Tonight, The Cure performed at the Sydney Opera House. I did not get to go. Instead, like most of my friends—my Facebook world seemed suddenly entirely dead!—I tuned in to a livestream of the band performing.
Hey Debby, it’s not cute to perpetuate stereotypes about other communities and capitalise on their experiences by opting to tell their stories—so quit it. In recent years, the conversation of who can tell what stories has become more frequent.
Another Anzac Day comes on down the pipe. It always feels like the real Australia Day to me. As if some essence of who we are can still be found amid the twisted celebrations and misdirected attacks.
Go-betweens like me, born to visibly different immigrant parents, are always being asked where we’re “really” from, and often wondering where we really belong.
The question of whose story it is to tell is one that I’ve been thinking a lot about lately, especially as lately I’ve been telling more stories about myself and my life.
I was raised in a house where inconspicuous wards were placed in every room to protect us against the threat of supernatural entities – an evil eye over the front door, rings blessed by priests hanging from boards, statuettes of saints by the windows, and precious stones with reputations for emanating positive vibes were tucked into drawers with our undies and socks.
To summarize violently: the transcendent, essentialist reading of White does him a great disservice. There is no meaningful opposition between the spiritual and the performative in White’s work; his characters perform their meaning, move in their own structures of feeling.
It’s been ubiquitously noted that the publication of Jack Cox’s Dodge Rose in 2016 bucked a number of Auslit publication trends, and some international formal ones. Beginning with the obvious, it was published by Dalkey Archive in the US before being picked up by Text.
I don’t read fiction about illness much. I know that’s not what you expected, as it goes directly against the premise of this essay. But fiction allows me to inhabit another body; it’s a luxury. I’m not sure I want to read about a body that is ill like mine. Thinking about my experience of illness takes up so much of my life already: the GP appointments, the psychologist, the psychiatrist, the neurologist I haven’t yet seen but have spent nine months on a waiting list for, imagining what it’ll be like to enter that room. I’m not as well…
Words || Katerina Bryant “Sometimes pus, sometimes a poem… but always pain.” —Yehuda Amichai, as quoted in Shaping the Fractured Self The first poem I loved was Sylvia Plath’s Tulips. I didn’t understand it; not at first. I was in the last year of high school and our teacher took us through the poem; line by line, stanza by stanza. I remember the way she would pace the room as she spoke during English and History, calling Rasputin a “weirdo” and Charles Manson “freaky”. Her hair was henna red and her excitement awoke an excitement in me, even though I…
Words || Katerina Bryant When I first became ill, I tried to find stories like mine. I needed to see myself on the page to believe I could adapt to a new life: a quieter, restrained life. I will not go into the particulars of my illness here—it is a sticky blend of mental illness and seizures that takes over the page once I begin to write about the details. But I will say that for the first few months of my illness, I left the house only for work. I did not dare live a life that could compound…
I view writing as my way to understand the complexities of lives I have and haven’t lived. So, often my writing is far-reaching—I’ve yoyo’d from writing about hunting feral pigs to mental illness to my recent obsession, women clowns. It seems the only consistency in my work is that it’s nonfiction.