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Our 24th print edition is now available for you to purchase! The Medicine Issue is an entire edition dedicated to dissecting, examining and probing all things ‘medicine’. Find one in a stockist, or grab it directly from us.
There’s nothing quite like the price of tobacco in Australia to spark conversation with an international guest to the Melbourne Writers’ Festival. Nicolás Casariego (Madrid, 1970) author of the recently translated Antón Mallick Wants To Be Happy (Hispabooks, 2014) was blown away not only by the duty-free restrictions on cigarettes but also by the tawdry, brandless packaging imposed on Australian retailers. It’s the way of the future, he laments, pulling an indistinguishable cigarette from the packet and lighting it with a well-travelled Bic lighter drawn from the breast-pocket of a stylish sportscoat.
That perhaps sums up the peculiar mix of pragmatism and romanticism that shone through in our conversation at a café on Spring Street. The author expressed pleasure at having worked in collaboration with translator Thomas Bunstead on Antón Mallick, but also acknowledged that a foray into the English-language market is something every Spanish writer working today looks forward to. Casariego says that when writing the novel, which appeared originally in Spanish in 2010, he employed a style and rhythm that he thought could be easily conveyed in translation.
‘Not another literature magazine,’ we hear you thinking as another thick wad of paper lands on your doorstep, ‘where am I going to store all these things?’ Fear not: the Deleted Rivers Edition of The Lifted Brow: Digital is available now on your Apple device, and it‘s just begging to be put in touch with your eyeballs.
In this issue: Harriet McKnight visits Opouri Bay; new poetry from Mark Cugini; Benjamin Kunkel charts Patagonia; Jo Langdon is Somewhere Close; and James Robert Douglas interviews director Amiel Courtin-Wilson.
Here’s a bit more about our contributors:
- Harriet McKnight is a writer from Melbourne. She is also the Deputy Editor of The Canary Press.
- Mark Cugini is an American-born poet living in America. He is the author of I’m Just Happy To Be Here (Ink Press 2014) and the Managing Editor of Big Lucks Books. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Hyperallergic, Pinwheel, Sink Review, Hobart, BOAAT, and numerous other publications. From July 20th to August 27th, he was the #1 ranked player of Kim Kardashian: Hollywood.
- Jo Langdon was the inaugural winner of the Rachel Funari Prize for Fiction in 2013. She is the author of a chapbook of poetry, Snowline (2012), and is is currently studying as a doctoral candidate with Deakin University’s School of Communication and Creative Arts, where she also teaches in Literary Studies & Professional and Creative Writing.
- James Robert Douglas is a freelance cultural critic and Interviews Editor at The Lifted Brow.
- Benjamin Kunkel is the author of Indecision, a novel; Utopia or Bust, a collection of political essays; and Buzz, a play. He writes frequently for The London Review of Books and is a founding editor of n+1 magazine.
- Cover art by Lashna Tuschewski, an artist working in illustration, embroidery, collage, hand made jewellery, and ceramics.
The Lifted Brow: Digital is available on your preferred iOS device – get the app now.
That big old beardo Charles Darwin once wrote: “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” We say: shut up Charles Darwin! Who you calling weak or dumb? Not us, surely, because TLB is not and has never been about survival—we’re all about thriving! And jiving. High-fiving! Skin-diving.
You may have heard whispers of the massive change that is about to happen at TLB. We’re about to s h a k e things up—in pretty big ways for such a small and excellent and truly madly deeply humble publication/organisation as us.
But, firstly: please know that progress doesn’t mean crappy transmogrification! Since our inception in 2007, The Lifted Brow (both as a single print publication, and then a set of publications, and then as an arts organisation) has morphed and expanded to feature writers and artists from Australia and the world, always to both a national and international audience. Our changes continue in this vein; the traits that have been central to TLB—the championing of top quality writing and art, irreverence, independence, experimentation, transparency, accessibility, interestingness—will never be jettisoned.
Art and blindness are not often associated with each other, but both have always been a natural part of my life. I wasn’t born blind. In fact, I’m not completely, totally blind right now: I’m ‘legally blind’, which means I have just enough vision to be dangerous.
I was born with Retinitis Pigmentosa, a blinding disease that robs you of your sight over time. I can make out general, blurry shapes and colours during the day, but at night I see total blackness, except for a few blurry lights here and there. And the moon.
It took years to become legally blind. A friend of mine once remarked that he would just as soon go blind all at once and get the adjustment period over with. But it wasn’t that way with me. I was given my first pair of glasses at the age of two, and my vision only went downhill from there. In elementary school, I had to sit at the front desk in order to see the chalkboard. With RP comes night blindness, so I always had to hold onto someone’s arm or jacket sleeve when I was out at night. In some ways I felt limited, but now I realise that was just insecurity seeping in. At times it was hard for me to ask for help, or have anyone know I had a visual impairment, especially when it came to dating. Sometimes I’d be on a date at night in a car, and could only judge how it was going by what he said or how he said it, instead of seeing the expression on his face or seeing his gestures.
When the My Little Pony franchise was rebooted in 2010 as the TV series My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, it quickly garnered an unexpected cadre of fans. Bolstered by lively discussion on such sites as 4chan and Reddit, the franchise was adopted by males aged thirteen to thirty-five – hardly the predictable demographic for a show aimed at young girls. These fans came to be known as ‘bronies’—a portmanteau of ‘bro’ and ‘pony’—and today, according to the online Brony Study conducted by two psychologists from the University of Georgia and Louisiana State University, there are at least 50,000 self-identified bronies, eighty-five percent of whom are male, with an average age of twenty-one.
The precise course of the development of this fan culture is unclear. In some tellings the bronies began watching and discussing My Little Pony ‘ironically’. The fact that the fandom is thought to have begun on 4chan and Reddit—two sites where insincerity and unblinking absurdity are the lingua franca—lends credence to this. But the enthusiasm shown by bronies, and their use of a distinctive lingo (‘anypony’ for ‘anybody’), caused them to be marginalised by the host websites. Independent sites were established, and brony culture (based on the frequency of Google searches) expanded in 2011. Eventually, a sexual subset appeared: ‘cloppers’, who masturbate and profess sexual attraction to eroticised images of the My Little Pony characters. One figure puts the ‘clopper’ population at twenty percent of all bronies.