Transnational Literature


Transnational Literature

Volume 8, Issue 1
November 2015

Letter from the Editor

Welcome to the November 2015 issue of Transnational Literature.

In this issue we mark the passing of our dear friend, mentor and colleague, Syd Harrex in May this year. Syd’s legacy is evident in the many eloquent tributes in poetry and prose provided for this issue by those who knew him, as well as in a recent publication, Whaddaya Know? edited by Ron Blaber (Wakefield Press) and the June issue of Asiatic, edited by Syd’s former student Mohammad A. Quayum. This will be followed by a special feature honouring Syd’s work in the May 2016 issue of Transnational Literature – see the CFP for details.

The significance of Syd’s legacy for Transnational Literature can hardly be overstated. Simply put, without Syd the journal would not exist. Syd set up the Centre for Research in the New Literatures in English at Flinders University, and established the CRNLE Reviews Journal in 1979. Transnational Literature is the direct descendant of that journal, and is built on the networks that Syd fostered throughout the Anglophone world. Not only that, but without Syd’s prompting at an early stage in my own academic career, while I was still studying for my Honours degree at Flinders University, I doubt that it would have occurred to me to submit my work for publication. Having begun on that path, I felt confident to enter the world of academia, effectively as a second career in parallel with my established work in the university library. Syd’s gentle, collegial encouragement kept me going through my early forays into publication, and introduced me to the delights of literary conferences, both at the famous Penneshaw conferences and elsewhere. So when I was offered the chance to edit the journal, I barely hesitated – and here we are, 15 issues later. Syd served on the Advisory Board of TNL from the first issue until his death.

Aside from the direct tributes to Syd in this issue, we are offering a diversity of intellectual inquiry and creativity which is very much in the spirit of Syd’s legacy. We have the second and more substantial part of a Special Feature on Philosophy and Literature which began in the May 2015 issue, including seven peer-reviewed essays on a broad range of literatures – French, Spanish, Indian, Australian, American, English – and a pair of essays featuring another larger-than-life Flinders personality, philosopher Brian Medlin. Firstly there is his own essay in words and pictures, titled ‘Mysticism and Stuff Like That’, and secondly, his former Flinders colleague, Brian Matthews, has contributed the text of his Brian Medlin Memorial Lecture, presented in 2014, a highly entertaining reminiscence of Medlin (who died in 2004) and of early days in Humanities at Flinders University.

As always, we offer a strong selection of creative writing in this issue. Ten poets have contributed to this issue, and there are seven pieces of prose creative writing, ranging from a Kafka-infused story set in Japan to a passionate defence of freedom of choice in modes of dress. There is also a translation of oral poetry from the Ahirani language of Maharashtra.

A varied collection of book reviews rounds out this issue.

Thanks to all the editorial team – including our new Creative and Life Writing editor, Ruth Starke, and new assistant editor Michael Lee Gardin from San Antonio, Texas. Particular thanks to Melinda Graefe, who has assembled the tributes to Syd Harrex, and to Kathryn Koromilas, who did much of the initial work for the Philosophy and Literature feature. And to the many anonymous peer reviewers we have called upon in preparing this and every issue, we are deeply grateful for your thoughtful and constructive reports. Almost without exception, your comments and suggestions are received gratefully, and provide authors at various stages of their academic careers with invaluable guidance. This is a substantial though largely unacknowledged service to the international academic community.

Gillian Dooley

Transnational Literature, Volume 8, Issue 1: Contents

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.

Transnational Literature is indexed in MLA Bibliography, Proquest and the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ).





ISSN 1836-4845




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Transnational Literature

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