Literary Stowaways of the Antipodes

Thursday 12 April 2007

The parlor game – which books for a desert island? – was played by America in earnest. Homer’s book was not just there, as in London or Leyden; one decided to bring it along, or send for it, or decided not to.
– Hugh Kenner, The Pound Era.
After discussing what Australian authors didn’t make the trip to London, I made a quick survey of the ones that did. This seems to be just about everything:
  • Obviously I like the more experimental poets: Ania Walwicz, Jas Duke, Chris Mann, ΠO, and several issues of 925 are all present and correct.
  • Some other small zines (see photo).
  • A little history: Michael Cathcart’s abridgement of Manning Clark, Ann Coombs’ Sex and Anarchy, a history of the Sydney Push.
  • Meaghan Morris’ Ecstasy and Economics, along with John Forbes’ New and Selected Poems and a “self-pirated” collection titled Humidity (“I’ll probably change the title to The Banquet of Cleopatra.”)
  • 22 Contemporary Australian Composers, The Pink Violin, and Violin Music in the Age of Shopping.
  • More history: The Life and Death of Sandy Stone, Bruce Petty’s Australia and how it works.
  • Noel Stock’s biography of Ezra Pound, written during his transition from being one of Pound ‘s defenders to one of his detractors.
  • Fiction: Patrick White (Voss, Riders, Vivisector, Storm, Leaves, Twyborn, Three Uneasy Pieces), some Mary Fallon/Fallin, a David Brooks (The House of Balthus) I know nothing about but picked up for a dollar shotly before leaving, a slim volume of Henry Lawson (“The Union Buries Its Dead” etc), and… where’s the rest of it?