Monday, May 31, 2010

another interesting thing...

as I said in response to a "what's next" question Angela put to all the panellists on Sunday: That's what the Internet is for.

in my case, it's for not only bits that didn't make the book for reasons of space rather than quality (pending: some stuff about weather and extra references), but also for the endless stream of space-and-place-and-map/representation material about Melbourne.

eg: App My State, a shameless bid by the Vic Government to get cool ideas for location-specific applications for free. a typical idea (not actual application)

Submitted By:Peter Macpherson
Date of original idea: 9th March 2010
Imagine a website that has stylised fence, where each paling represents a calendar day. On that fence there are little icons attached that expand to display a pdf, jpeg, avi, doc or other file type. Members of the public email their "graffitti" and it gets stored in this fashion (by the date and time of their email). I think this would appeal to many sections of the community - from poets to artists to youth who may see it as a better way to "make their mark". Add a few competitions for fun, and a good search engine and it could form the basis of a wonderful cultural archive.

almost makes me want to get an iPhone...

and in a not unrelated way, the new Australian Tourism campaign uses photos taken by the public on a map of the country, so you can zoom in and out, Google-style. I liked the use of the term "your fellow Australians"...the whole thing is so tongue in check, particularly as it's really aimed at non-Australians, generally known as tourists (unless they are in a small boat coming from Indonesia).

Sunday, May 30, 2010

ewf @ mth

EWF report: the session was chaired by the lovely Angela Meyer, who said nice things about us all to the 100 or so people who attended...I was on first, which was both nerve-racking and good, because it freed me up to listen to what the others had to say: there was Patrick Cullen, who talked about how his characters' inner journeys correspond to landscape in his book What Came Between, set around the time of the Newcastle earthquake; there was playwright Sean Reilly, who was very funny and yet horrifying with his descriptions of growing up as a sensitive child in the remains of the Tasmanian convict/massacre landscapes - and said that playwrights in Australia these days don't bother with setting because directors cut it out, which I find quite mindboggling - and Leanne Hall, who read from her very clever book This is Shyness, and made me feel clever because I recognised one of her streets, Grey Street, which is the border of her imaginary suburb Shyness, as Smith St, which is the border between Fitzroy and Collingwood.

all in all it was a session I'd quite like to have attended myself. and I hope I got away with my trick of some general chat about the nature of place in writing, followed by readings from some of the better books set in Melbourne: Peter Carey, Helen Garner, that kind of thing - plus a little of my book. and it was in the amazing Yarra Room at the Town Hall, with lots of curlicles on the walls, a lovely high decorative skylight and big oil paintings of dead white males in gilt frames all around us.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

appropriating the real

...finishing my notes for my talk this afternoon at the EWF, I came across some quotes I'd jotted down.

Jonathon Lethem, speaking on The Book Show on Feb 10 this year said something like - to use a city for your writing requires a lot of ego. it's like scribbling your name all over it - a very rough paraphrase.

and James Wood, in How Fiction Works, said simply: "Art selects and shapes."

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

words about Melbourne

so I'm on at the emerging writers festival on Sunday. talking about place with a coupla other writers. 3pm, Melbourne town hall.

also, there's this, from some Melbourne uni students: Open Book Melbourne; bookshop review and other Melbourne bookish stuff.