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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
Comments : 8 Comments

‘Richilde’ by Johann Karl August Musäus (as translated by William Thomas Beckford)

Perhaps the earliest literary (or written) version of the tale English speakers know as ‘Snow White’ appears in a collection of German folktales that precedes the Grimms’ first publication, in 1812, by about thirty years. In 1782, Johann Karl August Musäus published his Volksmärchen der Deutschen, an early collection of German folktales … Continue reading

Author : nike
Comments : 4 Comments

sixty-two (tongue. key)

I was born by the side of the road in a year nobody remembers. Meaning not that nobody remembers that year, but that nobody who was there when I was born recorded the fact of my birth, or recalls it, or is still alive. Except for my sister. I don’t … Continue reading

Author : nike

Wind Knots and the Polychronicon

The Polychronicon is a chronicle of the British Isles, written by Ranulf Higden (c. 1280-1364), a Benedictine monk of the monastery of St. Werburgh in Chester. Ranulf apparently travelled throughout the north of Great Britain after becoming a monk in 1299, when he was just nineteen years old. The Polychronicon is a work in seven books (in imitation of … Continue reading

Author : nike

Baking with Boo (blueberry, pear and lemon pie)

This week, Boo and I bought a new cookbook. The truly wonderful The Pie Project by Phoebe Wood and Kirsten Jenkins. What? It’s getting colder up here on the Downs, and pie is just necessary to get us through the winter. The book includes sections on hot pies, cold pies, and … Continue reading

Filed under : Baking with Boo , On Food , On Living
Author : nike

lots of people go mad in January; not as many as in May …

May is coming, and with it, the release of my new novel, Dying in the First Person, which is being released by my fabulous publisher, Transit Lounge. This may send me mad (if I’m not already). Writing this book has been a long, slow process. It has been written during a period of extraordinary … Continue reading

Author : nike

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
Comments : 2 Comments

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
Comments : 2 Comments
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