Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Dero Dog in with Poets

I've just received in the post a copy of Famous Reporter #34. Ralph Wessman, one of the editors of this Tasmanian literary magazine, emailed me a while back to ask if he could reprint Dero Dog in it. They've done a nice job of printing and arranging the photos. If you didn't keep on reading my posts on him you may not know that Dero Dog was eventually euthanised by the RSPCA.

I've been away, spending a few days at Mollymook with my dear friend Zoe, post the annual cultural studies association conference which this year was in Canberra. I'd convened a panel on Container Technologies, one of the areas of cultural/technological analysis that I'm interested in (and working on an edited collection about). My paper, about handbags, femininity and globalisation, was well-received and a lot of fun to write & present. I like that at many of my conference presentations members of the audience laugh... it is more flattering than you might think!

The sea at Mollymook was clear & not too cold. In the evenings - I tell a lie, usually from about 12.20pm onwards - the gin flowed, there were many girly chats & I started to read Clare Clarke's excellent The Great Stink, highly recommended by my mother who certainly knows a good book. I haven't finished it yet, but am very much hoping that the mongrel champion rat-killer dog Lady will be reunited with her beloved human Tom by the end. Their imminent parting is beautifully written, as finely calibrated as any tragic romance:

"There was a dark hole inside his chest that had already started to open. He knew it would make him dizzy when he stood up. So he stayed where he was, his knees ablaze with cramp, his arms wrapped around the dog. His hundred-guinea girl. The tears dropped on to the black velvet of her broken ear and quivered there, bright as diamonds."

I didn't take Sailor on the trip but we were accompanied by Zoe's very personable companion Toby, a rather distinguished-looking and intelligent miniature black poodle.

I returned home last night, after a week away in total, and noticed that Sailor seems to have lost some more of her wrinkles. This is what happens to pugs as they age - their face-folds reduce - the opposite of humans.

I liked this stanza of John Bird's "The Fence Rider, 1950 Australia", in Famous Reporter:

"southern cross -
sharing the universe
with dog"

My world is more like

"middle age -
sharing the old couch
with pug"


Dorian said...

A couple of weeks I met a fox on the yarra bike-path and we each stopped to check each other out. It was very close and I was surprised at how cool and intelligent it looked. Somehow its expected that feral animals should be stupid and afraid and hiding whenever the sun is up I guess.

Dean said...

Be interested in reading your paper. You going to post it online somewhere?

Meredith Jones said...

Dorian that's something to remember. Dean I'll email you the paper.