Thursday, June 05, 2008
The classiest of company
Have you seen the latest edition of Meanjin? Just asking, because I'm in it, and I'm completely chuffed about it.
I was nervous at first, because the new editor (Sarsaparillian Sophie Cunningham) has transplanted my blog post about The Lost Dog into hard copy pretty much unchanged, and I wasn't sure about
[a] the informality of the writing in such an esteemed literary arena; and
[b] whether I've flogged a lost dog -- I mean, let's face it, many people do what I did with that book on a daily basis, and get far less attention for it.
But Sophie seems to have her finger on the pulse of things, and she had absolute serendipity with TLD winning a major prize the week before the journal hit the shelves, so I guess my post still has legs after all this time.
And what company I'm in! I wasn't told who else would be in the issue, and I'm so delighted to find myself in the company of people I admire a lot: our own Laura Carroll, writing about Jane Austen (my favorite quote from the whole journal so far: Both films ask the same narrow set of questions about Austen: how did she write as she did about love without being a lover herself? Why didn't she get married? Was she unlovable? Was she sad? (Did she smell?) Was she lonely? Was she ashamed of being single? That bracketed line is pure Lucy Tartan.); Mandy Ord, with a very touching piece of graphic fiction/autobiography about Australian History; Robert Drewe; Geoff Page; Luke Davies; and a terrific piece by Wayne Macauley on independent publishing.
They're only the names I recognise or know; there's plenty more in this issue that I'm working my way through and enjoying thoroughly. And I love the cover of the journal itself, which for my money sits very comfortably in Meanjin's proud lineage of cover art.* It suits the formal yet informal feel of the contents, being hand-drawn and colourful, but utilising a formal gridding of the elements.
So congratulations to Sophie for her first issue, a job well done!
As an Australian Lit graduate, I just can't begin to tell you how chuffed the sight of this issue of the journal makes me feel. There's more on the way, as well, with another favorite literary journal, Heat, for whom I'm substantially changing one of my blog posts to make (I think) a bit more user-friendly. And the latest issue of that journal features Pavlov's Cat... gosh, this all tickles my whiskers immensely. Hooray!
*I'm amused that the version of the cover above (which is on the MUP site) is the older version of the cover, with my real name on it. I chose to change that back to my blog/print/press pseudonym because I made a decision a year or so ago just to do everything under that umbrella. It's not hiding -- it's a refusal to split myself into different parts (high art, low art, online, offline, literary, bloggy). And most people get my real name wrong one way or another (both first and last names), so it's often easier to be Duckie. So the version you'll see on the shelves says Ampersand Duck.