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Salt Lane witches, wagons and ditches

In my 2013 speculative fiction novel, Rupetta (2013), Henri, a history student, completes a small thesis after undertaking research into the lives of a pair of women know as the Salt Lane Witches. This post provides a few little tidbits of the intertextual backstory that went into the (re)writing of those characters and their (fairy) … Continue reading

Author : nike

The women (wo)men don’t see

At a recent conference on excess and desire in twentieth- and twenty-first century women’s writing, one of the presenters quoted from Natalie Kon-Yu’s 2016 essay, in Overland, ‘A testicular hit-list of literary big cats‘. In particular, she quoted from the section in which Kon-Yu describes the depiction of Jake Whyte’s … Continue reading

Author : nike

The Green Fairy Book (a personal mixtape)

Recently, Gyspy Thornton blogged about the notion of fairy-tale mixtapes, an idea borrowed from Adam Hoffman’s discussion of Andrew Lang, and how to conceptualise the eccentric array of works pulled together in Lang’s coloured fairy tale collections. The always sparkly and scholarly Rebecca-Anne do Rozario blogged her fairy-tale mixtape here. The idea … Continue reading

Author : nike
Comments : One Comment

sixty-eight (burn)

Our father coming in from the garden, or us going out to stand in the weedy patch of rhubarb and watch him cut, with a knife we were sure grew bloodier with each cut, the long pink stalks. The exact gesture with which he gathered the poisonous leaves in one … Continue reading

Author : nike

‘Richilde’ by Johann Karl August Musäus’s (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 : One Comment

Sermerssuaq

Sermerssuaq was so powerful that she could lift a kayak on the tips of three fingers. She could kill a seal merely by drumming on its head with her fists. She could rip asunder a fox or hare. Once she arm-wrestled with Qasordlanguaq, another powerful woman, and beat her so … Continue reading

Filed under : Fairy Tales , On Reading
Author : nike
Comments : One Comment

Childhood paracosms (Alleston, Ejuxria, Farksolia, Nahum …)

  I’ll be presenting a paper on the life and work of Barbara Newhall Follett as part of the Forgotten Lives/Biographies symposium being held at USQ on April 28th this year. This paper developed out of a research interest that informed the writing of Dying In The First Person, in particular, children who have … Continue reading

Author : nike
Comments : 4 Comments

John Mystery and the Adventure Castle

The wonderful librarian at Monash University’s Rare Books (Stephen Perrin) has shared with me just a few of the many ‘John Mystery’ publications in the collection. John Mystery was an Australian children’s publishing phenomenon. He published hundreds of small, cheap books for children during the late 1930s and 1940s, for very … Continue reading

Author : nike
Comments : 13 Comments

Australian Fairy Tales and William (Billy) Hughes

Here’s a delightful little snippet from my recent sojourn in the Monash University Rare Books Collection. One of the books in their collection is Australian Fairy Tales, by Hume Cook, illustrated by Christian Yandell. The book was first published in 1925 and includes the following rather interesting Foreword by the RT. HON. W. … 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
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