Kill Your Darlings - Kill Your Darlings 15
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DESCRIPTIONThis is a free sample of Kill Your Darlings issue "Kill Your Darlings 15" Download full version from: Apple App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id845139689?mt=8&at=1l3v4mh Magazine Description: Proudly independent, Kill Your Darlings is Australias most lively and entertaining cultural publication, founded by Hannah Kent (author of bestselling novel Burial Rites) and Rebecca Starford in 2010, and today it comprises a quarterly edition, a website and blog, regular events series, a writers workshop and an online shop. Publishing essays, commentary, interviews, fiction and reviews, as well as regular opinion-pieces and columns, KYD is committed to feisty new writing unafraid of pulli... You can build your own iPad and Android app at http://presspadapp.com
N E W F I C T I O N | C O M M E N TA R Y | E S S AY S | R E V I E W S
Kill your darlings
KILL YOUR DARLINGS
Publishing Directors: Rebecca Starford and Hannah Kent
Editor: Rebecca Starford
Deputy Editor: Brigid Mullane
Online Editor: Emily Laidlaw
Online Assistant: Jessica Alice
Editorial Assistant: Christopher Fieldus
Social Media Assistant: Samantha van Zweden
PO Box 166, Parkville 3052, Victoria, Australia
Published by Kill Your Darlings Pty Ltd
This collection Kill Your Darlings 2013
Kill Your Darlings 15, 2013
ISBN 978-0-9808076-0-8, ISSN 1837-638X
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted
in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying or otherwise
without the prior permission of Kill Your Darlings.
The views and opinions expressed by individual authors are not necessarily those of
Cover illustration: Guy Shield
Design and layout: Kill Your Darlings
Kill Your Darlings accepts unsolicited submissions. Please visit the website for all
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the
Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.
9 Imaginary Futures: The Fight for Marriage Equality in Australia
Michelle Dicinoski, author of recent memoir The Ghost Wife, tackles the long-overdue need for marriage equality in Australia, and considers what we can learn from developments overseas.
20 A Car Fire in Suburbia: Malicious Property Damage
An act of arson has Zo Barron contemplating the motives behind vandalism in Fremantle.
29 Crusades and Kinship: Live Action Role Play in Melbourne
Sam Bolton takes us to the realm of foam swords, elf ears and chainmail in his look at live action role play.
37 A Public Engagement: The Art of Controversy
Pepi Ronalds revisits the controversy of the Yellow Peril and examines the role of art in public spaces.
46 On Exchange: Things Taken and Things Left Behind
Laura Jean McKay travels to Indonesia and explores the nature of cultural exchange.
53 Gambling on a Day in Hinnomunjie: Dostoyevsky in the High Country
Kerrin OSullivan takes the Russian great to a day at the races.
62 Writing the Fear: Climbing Everest and Conquering Anxiety
Emma Rummery on anxiety, writing and climbing Everest.
0MQMXPIWW(MZIVWMX]*ERGXMSRERHXLI*YXYVISJXLI&SSO Kate Goldsworthy investigates the world of slash and discovers lessons XLITYFPMWLMRKIWXEFPMWLQIRXGERPIEVRJVSQJERGXMSR
85 Control Daniel Ducrou
96 Just Like Us Melanie Joosten
111 Kill Your Darlings in conversation with Laurent Binet
129 Beautiful and Damned: The Myths of Zelda Fitzgerald
Rebecca Howden on how three recent novels re-imagine the life and rewrite the personality of one the literatures most infamous women.
139 What Happens Next?: 50 Years of Doctor Who
On the eve of the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who Julia Tulloh delves into the world of Whovian fandom.
149 Posthumous and Personal: Remembering David Rakoff
Stephanie Van Schilt farewells the extraordinarily talented writer and performer David Rakoff and reviews his posthumous novel.
Welcome to Issue 15 of Kill Your Darlings. A lot will have happened between the time weve gone to print and when youre reading this, namely the federal election. If were to trust the polls, Tony Abbott is currently tipped to be our next prime minister, and with this change in government comes the continuation of prejudicial marriage laws. Even if Kevin Rudd does perform a messianic miracle, his support for reform is tepid, most recently ruling out a referendum on the issue.
Several years ago Michelle Dicinoski married her partner in the United States, only to return to Australia to have this marriage nullified at the immigration gates. Her lead feature in this issue, Imaginary Futures: The Fight for Marriage Equality in Australia, is an emotive call to arms, artfully reminding us how this discrimination continues to effect same-sex couples longing to marry and have their relationship recognised in this country.
The opposition to marriage reform remains at odds with the attitudes of the electorate: a Sydney Morning Herald survey last year indicated that more than two thirds of Australians support the legalisation of same-sex marriage. So why are politicians not listening?
Elsewhere in Commentary, Fremantle-based Zo Barron explores the nature of vandalism after a first-hand experience, and Pepi Ronalds revisits the controversy of the Yellow Peril and examines the role of art in public spaces.
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Role-play and fandom are also explored in this issue: Sam Bolton takes us on an adventure through the world of swords, elf ears and chainmail in the increasingly popular live action role play, while Kate Goldsworthy investigates the world of slash and fanfiction with fascinating insight. Meanwhile, Laura Jean McKay and Emma Rummery have two very different travelling experiences one heading to Indonesia for the Bali Emerging Writers Festival (and catching the Chikungunya virus along the way) and the other on a quest to climb Mount Everest.
In Fiction, we feature a new story from Daniel Ducrou, entitled Control, which is an incisive account of masculinity and fatherhood, while Melanie Joostens Just Like Us is a satirical account of a young couple striving to meet the expectations of modern life.
In Interviews we had the pleasure of chatting with French literary sensation Laurent Binet, whose novel HHhH brought him international renown. In Reviews, Rebecca Howden discusses the literary reputations of Zelda Fitzgerald, Julia Tulloh remembers the past fifty years of Doctor Who, and Stephanie van Schilt commemorates the celebrated writer and performer David Rakoff, whose premature death last year robbed the world of an enduring talent.
There have been more staff changes at Kill Your Darlings. Were delighted announce that Emily Laidlaw has been promoted to Online Editor, after Imogen Kandel has gone on to a new publicity role at Black Inc. Books. We thank Im for all her hard work with us and wish her all the very best she will be missed!
Rebecca Starford, Editor
The Fight for Marriage Equality in Australia
When I was a kid, I hated the idea of marriage. Marriage meant I would have to cook someones tea every night, wash his clothes, share a bed all of which seemed like a lot of work. Second-wave feminism had shaken things up in the world, but my household, in Rockhampton in the 1980s, was yet to feel the effects of the tsunami. We were the first people in our street to get a microwave, but it would be years before my dad could use it.
Marriage didnt seem to be a transition, or a rite of passage. It seemed to mark only an endless repetition of how things were: women doing womens work, men doing mens work, and life going on with a kind of inevitability. As a child, I didnt know what I wanted for my future, but I knew that wasnt it. If I could somehow have glimpsed the future, and seen myself marrying a woman, I might have fallen from my tree house in surprise.
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Marriage equality has made some remarkable advances over the past year. The United States Supreme Court struck down the Defence of Marriage Act (DOMA), which had enshrined unequal treatment for same-sex couples in regard to federal matters. In France, same-sex marriage was legalised despite violent clashes between supporters and opponents. Closer to home, New Zealands parliament also legalised gay marriage before bursting spontaneously into a Maori love song in what must have been one of the most genuinely moving scenes in political life anywhere in recent times.
In Australia in 2013, despite high levels of public support for same-sex marriage, and social media campaigns urging people to be on the right side of history, the law remains unchanged. As I write this, the federal election is fast approaching. Kevin Rudd has promised to introduce a marriage equality bill within a hundred days if hes re-elected, while Tony Abbott remains in opposition to marriage reform, despite his lesbian sister strongly advocating for change. Abbott says he wants to focus on bread and butter issues. For me, and for the millions of Australians who want the chance to marry or to see their sons and daughters or brothers and sisters marry this is a bread-and-butter issue. What could be more ordinary and everyday than marriage?
Margaret Mahys The Changeover was one of my favourite books when I was in high school. Its about a teenage girl, Laura Chant, who rescues her tiny brother from a supernatural force that is slowly killing him. She does this by transforming changing over into a
Commentary | 11
witch, in a transition that is dangerous and unpredictable and frightening. My friend Egg and I both madly loved the book because it was smart, sexy and scary, and because Mahy managed to treat her young characters as whole and complex people, people tasked with real and serious challenges. With the help of a family of witches, Laura Chant transitions to save her brother. This involves a ritual, a physical change, and danger. Afterwards, she looks at herself in the mirror and sees that through the power of charged imagination, her own and other peoples, [she] had made herself into a new kind of creature.
Now, years later, I can see why this idea appealed so strongly to my 14-year-old self. Surely this process must appeal to every queer child: the passage through harsh terrain. The changing over that leaves you forever altered.
My friend Egg was with me in 2005 when I married my girlfriend Heather in Toronto City Hall. While Heather and I exchanged rings and promises, ice-skaters outside carved circles in a rink beneath a clear blue December sky.
The plan had not been to marry, not at first. Heather is American, and we had planned the journey initially as a holiday, a longish stint in the United States to spend time with Heathers parents and extended family. At the time, Canada was the only English-speaking country in which same-sex marriage was legal. When it occurred to me that we could get married if only we drove up to Canada, it suddenly seemed perfect and urgent and necessary. We would marry. Of course. Elated, we told everyone we knew. We made invitations, bought rings, planned receptions in the US and Australia.
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Because of the distance, my family and friends couldnt travel over for the wedding, and we reassured them we appreciated that Toronto was expensive and far away. In truth, my parents were still uncomfortable with my sexuality, so the prospect of the wedding didnt fill them with festive cheer. In the months leading up to the wedding, I was torn by emotion. I wanted my parents to be proud and present. I wanted them to be supportive of my wedding. Their resistance meant that what shouldve been a time of joy was actually a time of mixed feelings, of sadness and heartache. They wanted me to live a normal life, to be married to a man, to have kids. I was trying to show them that this was a normal life. But for my country and my parents, the wedding didnt exist.
In the end, the only person from my past who was there for the ceremony was Egg, who flew in from her new home in England. (In the years since we finished school, she had been doing some changing over of her own, falling in love with an Englishman, and becoming a UK resident.) Her presence was the most wonderful gift, one that I would appreciate even more in years to come. Just like in The Changeover, I needed not just this ritual, not just the wedding, but also the power of imagination mine and Heathers, and that of those around us to shift us into this new thing, this new state.
Surveys show that younger people tend to be more accepting of same-sex marriage, while older people are less accepting of it. Most Australians agree that its inevitable that the law will change. Even so, marriage equality opponents, such as Liberal politician Cory Bernardi, are comfortable enough in
Commentary | 13
their prejudice to suggest as he did last year, and again earlier this year that same-sex marriage will lead to bestiality, and to people wanting to marry animals. When such arguments can even be imagined to play a part in the national debate, its hard to know when we will ever move forward.
Opponents of same-sex marriage often demand its supporters consider the plight of the children affected by same-sex marriage. But what about the children of same-sex parents who know that their parents cant marry if they want to? What about teenagers who know that regardless of whether they might want to, they themselves wont be permitted to marry a same-sex partner in the foreseeable future? Marriage is an incredibly powerful symbol. So is the withholding of it. It means that in the national imaginary, its impossible to see homosexual relationships as equivalent to heterosexual relationships. Its a failure of the imagination that has very real effects on the lives of queer Australians.
The anthropologist Victor Turner says that, for the subject in the liminal state, and who is about to go through a rite of passage, biological, social and cultural processes give an outward and visible form to an inward and conceptual process. He also says that the subject, before the ritual, is structurally, if not physically, invisible.
As Heather and I stood before each other that day in Toronto, the celebrant reminded us that our wedding rings were an outward and visible sign of our love. As we exchanged rings, he said, May these circles be the sign and seal of a pure and imperishable love, now mutually pledged.
I clung to those words, because I knew that when I
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left Canada with Heather in just a few days, our marriage would become, in legal terms, a phantom.
But back then, I was hopeful. I thought the law would change soon. Surely, I thought at the time, it will happen within a couple of years at the most. How wrong I was. As I write this, my eighth wedding anniversary is approaching. Heather and I are still married, and still ghosts. Every time I go to my straight friends weddings, I hear the statement, Marriage in Australia is defined as the union between a man and a woman, to the exclusion of all others. Celebrants are required by law to make that statement now. Every time I hear it, I burn with sadness and fury, and grip Heathers hand even tighter.
Anthropologists like Turner saw marriage as an important transition, a rite of passage. For many contemporary Australians, though, transitions and rites of passage arent so important. Some of my friends are married, some divorced or separated, wh...