Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My Melbourne Spring

The new spring Meanjin is out now, and it's packed with Good Stuff.

Highlights so far include: Glow and Minahan's newsreel essay on creativity, Takolander's essay on literature, and Peter Coghill's poem 'Aubade'. But I've only touched the the proverbial iceberg tip.

I also have a little essay in this issue, 'My Melbourne Spring'. I'm comparing our family Spring to the official one, in newspapers, posters, advertisements. A sample:
My Melbourne spring is a meanwhile. Meanwhiles are unheralded, unofficial things. They’re not sponsored by L’Oreal, or subsidised by the State Government. They’ve no city committee to coordinate email campaigns and celebrity guests from Neighbours. They’re small, domestic, intimate. We might say of a meanwhile: “Oh, is that all?” Much of everyday life is a meanwhile, but we forget this in carnival seasons.

And spring in Melbourne is a carnival season: horse racing, fashion week, agriculture and footy. There are multicoloured, panting horses whipped on the track, and multicoloured pantless whippets in couture – the sports of kings and queens. The fashion prophets bring their tablets down from the mount. Race headlines proclaim scratchings with the gravitas of a papal conclave; and so too the runway, where everything’s recycled except the bullshit. Moments of muscular and aesthetic glory, amidst madness and absurdity: spray-tanned trackside legs and snapped filly forelegs – one sleeping in champagne vomit, the other just put to sleep.
By the way, the cute sketch is by Oslo Davis, who illustrated Meanjin's newsreel section.

No comments: