Max Errman, “Desperata: Prose for a Way Out of Life”

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bear illustration.jpgWent to bed last night with the realisation that all the world’s a sham, except maybe the art of bread-making. Supplying fresh wholesome handmade loaves to the local community, donating what’s left at the end of the day to charity. Betty’s Bakery. No! That means brand logo, catchphrase, and marketing—I’ve already joined the ranks of those from whom I wish to escape (a calculator sounds in the distance, an interior designer is hired). What then? Ought I arm myself, self-consciously and pretentiously, with a copy of Walden and off to the woods, a retreat from modernity and its attendant excesses? In the company of humans their expectations and norms I live a life of anxiety, said anxiety owing to the way my brain is wired which, in turn, owes to the life I have lived with the temperament I was born with. In the company of nature and wildlife the expectation is to survive, but not so long ago just last year I think I had to look up the definition of fortitude. The definition, once read, made me laugh at myself for not knowing what it was. I’m good at that. But self-deprecation won’t do when faced with a bear, a deadly bite, the ensuing infection, and, worse than pus, the silent panic through it all. Better people and walls, calculators and clocks, after all.

A sound note on music’s unique, equalising ability to evoke human emotion

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How to begin a manifesto? Fiery-veined passion propelled me to grasp for words that equalled Chopin’s effect. Then, having failed that, I scrambled for pictures; moving pictures, still pictures, pictures of girls posing as dryads, twirling ballerinas—I even enlisted the help of one Joe Wright, filmmaker extraordinaire. All of this, to no avail. My folly, I realised with aching clarity on this cold winter afternoon with only his music for company, stems chiefly from the vain belief that Continue reading

On leaving the art gallery

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rodinI loathed to leave the gallery. In the darkening light of dusk its magnificence expanded outwards, casting an enchanted aura over its surroundings. Even the parklands opposite where I walked became magic at its touch. Still I walked, stopping every so often to glance backwards, whereupon I beheld with marvellous longing the architecture to which I could return time and again. The consequence of my backward glances, I am happy to announce, was that I was simply very late for supper. Had I been a hero in a love story and the art gallery my deceased beloved—I am sure you have all heard of the poor chap—it would have been lost to me forever.

Good buy Greek deli

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There’s something incredibly comforting about Greek delis—the grubbier a deli is, the more homely I find it. This has everything to do with The Greek Deli being a permanent fixture of my Inner West upbringing and also says everything about mine being a creature of habit, in other words a lamenter of change. Continue reading

Flappers and fidelity

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LADY MARY (smugly, to a baffled Lord Grantham) Your niece is a flapper, accept it.

LADY ROSE (exquisitely thrilled by the fact that she is finally being recognised and accepted for what she is) I am not a flapper!

Meatier than wursts: big long German words

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Linear, Germanic, and impressively gothic in appearance (it’s the ä, the scher and the unfamiliar arrangement of familiar alphabets), the italicised word at the bottom of the page enticed and incited in me what can only be described as a rush of desire accompanied by the urge to gratify it, like a neon sign that blinked Continue reading

The King Is Not Dead

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elvis.jpg‘There’ll never be another Elvis,’ said the old man to the impersonator. But there needn’t be, not when he is survived and granted eternal life by his works, influence, and legacy. Why would we need another Elvis when he is the one and only? The king never died; he is unsurpassable; long live the king.