Letter from the Poetry Editor
Welcome to the November 2013 issue of Transnational Literature. Anyone involved in the Australian poetry community will know that it has been a difficult time as two of our own award winning poets have been ‘outed’ as plagiarists. While this has caused poets from around the nation (and indeed, the world) great concern, poets have been reconsidering the idea of authentication, wondering can art ever truly be unique. Who owns a literary work? The author? The publisher? The reader? These questions are for every writer – not only poets – and they are especially true for editors, who are now expected to be the guardians of authenticity. I honestly do not know how to go about doing my job any differently than how I’ve been doing for the past eight years: have faith in the legitimacy of an author’s passionate desire to communicate. I hope that when you read our authors, you’ll feel that passion.
In this issue homage is paid to Ludwig Wittgenstein as a woman analyses love to the point of feeling it; Allen Ginsberg’s footsteps in India are retraced in a discovery of Indian influence on the Beat Poets; the Yellow Emperor of China c.2697-2597BCEresurfaces to apologise to one of his wives – passionate muses abound. Diane Bell pays tribute to the late Ngarrindjeri man Tom Treverrow, whose lifetime work was keeping the stories of the Old People alive and tirelessly fighting for reconciliation – memories of a passionate life. And of course there are book reviews: two, in fact, of reprinted Australian classics, reminding us that passion still lives in the pages of our paperback books. As a possible commentary on the displacement of cultural histories, identities, morals and ethics of transnational lives, the writing in this issue echoes the words of Ouyang Yu, who reminds us of the borderlessness of our spiritual landscapes and the passion it insists upon:
If one struggles and gets nowhere
Think of the sky that remains hollow and empty
Perhaps because it still hasn't begun charging a fee
To the passing planes
Enjoy, and may the passion be with you.
Heather Taylor Johnson
About Transnational Literature
Welcome to Transnational Literature, a freely accessible, fully refereed international
e-journal published twice a year by the Flinders Institute for Research
in the Humanities, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia.
Transnational Literature evolved from the e-journal Quodlibet: the Australian Journal of Trans-national Literature, and before that the print CRNLE Reviews Journal,
published by the Centre for Research in New Literatures in English.
CRNLE was founded in 1977 by Dr Syd Harrex and was based in the
Department of English at Flinders University, South Australia. The
Centre promoted research into the literatures of India, Africa, the
Caribbean, Canada and Australia, and all parts of the world where
literature in English has been written. The Centre had a world-wide list
of associates and a long list of publications, and organised and
supported a number of conferences involved in the scholarly
investigation of the role of new literatures throughout the world.
Transnational Literature maintains a focus on new
literatures in English, but has expanded its portfolio to consider all
literatures that deal with cross-cultural contact and interaction.
Submissions on these areas are welcomed and writers are encouraged to
consult the Submissions link. Postgraduate and Honours students are encouraged to submit papers.