Non-Australian Settings in Michael Wilding's Selected and New Short Stories Somewhere New


  • Ivan Maver



Where is "somewhere new"? As denoted by the title in his


new collection of short stories, Michael Wilding perceives it in a


symbolic sense, as a place of potential, away from the centre on the


decentralizing margin, a place that enables a fresh new start, a






It can be just anywhere, in Australia on a Sydney beach or


the Balmain part of the harbour, in the United States on Jack


Kerouac's beloved Mississippi river which really stands for the


river Severn in Wilding's native England, or in North Africa.


Michael Wilding's (born 1942) recently published collection of


twenty new and selected short stories




Somewhere New: New and


Selected Stories


(1996) shows just how very much alive the short


story tradition still is on the Australian literary scene.




It draws on


seven previous volumes from over thirty years of writing, including


classics like, for example, "The Man of Slow Feeling" (1986) and


"Reading the Signs" ( 1984 ), the title stories of two of his early


short story collections, as well as new, previously uncollected


pieces on drugs, politics, sex and the literary life.