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

Ivan Maver

Abstract


 

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

 

future.

 

 

 

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.

 


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