Thursday, December 08, 2011

The twain meets

One of the great myths of the world of publishing is that some nobody gives a talk somewhere, perhaps her first, and afterward the editor of a distinguished press or journal comes up and enthsuses "I loved it! Can I publish it?" Well, something a little like that happened to me yesterday at my colleague Henry's reading series. I was of course reading from the "personal essay" H challenged me to write about my experience teaching the Aboriginal Australia course, an essay I spent a lot of time on but didn't imagine or expect would ever have a career beyond this blog. It was my first "reading," that is, the first time I'd shared something as a piece of writing rather than an argument, analysis or research - it came after reading of a short story and some poems - and I was both relieved and disappointed that the audience was small; only one other colleague came, N, a loyal trooper who attends all student and faculty work. I'm not sure my reading was very good - I hurried, and stumbled, and got lost in my text. But it is interesting material, and I'd worked on my "self-dramatization." N said he liked it, which I was grateful for. But then it turns out that he edits a journal! A journal on Australian and New Zealand literature, no less, Antipodes! And they're going to publish it!
(This map is someone's effort to show what antipodes means.)

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