ADULT CONTENT WARNING: The following post contains images of nudity. And art.  Recently, I attended an excellent conference on the theme of excess and desire in contemporary women’s writing. One of the papers I attended included an analysis of Kim Kardashian’s nude IWD (International Women’s Day) selfie of 2016, using … Continue reading

Author : nike

sixty-seven (The wise and foolish virgins)

The parable of the ten virgins (also known as the parable of the wise and foolish virgins) was enormously popular during the Middle Ages. There are sculptures of the virgins in many French and German cathedrals, including the Notre Dame de Paris and Strasbourg Cathedral. Bach’s chorale cantata Wachet auf, ruft uns … Continue reading

Author : nike

The first straw man (on writing about Others)

On September 8, Lionel Shriver gave a keynote address at the Brisbane Writers Festival that galvanised several people into action, commentary and anger. Yassmin Abdel-Magied walked out of the session and wrote about her reasons for doing so. Others have written in defence of what they saw as Shriver’s key … Continue reading

Author : nike
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Soundtrack (Dying in the First Person)

I listened to a lot of classical music while I was writing Dying in the First Person. Mostly ABC Classic FM – so whatever they were playing when I sat down to write seeped into my consciousness and infected the prose. Perhaps as a consequence the main characters also listen to, and … Continue reading

Author : nike

The Butterfly’s Ball & The Grasshopper’s Feast

For the past few weeks I’ve been in Melbourne, on research leave, working on two novels (the endgame of one, the beginnings of another), attending conferences and  so on. One of the most excellent things I’ve been doing is messing about in the Monash University’s Rare Books Collection, most specifically … Continue reading

Author : nike

Power and Destruction (Tiepolo’s Cleopatra/Huysman’s Lee & Fitzroy)

In Book IX: lxviii of Pliny the Elder’s Natural History, the author tells a story about an unusual contest between Cleopatra VII Philipator (69-30BCE), and the triumvir of Rome, Marcus Antonius (83-30BCE). Nor, indeed, are these the most supreme evidences of luxury. There were formerly two pearls, the largest that had been … Continue reading

Author : nike

Saint Barbara

A beautiful oak carving of Saint Barbara was purchased by the NGV in 1945, the last year of the war. She was first put on display in the Buvelot Gallery in February, 1946. In the National Gallery of Victoria’s quarterly bulletin (Volume II, No I, 1946) Daryl Lindsay* writes: The French saint … … Continue reading

Author : nike
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Death and the m(AI)den

The following is the abstract for a paper I’m hoping to deliver at the upcoming inaugural conference of the Australasian Death Studies Network: Death, Dying, and the Undead: Contemporary Approaches and Practice. The conference (which I’ll be attending either way!) will be held at UCQ’s Noosa Campus on October 25 … Continue reading

Author : nike

The girl in the red velvet swing

Gibson Girl Florence Evelyn Nesbit was born on Christmas Day in either 1884 or 1886 (her mother sometimes concealed her date of birth in order to get around those pesky child labour laws, so her true year of birth has been forgotten), in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. During her lifetime, she was … Continue reading

Author : nike

are you reading this?

For months now, you have swung violently between demanding friendship, and demanding distance. You have threatened me with homelessness, and poverty. With truths and lies and legal action. You have tried to silence me, and tried to make me speak. You have raged against me, like a cyclone. You have … Continue reading

Author : nike
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