art School from which he graduated in 2006 with honours. He has been included in numerous group exhibitions in artist run spaces and public galleries including Hazelhurst Regional Art Gallery, Campbelltown Arts Centre and Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney. He is represented by BREENSPACE, Sydney.
This year’s judges were artist Del Kathryn Barton and the Gallery’s head of Australian art, Wayne Tunnicliffe. Commenting on the work of Mitch Cairns, Del Kathryn Barton said Mitch’s curious, lyrical, figurative works are not only compelling visually, they reveal developed skill-sets vital to the mad adventure of making paintings! The sensitivity of surface, composition and of paint within these works reflect a disciplined and conceptually passionate practice.
This year the judges have also noted that Tom Polo, 27, from Smithfield, Sydney be Highly Commended.
Mrs Beryl Whiteley, who died in 2010, was awarded an OAM for the creation and endowment of the Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship in 2004. The inspiration for this annual scholarship was the profound effect of international travel and study experienced by her son, Brett Whiteley, as a result of winning the Italian Government Travelling Art Scholarship at the age of 20.
The Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship is open to Australian artists aged between 20 and 30 years. Mitch Cairns has won $25 000 and a three-month residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, which is administered by the Art Gallery of NSW.
The Brett Whiteley Studio is managed by the Art Gallery of NSW.
On view
14 Sep – 23 Sep 2012
13 Oct – 25 Nov 2012

Art Gallery of New South Wales
Art Gallery Road, The Domain, Sydney

mardi 11 septembre 2012

Vale Rosanne Fitzgibbon

A tribute by Craig Munro, former UQP publishing manager.
Editor Rosanne Fitzgibbon was widely respected for her work over four decades in fiction and non-fiction publishing. For sixteen years from 1989 Rosie was in-house fiction editor at the University of Queensland Press. She was not only responsible for literary fiction and nonfiction but also for scholarly publications in Australian literary studies.
In recent years Rosie was a freelance consultant lecturing on writing, editing and publishing, and conducting seminars and masterclasses for the Queensland Writers Centre as well as workshops for the Literature Board. She judged short story awards for the State Library of Queensland and participated in assessing, judging and editing all the One Book Many Brisbanes anthologies and competitions.
As a publishing editor she worked on numerous story collections, beginning in 1972 with the first work of fiction published by UQP: Michael Wilding’s Aspects of the Dying Process. Others included major collections by Thea Astley, Olga Masters, Lily Brett, Peter Carey, Kate Grenville, and Janette Turner Hospital. In 1998, with her sister Marion Halligan, she edited The Gift of Story: Three decades of UQP short stories.
As a fiction editor, Rosie published the work of many writers including Gillian Mears, Nick Earls, Mandy Sayer, Matthew Condon, Beverley Farmer, Venero Armanno, Rosie Scott, Victor Kelleher, Carmel Bird, Liam Davison, Marian Eldridge, John Clanchy, Barbara Hanrahan, Brian Castro, Nike Bourke, Gerard Windsor, Suzanne Edgar and Gerard Lee.
Rosie’s authors welcomed her warmly sympathetic, generous-spirited and constructive approach to their manuscripts and her unwavering commitment to literary excellence. She was always a book’s most passionate advocate throughout the publishing process from the earliest draft to the design, marketing and promotion of her titles.
Rosie served on boards and committees throughout Australia, including the Queensland Writers Centre, the Brisbane Writers Festival, Australian Book Review and the National Book Council. In 1992 she was awarded the inaugural Beatrice Davis Editorial Fellowship to work in book publishing in New York. Named after Angus & Robertson’s distinguished literary editor, this award is supported by the Literature Board, the Australian Publishers Association and the Institute of Professional Editors.
Rosie's sister, the fiction writer Marion Halligan, also published a beautiful story about Rosie in the Australian:

lundi 10 septembre 2012

Mon nouveau blog: La république des Lettres

Oyez, Oyez! Braves gens...

Je ne vais pas tarder à clore mon blog Australiana pour un nouveau blog, plus littéraire, plus généraliste, que j'ai intitulé "La république des lettres" et qui n'est pas seulement un clin d’œil au blog de Pierre Assouline, "La république des livres", mais renvoie à un concept qui, depuis la Renaissance, désigne "un espace virtuel qui transcende les entités territoriales et réunit les lettrés européens à travers des traces écrites et des rencontres autour de valeurs communes, rendues possibles grâce à une langue européenne commune, le latin. Les humanistes sont ainsi en continuel contact entre eux au moyen des lettres et des voyages" (Wikipédia).

Donc un nouveau blog est né: La République des Lettres
On m'a fait remarquer sur Facebook qu'un éditeur a déposé le nom à l'INPI, ce qui est assez cocasse en soi!
 Il faut le faire tout de même: se réclamer de cette expression qui n'est qu'une reprise d'un concept de la Renaissance! Ou est-ce le génie de cette époque qui osa un plagiat par anticipation ? (Histoire de faire un clin d'oeil à l'excellent ouvrage de Pierre Bayard).
 Évidemment Pascale Casanova est en filigrane, puisqu'elle est devenue l'inspiration de bien des Australianistes qui se sont nourris de ses travaux ...

Austlit news: Sisters in Crime

The winners of the 2012 Davitt Awards, presented by Sisters in Crime for the best crime books by Australian women, have been announced in Melbourne.
The Adult Fiction prize was won by Sulari Gentill for A Decline in Prophets, the second instalment in her Rowland Sinclair series. The Children’s and Young Adult Fiction winner was Meg McKinlay for Surface Tension, and Best Debut novel went to Jaye Ford for Beyond Fear.
Ford was also the joint winner, with Y. A. Erskine, of the Reader’s Choice Award. Erskine’s novel The Brotherhood is described by its publisher as ‘a novel about violence, preconceptions, loyalties, corruption, betrayal and the question a copper should never need to ask: just who can you trust?’ (Bantam Australia) The novel is set in Tasmania where Erskine served for eleven years with that state’s Police Service.
The 2012 Davitt Awards were presented by Swedish crime writer Ǻsa Larsson. Sisters in Crime reports that Larsson was ‘so impressed by the event that she intends to set up Sisters in Crime in Sweden’.
For more news on the Davitt Awards, see the Sisters in Crime website or follow developments @SistersinCrimeA.

dimanche 9 septembre 2012


In September 1971, 181 numbered marbles roll around in a barrel while Australia holds its breath. The last number drawn will shatter two women’s lives, and bring them together again …
Sixteen-year-old Caroline ‘Miki’ Patrick confides to her best friend, the outspoken, smart-mouthed Jude, that she’s pregnant. Miki’s parents place her in the iron embrace of St Anthony’s, a home for wayward girls, with the scheming Sister Angela pressuring her to give up her baby. But Jude convinces Miki they can raise the child, and together they make a pact and take to the road.
But the teenagers are ill-prepared for the hardships they face, and after one particularly difficult night, fate separates them. Alone, poor and scared for her baby’s welfare, Miki ultimately surrenders Dominic to the home.
Two decades later, Miki is a dangerous woman, and she’s on the run. A vocal anti-war activist who assists draft dodgers, Miki is hiding from the Federal Police and never stays in one place very long. That is, until Dominic’s birthday is drawn in the conscription lottery, and Jude steps back into her life.
Now Miki and Jude will stop at nothing to find him …

vendredi 7 septembre 2012

Charity Fundraising Appeal for Disabled Children: selling Christopher Koch on canvas

Dear All,

I am writing this letter on behalf of APEHNC: the Association of Parents with Disabled Children in New Caledonia. This organization works for disabled children and its aim is to help these challenged kids as much as they can : 

Because my first fiction, Un doux petit rêveur :, to be soon released in France, deals specifically with disabilities and exclusion, I thought it would be timely to contribute to the cause by co-organizing with artist Romane Z a charity function to raise funds. My contribution to APEHNC, among other things, is to sell an oil on canvas (55cm x 46 cm) by renowned French artist Sabien Witteman
The artwork has somewhat had its hour of glory for it features on the frontcover of my academic monograph discussing Chris Koch's novels (see the square above the title):
The painting will be available in Australia in late October in Brisbane (as I am graciously invited to the inaugural Gold Coast Writers Festival:, in Sydney in early November, or elsewhere by arrangement.

Half of the collected sum will go to APEHNC and the other half will be used to recoup 15 years of unfunded and costly research in Australian Studies. 

The minimum bid is $2,000 and the artwork will go to the highest bidder.

Bidding closes on October 23rd.

APEHNC needs finance for specific needs in various equipment.

Should you want to help in any other way, please get in touch. We would be grateful to receive your contribution to fulfill the above needs fully or partially. To make this charity function a success we need your help and assistance. I hope you would contribute in our little step towards a more humane and charitable society.

Awaiting positive response.
Thank You.

You can get in touch with me via email, (vernayj[at]yahoo[dot]com), Facebook or Linked In

Yours Faithfully,

Jean-François Vernay

jeudi 6 septembre 2012

Angélique Montané recommande "Panorama du roman australien"

Un grand merci à Angélique Montané pour son clin d’œil à mon livre.


Quelques livres et auteurs pour découvrir la littérature australienne

By Angélique Montané travaille dans une maison d’édition à Melbourne. Cette passionnée de littérature en général -et de littérature australienne en particulier- tient un blog où elle présente en détails ses trouvailles et livres favoris. L’occasion de lui demander d’établir sa liste personnelle d’ouvrages permettant de se familiariser avec la littérature des antipodes. Bonne lecture !
Australie n’ Zélande – Pouvez-vous vous présenter en quelques lignes et présenter Le koala Iit ?
Angélique Montané – Le « koala lit » est né après le lancement de la collection Text Classics de Text Publishing. J’ai constaté que non seuleument la littérature autralienne est très méconnue en France, mais qu’il y a très peu de sources en français pour découvrir la littérature contemporaine.
Je suis passionnée par la litérature, je travaille pour une maison d’édition à Melbourne et j’ai toujours aimé écrire et faire partager mes passions.
Le blog est une façon sympa de donner envie aux autres, d’aller un plus loin que nos classiques et de découvrir un monde fascinant. Avant de déménager en Australie, je ne m’étais jamais vraiment intéressée à ce qui se passait ici. Aujourd’hui, je découvre en même temps que mes lecteurs la littérature des antipodes.
Australie n’ Zélande – Quels sont les trois livres dont vous recommanderiez la lecture à qui découvre la littérature australienne ?
Angélique Montané -Mon premier livre -pour avoir un aperçu des grands écrivains locaux, fût le livre de Jean-Francois Vernay : « Panorama du roman australien« .
Il donne les grandes lignes et permet de situer les auteurs par rapport à leur époque. Quelques jours après être arrivée à Melbourne, on m’a conseillé de lire « The Slap » (La gifle paru récemment aux Editions Belfond) de Christos Tsiolkas.
C’est le roman australien à succès par excellence. Il dépeint la classe moyenne australienne avec tous ses travers et ses zones d’ombres. C’est un roman très cru probablement un peu dur pour découvrir le pays.

L'art aborigène au Parcours des Mondes 2012, du 12 au 16 septembre à Saint-Germain-des-Prés

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Bill Whiskey TJAPALTJARRI, "Rockholes near the Olgas", Acrylique sur toile, 270 x 184 cm, 2007

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Exhibition: Brownwyn Searle - 'Street Art' at Lethbridge Gallery

dimanche 2 septembre 2012

New issue of JASAL available online: Field, curriculum, emotion

The latest edition of the Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature (JASAL) is now available at  The issue takes its theme - 'Field, curriculum, emotion' - from the 2011 ASAL conference in Melbourne.

Born in New Caledonia, Franco-Australian Jean-François Vernay holds a PhD from the Université Toulouse-Le Mirail. His forthcoming essay on emotions, fiction, literary theory and criticism will be published in 2012 by Complicités and his first fiction by Les 2 encres. He blogs at:

Book launch: The Monkey's Mask: film, poetry and the female voice

Book launch: The Monkey's Mask: film, poetry and the female voice
Rebecca Louise will launch her monograph, The Monkey's Mask: film, poetry and the female voice, at the Thornbury Theatre, Thornbury, Victoria, at 7 pm on Thursday 20 September.  The book will be launched by Melbourne poets Meg Dunn and Jen Jewel Brown.

A flyer, media release and RSVP information are available at

Reading Joseph Furphy in Shepparton

A Free Seminar on the Writing of Joseph Furphy for the Furphy Centenary Celebrations, presented by La Trobe University and ASAL
Shepparton Campus, La Trobe University, 210 Fryers Street, Shepparton
14 September, 9 am to 4 pm


9.00 Registrations Coffee/Tea
9.30 Welcome/Start

9.30 – 10. 30
Professor Susan Lever –  ‘Double line to the terminus’: Marriage, sex, romance and Joseph Furphy’
Dr Graeme Smith – ‘Mapping Joseph Furphy's riverina in Australian shearer's songs’

10.30 – 11.00 Morning tea

11.00 – 12.15
Dr Damien Barlow – Furphy’s Dogs: ‘Interspecies Mateship: Furphy’s Pup and other Canine Companions’
Trisha Kotai-Ewers – 'Around the Furphy houses - Joseph's lasting creation’

12.15 – 1.30 Lunch

1.30 – 2.30
Professor Frances Devlin-Glass – ‘Furphy as (Metafictive) Aboriginal Ethnographer’
Dr Brigid Magner – ‘Following Furphy: Literary Tourism in Shepparton’

2.30 - 3.00 Afternoon Tea

Dr Susan K Martin – ‘One week in each opening: Furphy and the use of the Diary form’
Close, final discussion

Attendance is free, with morning and afternoon tea and lunch included, but registration is required.  Please register by emailing or calling (03) 9479 1205.

Exhibition : Flatlands: photography and everyday space

This exhibition examines photography’s role in transforming the way we perceive the world of the everyday.

David Stephenson USA/Australia b1955 Sant’ivo alla Sapienza 1645-50 Rome, Italy 1997 from the series Domes 1993-2005 type C photograph 55 × 55 cm Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney purchased with funds provided by Joanna Capon and the Photography Collection Benefactors Program 2002 © David Stephenson. Fiona Hall Australia b1953 Leura, New South Wales 1974 gelatin silver photograph 27.8 × 27.8 cm Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney purchased 1981 © Fiona Hall.
A new exhibition, Flatlands: photography and everyday space, examines photography’s role in transforming the way we perceive, organise and imagine the world. The 39 works by 23 Australian and international artists included in the exhibition have been drawn from the Gallery’s permanent collection of 20th century and contemporary photography.
Definitions of space have always depended on the scientific, social and cultural aspects of the human experience. At its birth in the 19th century, photography’s monocular vision was seen as the ultimate tool for representation and classification. Elusive phenomena such as distance, depth and emptiness seemed within grasp. Yet, limited to freezing single moments or viewpoints in time, the photograph’s ability to objectively represent the world was under question by the turn of the 20th century. Technological advancements, such as faster exposure times transformed the potential of the medium to not only show things that escaped the eye but new ways of seeing them as well.
Embracing partiality and ambivalence, modernist photography sought to capture the fragments, details and blurred boundaries in the expanses we call personal space. What the photograph began to reveal were dimensions which German cultural theorist Walter Benjamin described in 1931 as the ‘optical unconscious’ of reality. The works of photographers such as Melvin Vaniman, Frederick Evans, Harold Cazneaux, William Buckle, Franz Roh, Olive Cotton, David Moore, Josef Sudek, Minor White and Robert Rauschenberg explore the intangible in spaces which define our physical and spiritual relationship with reality. Windows, doorways, ceilings, staircases – these mundane and ordinary passageways suddenly acquire a centrality and metaphysical depth normally denied to them.
The edges between sacred and profane, public and private, natural and artificial, real and dreamed environments became further entangled in the subjective visions of late 20th century and contemporary photographic work. For Daido Moriyama, Fiona Hall, Pat Brassington, Simryn Gill, Christine Godden, Geoff Kleem, Leonie Reisberg, Ingeborg Tyssen, David Stephenson and Justine Varga, space is seen to be a product of the perception of the individual. Photographs are able to reveal realms outside of the scientific – that is those created by emotion, memory and desire.
As Fiona Hall commented in 1996, 'our belief might be maintained, for at least as long as the image can hold our attention, in the possibility of inhabiting a world as illusory as the two-dimensional one of the photograph.’ Collectively, these images destabilise naturalised certainties while activating the imaginary dimension and the unsettling, albeit poetic potential of photography to impact and alter our view of the world.
On view
15 Sep 2012 – 3 Feb 2013
Art Gallery of New South Wales
Art Gallery Road, The Domain, Sydney

Austlit News

Stuck for something to read? With fifty recommendations up its sleeve, Get Reading! can suggest a book a week for you for the forthcoming year - with two weeks off to give your eyes a rest. 
Get Reading! is a nationwide campaign aimed at encouraging more Australians to read. The campaign will run right through September. Tied in with the 50 Books You Can’t Put Down Guide, available at bookshops and libraries, will be a range of events featuring writers included in the list. The Events page lists what's on, starting with Kathryn Fox, author of Cold Grave, in Cairns on 1 September, followed by Gabrielle Lord in Lesmurdie, WA, on 3 September.
The Guide, which includes fiction and non-fiction, as well as books for children and young adults, is freely available free online or as a PDF download.

samedi 1 septembre 2012

Another 2 months before the inaugural Gold Coast Writers Festival

I am elated to represent New Caledonian writers with the generous sponsorship of LA PROVINCE SUD at the inaugural Gold Coast Writers Festival, to be held on 26-28 October 2012 at the Robina Community Centre. This is a very exciting event which follows a very successful Festival for Independent Writers and Publishers in 2011. The 2012 Gold Coast Independent Writers Festival is a joint venture between the Australiasian Independent Writers and the Gold Coast Writers Association. The Festival is designed to showcase the work of invited writers and to build relationships nationally and internationally.

Following a highly successful inaugural event, the 2012 Festival will be a three-day event on the last weekend (26/28) of October, 2012, on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, and re-titled the GOLD COAST WRITERS FESTIVAL.
Day 1 (Friday) will consist of a series of workshops:
WORKSHOPS: (these require tickets)
10-10.45 Self Publishing Land Mines and How To Avoid Them with DANIEL PROKOP
11-11.45 Author Platform Building with ANTHONY PUTTEE
1-1.45 Self Editing - Tips From a Professional Manuscript Assessor with LOUISE CUSACK
2-2.45 Marketing Your Writing
3-3.45 Manuscript to Market with LAUREL COHN
POETRY READINGS (these are free and will be held in parallel with the ticketed workshops)
9-9.45 Caroline Glen
10-10.45 Duncan Richardson
11-11.45 Phillip Ellis
12-12.45 Lesley Synge
1-1.45 Richard Allen
FRIDAY Evening Informal DINNER at Krish India
Day 2 (Saturday) will feature discussions, panels and featured writers including:
Tim Ferguson, Krissy Kneen, Jennifer Bacia, Jean-Francois Vernay, Michael Jacobson, Jan Murray, Simon Groth, David Reiter, Meg Vann, Andy McDermott, Sandy Curtis, David Craig, Sally Collings, Rowena Cory Daniells, Anita Bell, Pamela Rushby, Michelle Worthington, Karen Tyrrell, etc.
8.45 - 9  WELCOME by Minister for the Arts
9-9.45 Writing for Children
10-10.45 The Thrill Of The Chase
12-12.45 Romance VS Erotica
1-1.45  The Novel Journalist
2-2.45 Become a Human Lie Detector
3-3.45 Life Writing - The Art of Memoir
4-4.45 Fantasy and Sci-Fi
INDUSTRY IQ SESSIONS (These will run parallel with the Panel Sessions)
9-9.45 Writing For The Screen
10-10.40 Self Publishing Now
10.40-11.20 TBA
11.20 -12.00 Becoming Self Published
12- 12.45 Getting Published
1-1.45 Digital Publishing
3-3.45 My Planets  - Future Of Writing
4-4.45 SPECIAL WORKSHOP The Art of Comedy Writing with Tim Ferguson
4.45-5.00 Announcements including Competition Winners
 Day 3 (Sunday) will give you the opportunity to dine in style at a LITERARY LUNCHEON with the Gold Coast Writers Association and guest authors.
This festival is designed to bring together ALL authors, including self-published and independently published, with publishers and printers who may assist them.
The festival consists of events which require PAYMENT:
Friday Workshops
Friday Dinner
Sunday Literary Lunch
FREE events include:
Friday Poetry Sessions
Friday Children's Workshops
Saturday Industry IQ Sessions
Saturday Panel Sessions
It is also designed as an expo for writers to be able to showcase their work to those most important people, READERS.