Centre: Mihaela Cristescu, L:Carol Amos; R:Sue Crawford
There is something disconcerting about launching one anthology On The Wallaby Track while acquiring work for the next Between Dusk and Dawn (especially when a few writers are contributing to both) and being simultaneously on the cusp of promoting a different anthology altogether ie the 2018 ZineWest. Bi-lingual poet Mihaela Cristescu, who heads the Romanian/Australian project, does an excellent job however of co-ordinating multiple tasks and inspires me to keep up.
I’m delighted to co-edit the English inclusions, which seem to be having a conversation in richly different voices. Lucky are those who can read all the works, Romanian and English.
On the Wallaby Track
NSW State Library, 24th March, 2018
Metcalfe Auditorium, 11:15 for 11:30 am
with Anamaria Beligan and Luke Carman.
Keeping the amateur editing gig to two zines this year. Last year I edited or co-edited four little journals. Enjoy it though I did, in 2017 it will be just ZineWest and Mihaela Cristescu’s next anthology: “On the Wallaby Track”.
ZineWest 16: here’s our eminent judge Luke Carman and Julie Owens MP (with prize at ready) congratulating writers.
Every ZW looks a bit different despite sticking to a basic A5 white cover. Front image by Geoff Sellman and back cover by Robert Frost
Co-edited the first of Mihaela Cristescu’s anthologies to include a strong line up of Australians writing in English. Love Luminita Serbanescu’s artwork.
Also in 2016 I helped a friend self-publish an anthology (which sold out) and finally, I played back-up for the editor of NWG’s financial members’ anthology.
Romanian speaking writers associated with New Writers Group inc (Parramatta) have kindly mentioned the support received from other Sydney creatives (who speak/read no Romanian) and the obvious fact to me is that the gratitude should flow as much if not more in the other direction. There is nothing quite like a keen bi-lingual or multi-lingual writer to freshen up some concepts of what is literature and in how many languages and continents it can be shared. How do writers who develop their “voices” in one language move the authenticity (a loaded word) of those voices into another language? Well, on Friday evening, 27th March 2015, some answers were presented. Our gracious host, Mrs Oriana Acevedo, Multicultural Consultant, NSW State Library, opened the launch of two bi-lingual poetry anthologies, one by Mihaela Cristescu the other by Loredana Tudor Tomescu. The setting was the historic Dixson Room of the LIbrary’s Mitchell Wing. The Consul General of Romania in Sydney, Floricel Mocanu, attended; Mady Slabascu and Catalin Anastase performed readings brilliantly in both Romanian and English; and Sue Chamoun supplied Lebanese delicacies at supper. Above all, I’m reminded how close language is to music. Here are some visual highlights:
Loredana Tudor Tomescu
Mady Slabascu and Catalin Anastase
extract of Mahler’s draft Tenth with personal notes
“It seems that the Ninth is a limit. He who wants to go beyond it must pass away. It seems as if something might be imparted to us in the Tenth which we ought not yet to know, for which we are not ready. Those who have written a Ninth stood too close to the hereafter.”
Just because Mahler died while writing his 10th symphony doesn’t mean anything to me, I try not to pick up more superstitions than the ones already grafted into my subconscious. And after all, counting/numbering musical works is a fraught business. Nonetheless I like Schoenberg’s famous line (Schoenberg declined to complete the work). I think writers (of books) often seem less than ready to write their topic or style and we can imagine we all have an invisible fence – but I figure Schoenberg included readers/listeners at that dangerous barrier. Provoking. Thanks to Classic FM for an illuminating session.
If it bothers you that we cannot sustain the life of “growth” we currently lead, yet we fail to prick the fantasy and get pragmatic, try Collision Course – endless growth on a finite planet – for a run-down on the debate in plain language by an author of incisive intellect. Launched at Gleebooks
I don’t subscribe to the on-line Australian and the article I wanted to post in FB by Stephen Romei interviewing Carey (Oct 4-5, 2014) is for “subscribers only”. So back to the dark ages for a few typed out quotes from a print broadsheet:
“Australia is my lens, I cannot see the world any other way..”
(Referring to his book Parrot and Olivier in America, 2010:
“That book is of course about America – but it’s seen from the outside, from looking in and wondering why it’s so weird. I know an American couldn’t have written it, and I don’t think a French person could have written it. It’s an Australian book.”
Regarding whether non-Australians will recognise the historical characters in his latest novel Amnesia about hacking and the relationship between America and Australia, which references Pine Gap and the Whitlam dismissal:
“.. if you’re reading 19th century fiction then it wasn’t written for you. Yet we read it happily enough. I think if a novel has some sort of integrity and has a story and characters, people will deal with all of that stuff. When I wrote the Kelly Gang my friends in Australia were staggered by the idea that anyone outside the country would be the tiniest bit interested…”
And my favourite quote about British or American authors not making their texts easier for foreign readers:
“I mean, we didn’t know what a levee is, but we found out. They took the Chevy to the levee and they didn’t give us footnotes, and we didn’t want them; we were ok.”
The Penguin website can give you information about Amnesia.
Among the many benefits Damon Young sees in physical exercise, is the relaxation of mental barriers opening up new ways to solve a problem, tap the flow. I don’t have a flow problem, a sorting problem more like. Maybe a jog would re-arrange my chapters if the characters didn’t fall over laughing. I have the park at the back fence… so what’s stopping me?How to Think about Exercise by Damon Young, Pan MacMillan, $19.99.