No Long Paddock for Southerly 79.3! Read this entire issue for free via our shop.

Southerly 79.3 Cover
Catherine Vidler: Lost Matchstick Sonnet 16 (2021), Photograph, 14 cm x 16 cm

The Way We Live Now is a special issue of Southerly edited by Melissa Hardie and Kate Lilley. In the spirit of Lauren Berlant, this issue tracks “the unfolding activity of the contemporary moment”: “a stretch of time in which one moves around with a sense that the world is at once intensely present and enigmatic, such that the activity of living demands both a wandering absorptive awareness and a hypervigilance that collects material that might help to clarify things” (Berlant, Cruel Optimism 4). The diverse work offered here, in Southerly’s first online-only issue, gathers “Australian” writing produced in many different places and circumstances. Heterogenous and singular in its contents, the layered contiguity of digital publication optimistically promotes the lateral and multitemporal formation of the commons, true to the big ambitions and longevity of this venerable “little magazine.” Our contributors dwell in and on the permeability of extreme and ordinary states, temporal confusion and disturbance, bringing genre to bear on forms of technological, linguistic, and psychical mediation, exposing Berlantian “impasse” in myriad ways. We are grateful to Create NSW for a grant to pay contributors at a particularly disastrous time for arts funding. Most of all, we are grateful to the brilliant contributors who have entrusted us with their work. We loved putting this issue together. We hope our readers love it too.

*Lauren Berlant. Cruel Optimism. Duke University Press, 2011.

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