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Emperors in Lilliput Clem Christesen of Meanjin and Stephen Murray-Smith of Overland


Emperors in Lilliput Clem Christesen of Meanjin and Stephen Murray-Smith of Overland

  • ISBN 13:


  • ISBN 10:


  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 08/30/2022
  • Publisher: Melbourne University Press

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'Lilliput,' in this dual biography, is the world of literary magazines in Australia between the 1940s and the 1980s. Here Clem Christesen and Stephen Murray-Smith, of the journals Meanjin and Overland, were determined, driven visionaries. Both were very human-and occasionally bruised-believers in and workers for a better nation. The book ranges from before the Menzies era and the Cold War, through the Whitlam period and beyond to the challenges of the 1980s. It shows how the editors constantly aimed for a culture more liberal, diverse, and developed than the one then prevailing. Their publications may have lacked resources and economic return, but they nonetheless possessed authority, regularly providing stimulation for their readers and for the nation. In finely wrought detail, Jim Davidson—the second editor of Meanjin—traces the commitment of Christesen and Murray-Smith to this ambitious cultural project and how it attracted many of the key writers and thinkers of those years. There are pen portraits of many of them, as the reader is taken behind the scenes. Emperors in Lilliput exhibits the enlightened creative spirit animating these journals at their best.

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