A History of Rests

By Joshua Barnes

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What did Christina Stead see when, in 1930, she left Paris – largely to avoid meeting the mother-in-law of her de-facto partner, William Blech, who, awkwardly, was married to someone else – for Salzburg, Austria, in order to attend a festival devoted to the work of Mozart, that city’s most famous son? The Salzburg Tales, published four years later, was based largely on her time there, and that book’s first word discloses to us in terms that could not be more literal what Stead saw when she arrived: ‘Salzburg’. This ‘old princely and archiepiscopal city’ – populated with ‘baroque pleasure-castles standing in glassy lakes’, ‘peasant villages’ and ‘vineyards’ – was entirely unlike Sydney, the city of Stead’s birth. The opening pages of The Salzburg Tales suggest the rhetoric of a tourist’s letter home: ‘Yesterday morning,’ Stead’s narrator writes, ‘the city flashed like an outcrop of rock-crystals in its cliffs by the river.’ The overall effect is of great novelty and possibility: oh, the things that could be.

Stead began writing The Salzburg Tales in 1931 because the London publisher Peter Davies had only accepted her first novel, Seven Poor Men of Sydney, on the condition that she provide another book first, as a more conventional entrée for the reading public. She turned to Salzburg after giving up on The Wraith and the Wanderer, the novel she had promised initially to write for Davies, and which he had already gone to the trouble of advertising in his autumn catalogue as ‘an altogether extraordinary book, displaying the macabre imagination of an Edgar Allan Poe, the descriptive fervour of a Herman Melville, the loftiness of vision, in certain passages, of a Dante’. Davies’ account of Stead’s work-in-progress was itself a fiction – she had shown him only four chapters – and, as if to prove it, he concludes on a note that rings in retrospect with more than a little irony: ‘To describe it,’ Davies declared, ‘is almost an impossibility.’

Davies’ exaggeration unwittingly provides a decent conceptual vocabulary for Stead’s work and its fervid, macabre loftiness of vision. Take, for example, Seven Poor Men of Sydney, which, like The Salzburg Tales, opens with a city. But where Salzburg is conjured in quasi-folkloric terms as an enigmatic and beguiling place, Stead’s hometown is precarious, and abjectly so – the ‘hideous low scarred yellow horny and barren headland’ of Fisherman’s (Watson’s) Bay is lurid in its ugliness. Sydney is too recently settled, an open colonial wound infected by poverty: the Baguenault family – which provides the novel’s two principal characters, Michael and Catherine – ‘had settled in the bay directly after its arrival from Ireland thirty years before’, and is marked by its immigrant status, the family’s ‘roots growing down into the soil and rocky substratum so that nothing seemed to be able to uproot it anymore’. The beach, we are told, ‘provided not only fuel but also dead fish, swollen fruit, loaves, pumpkins, shoes and socks, broken straw-boaters’; to make matters worse, rats crawl from the sand into the nearby houses, the bay’s water is full of sharks and, once, a ship capsized, spilling its butter, milk and flour into the water. What is this if not the stuff of Sydney’s colonial repressed, and to where else but the beach would it return?

Hideous Sydney is, for Stead, the antithesis of woody, river-run, landlocked Salzburg. These two distinct sites of urban experience signal the more important difference between The Salzburg Tales and Seven Poor Men of Sydney: the latter is a novel of working-class people – the poor men of its title – slumming it in a time of economic crisis; conversely, The Salzburg Tales, which describes a loose collection of professionals, intellectuals and tourists sitting around in the woods telling each other stories, is and can only be an overwhelmingly bourgeois affair. As the character known only as the Lawyer remarks, at the conclusion of a story the Broker tells about a bullfighting Don Juan, ‘Why shouldn’t we fill in our leisure hours this way, listening to tales! What a company we are! We come from every corner of the earth: we have seen the world; we know Life. Let us amuse each other.’

When she travelled to Salzburg, Stead lacked company – she was a stranger. Far from sitting cross-legged in the woods listening capriciously to fantastic tales, Stead was a solitary traveller, and though she found the place ‘indescribably romantic’, she also missed Blech. As Hazel Rowley records it, Stead ‘went on long walks by herself and on organised excursions to the surrounding lakes and border towns’. There, she attended the puppet theatre for the first time, Rowley writes, but ‘she was [also] lonely and anxious. It was the longest time she and Bill had been apart and his letters – brief, jovial and hastily penned – did not do much for her tranquillity of mind’. (When she complained of ‘constant rain and wet feet’, Blech urged her to stay, or, if she had to leave Salzburg, to hold off returning to Paris while his mother-in-law was still around.) With this in mind, Stead’s wistful admiration of Salzburg at the beginning of the Tales assumes a new poignancy:

So passionate a love awakes in the stranger’s breast as he scarcely feels for his native land, for the incomparable beauty of these wild peaks, these rose walls two thousand feet in air and this mediaeval fortress hanging footless on an adamantine rock against the unweathered cliffs of the Untersberg: and as he walks, meditative, along some lowland or upland path, listening to the distant voices, the bells and the diminutive rustlings, he passes an old inhabitant with large brown eyes, sitting immobile on a log, who says politely in his sweet dialect, ‘Good-day’, as he would to a son of the city come from a foreign shore.

The stranger, wrote the sociologist Georg Simmel in a famous essay of 1908, is someone who arrives and does not leave, someone who ‘comes today and stays tomorrow’. In this respect, Simmel argued, the stranger is unlike the wanderer, who comes and goes – the stranger arrives, joins a social group, and stays but, crucially, retains the power to leave. A characteristic figure in a premodern social world would be the trader, who arrives, hanging out and exchanging goods, but is never fully integrated into the social body. The disembodied narrator of The Salzburg Tales is evidently a stranger, and Stead works this fact into the form of the text: we know the characters who speak to us not as individuated human beings but as ‘personages’, who are referred to by their profession or social role. Hence we meet a ‘Mathematician’, a ‘German Student’, a ‘Solicitor’ and an ‘Italian Singer’, but not the people of Salzburg: we’re at a festival after all, and what we hear are the stories not of locals but of other travellers, people from ‘every corner of the globe’. This – to be a stranger among strangers – this precisely is the condition of modernity.

And strangeness is the prevailing condition of The Salzburg Tales. The stories themselves, as various in their content as they are artificial in their form, bear this out. The Poet, whose tale comes early on the first day, describes a weekend spent in the castle of the enigmatic landowner James Redshield. The Poet, we learn, maintains an abiding preference for ‘obscure verbal tingle-tongle’ over the ‘everyday woof and warp’ that might characterise more ‘close-embroidered’ rational thinking. His story is suitably rococo, retailing as it does an account of a ‘compendious’ room he chances upon in the castle of the Redshields. A sort of library, it is handsomely appointed with ‘the English poets bound in shagrin, the French poets in morocco, the Arabian Nights…in oasis goat’ and ‘the lost archives of Gortchakov bound in sharkskin.’ (Stead has a lot of fun with the details of her commodities.) The intellectual and material luxury of all this room is such that ‘the modern poet’, we are told, ‘could desire no more’.

The metaphysics of the story then shifts, as the Poet discovers on the table ‘a small handbook’ which explains that he can, with the touch of a button, ‘change the wallpaper and curtains, or cause a series of spot, flood, and footlights to play, so that the aspect, perspective and size of the room would alter entirely’. At will, the poet can transfigure this room into ‘a pavilion of glass, transparent from within but not from without’. Though the Poet’s is one of the more belletristic in the Tales – in it, Stead’s keenness of description takes a happy precedence over narrative – all the stories to a greater or lesser degree share its opaque allegorical quality. All the stories in the Tales are endowed, if inconsistently, with Stead’s verbal intensity and visual precision, but in too few are these qualities arrayed in the service of anything other than texture for texture’s sake; too often Stead’s tales-within-tales, for all their articulate shadow-puppetry, lack an illuminating emotional backlight.

Hatred – and its subsidiary disgusts, resentments, antipathies and repulsions – is the emotion Stead inhabits with the greatest success. Think of the ‘beautifully, wholeheartedly vile’ Henrietta Collyer in The Man Who Loved Children, who ‘asked no quarter and gave none to the foul world, and when she told her children tales of the villainies they could understand, it was not to corrupt them, but because, for her, the world was really so’. The most Steadian character in The Salzburg Tales only shows up for a cameo, in a story told by the Centenarist (so named for his knowledge of the ‘centenaries of famous men’ and whose stories, it is decided by the festival attendees early on, should round out each day). He describes a philosopher he knew in New York who was ‘world famous and very much loved’. The Centenarist tells of how he would bump into this man out on the street, early in the morning, ‘when the milkmen were rattling round, the street sweepers were out, and the first workmen with picks and shovels were sleeping on the benches waiting for work to begin’. When the Centenarist asked the ‘frail’ philosopher why he was always out and about so early, the philosopher replied, ‘I get up every morning an hour earlier, to have an hour free to hate my wife’. To cultivate vileness in earnest, for Christina Stead, is its own kind of peculiar and vicious beauty.

Another story, from the fifth day, describes the entry into heaven of the lyric poet Sappho, and stages an encounter with an angel who informs her that, unfortunately, writing is prohibited. When Sappho asks – with understandable surprise, given ‘the holy are addicted to the Word’ – why this is so, the angel explains that:

it is a very old regulation, first imposed by the Lord (God bless him!), who is a writer himself, as you have probably guessed from the number of his writings, both attested and apocryphal, scattered about the earth. The day after Heaven opened, two journalists came here and immediately started rival journals: the interpretations they gave of the Gospels and their disputes under the heads of theophany, theogony and theopathy were so ridiculous and bitter, that the Lord himself was assailed by religious doubt: but he was wisely advised, and since then there has been no literature in heaven.

Right down to the God riven with doubt, this is a parable of bureaucratic modern life of the kind Kafka offers in his fragment ‘Poseidon’, which has the Greek sea god so consumed with the work of going over his accounts that he ‘hardly sees the oceans’. It is a very modern God who, so lacking confidence in himself, is compelled to seek advice from someone wiser than him. But if The Salzburg Tales confronts the problem of religious belief in an increasingly secular age, what solution does it offer? It is certainly tempting to suggest that literature – and in particular oral storytelling – is Stead’s answer. In her introductory essay to the Tales, Margaret Harris does just that, arguing that the text constitutes an argument for the short story as ‘a democratic mode…with roots in oral traditions like folklore’. Harris writes that ‘by choosing to call her narrators “personages”, rather than “characters”, Stead confers importance on them’. Harris – an eminent scholar of Stead’s work and the executor of her literary estate – approvingly quotes Stead’s own remark that ‘what is best about the short story [is] it is real life for everyone and everyone can tell one’.

“This – to be a stranger among strangers – this precisely is the condition of modernity.”

This celebration of ‘story’ as such, in addition to being utterly banal, should make us a little suspicious. Could the world be so easily illuminated for Stead by the light of sheer ‘story’? The Tales, Harris notes, has been received by many of Stead’s critics as a ‘manifesto about the nature of narrative’. Even if Stead intended it as such, we ought not to regard the Tales as so straightforwardly a celebration of anything. Although it does come most to life when read aloud, the programmatic and rigidly consecutive design of the Tales points to a deep dissonance between the printed book form and its aspirations, or at least allusions, to oral performance. The fact that Harris regards a book of stories in which each speaker is named only according to a predetermined social position as a celebration of the short story’s ‘democratic’ power would be mysterious enough if Stead herself was not a dedicated Marxist; that she was this (even, for scholar Simon During, a ‘committed, if heretical, Stalinist’), and had already completed a novel – Seven Poor Men of Sydney – which primarily describes the felt experience of capitalism’s depredations, ought to provoke scepticism, if not outright incredulity.

Angela Carter, in a 1982 survey of Stead’s work for the London Review of Books – which addresses the ‘lush, jewelled exquisiteness’ of The Salzburg Tales in brief – observes that speech governs Stead’s fiction: from the raving visionary Kol Blount of Seven Poor Men to the sermonising wannabe-intellectual patriarch Sam Pollit of The Man Who Loved Children to the fierce rambling of the title character in Letty Fox: Her Luck, Stead’s characters are inveterate talkers. Her books are all talk, and yet nobody ever listens. ‘Stead’s characters rarely listen to one another sufficiently to enable them to conduct dialogue together,’ Carter writes. Instead, they conduct ‘rows of a polyphonic nature, in which it is not possible for anybody to hear anybody else’. Carter argues that Stead’s interest in the ‘serial monologue’ developed over the course of her career, and that, where ‘the storytellers in The Salzburg Tales reveal their personalities through the gnomic and discrete fables they tell’, the characters of Stead’s later work ‘thunder out great arias and recitatives of self-deceit, self-justification, attempted manipulation and it is up to the reader to compare what they say with what they do’.

All of which, you might say, is pretty reasonable. But where are the characters in The Salzburg Tales? What personalities do their stories disclose? What of the Banker’s personality, for example, is revealed by the story he tells – of a goldfish that can predict the stock market – other than what Stead has already told us at the outset, namely, that the Banker ‘understood only one thing, Profit’? Likewise, what – we might say who? – underpins the stories told by the radically depersonalised caricatures of the Lawyer, or the Musical Critic, or the ‘Doctress’? The answer, pace Harris and Carter, might be precisely nothing, and nobody. Remember that this is a book written between the wars, which takes as its location a country that was embroiled deeply in both: Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany in 1933, a year before the Tales was published in London. Austria was annexed by the Nazis four years later, in 1938, and would not be a sovereign nation again until 1955. In 1936, two years after the publication of Stead’s Tales, Walter Benjamin published his essay ‘The Storyteller’, in which he argued that the sweeping industrialisation of Europe that culminated in the machine-based combat of the First World War dealt immense violence to the acts of expression essential to the tradition of oral storytelling. What we lost, Benjamin wrote, was nothing less than the ability to share experience:

Was it not noticeable at the end of the war that men returned from the battlefield grown silent – not richer, but poorer in communicable experience? What ten years later was poured out in the flood of war books was anything but experience that goes from mouth to mouth. And there was nothing remarkable about that. For never has experience been contradicted more thoroughly than strategic experience by tactical warfare, economic experience by inflation, bodily experience by mechanical warfare, moral experience by those in power. A generation that had gone to school on a horse-drawn streetcar now stood under the open sky in a countryside in which nothing remained unchanged but the clouds, and beneath these clouds, in a field of force of destructive torrents and explosions, was the tiny, fragile human body.

The Salzburg Tales, with its contrived and highly artificial collection of pastiches and fictions, dramatises the irreconcilable alienation wrought by modernity upon the act of oral storytelling and its ultimate displacement by the novel. ‘Every fairy tale has a modern instance,’ remarks the Philosopher on day three of Stead’s festival, and there is something distinctively modern about the way in which the Tales, by failing decisively to prove this assertion, demonstrates its truth.

The publication this year of Dodge Rose, the short debut novel of Jack Cox, which employs the techniques of narration developed by Joyce and Stein to describe life in Sydney, has revived the question of whether this country ever produced a distinctive literary modernism of its own. Did it happen here? we ask, and, properly speaking, the answer is no. The decisive event in the foreclosure of a uniquely Australian modernist literature came in 1943, with the publication of a collection of poems by one Ern Malley in Angry Penguins, Max Harris’s journal of avant-garde art and culture.

Ern Malley, of course, did not exist. Fiction, ghost, hoax, he was the invention of conservative poets Harold Stewart and James McAuley, who contrived Malley’s entire corpus in an afternoon to parody what they saw as the deleterious ascendancy of a Euro-American modernist style. Soon after the public denouement of McAuley and Stewart’s hoax, Harris, reputation ruined, was subjected to a trumped-up obscenity trial, and Angry Penguins folded the following year. (Almost a decade later, in 1952, Stewart would co-found the conservative literary journal Quadrant, whose alarmingly regular emission of ideological ectoplasm surely marks it as the real ghost of the Ern Malley affair.) Alys Moody, writing about Dodge Rose in the Sydney Review of Books, describes modernism’s flourishing in Australia as ‘irrevocably belated’, noting that:

it can be hard to avoid reading Ern Malley as an allegory for Australian modernism more generally, encapsulating as he does both its eccentricity and its improbability, its untimeliness and its abortiveness – even, and perhaps especially, that lingering question about whether it ever existed at all. Malley shows us an Australian modernism whose audacity is indistinguishable from its anti-modernism and whose great figure is a by-product of the event – the hoax itself – that effectively arrested the country’s fledgling avant-garde…Paradoxical and out of time, Malley invites us to read Australian modernism as untimely and impossible, a ghostly apparition that springs illegitimately from a more conservative tradition that disavows it. Seen from the perspective of Ern Malley, Australian literature is haunted by the modernism it didn’t have.

Grandiose ghost and supreme symbol of conservatism’s triumph over the avant-garde, Ern is certainly hard to avoid. The Malley affair unequivocally points to the continuing hostility of Australian society to sustained artistic production, and to the anxiety of influence that attends the United States and Europe in our literature. A critic surveying the history of Australian literature in the twentieth century might feel a little like the Public Stenographer of The Salzburg Tales, behind whom, Stead tells us, ‘lay the ghostly tradition of English literature, the genius of the Brontës, the popularity of Scott and the mad gifts of Protestantism, but she didn’t know it’. The ‘ghostly tradition’ in this case refers to the Stenographer’s taste for – and possible genealogical connection to – famed English writers of the supernatural, but that phrase nonetheless carries a special resonance for any reader of Australia’s untimely, ghostly modernism.

“What we need is nothing less than a history of literature that accounts for the conditions of artistic production, which allows us to see that canonisation proceeds by way of systematic exclusion.”

Rediscovering Christina Stead, especially in the name of Australian cultural identity, has a long history of its own. Southerly devoted a special issue to her work in 1962, and in 1965 Penguin reissued The Man Who Loved Children with an introduction by American poet-critic Randall Jarrell. Angus & Robertson republished some of her novels in 1966, a decision Simon During describes as having ‘repatriated’ Stead’s work. However, her thirteen books have never all been consistently, or even simultaneously, in print. Since 2010, Melbourne University Publishing has been reissuing her novels as part of its Miegunyah Modern Library series. These editions feature bright, appealing covers and new introductions by other Australian writers, from Michelle de Kretser to Delia Falconer. Notably, the first of Stead’s books reissued as part of this series was The Man Who Loved Children, her most canonical work. It was something of a perfect storm of literary prestige that The Man Who Loved Children reappeared in 2010 bearing an introduction by Jonathan Franzen at the same time that Franzen’s Freedom elevated him to the status of Great American Novelist. This also served to concentrate attention on Stead’s accepted – if perennially ‘lost’ – masterpiece, perhaps to the exclusion of her other work. Franzen writes in his introduction that Jarrell, who wrote a discursive and enthusiastic essay for the 1965 edition of The Man Who Loved Children, ‘was clearly taking his best shot at installing her in the Western canon, and in this he clearly failed’. We might add, six years later, that reputation is a fickle thing, and literary trendiness essentially ephemeral, observations with which Franzen – whose uncool loathing of, among other things, Twitter, has rendered him the object of much ad hominem parody – might agree.

Posterity, after all, is arbitrary. Stead, ever the materialist, clearly knew this. At the beginning of the third day of her Salzburg Festival she stages a confrontation about music between the Centenarist – who’s sort of emceeing the storytellers – and the Mathematician. They argue about questions of talent, and in particular about whether it is the product of individual genius or the social relations between, in the Centenarist’s words, ‘importunity, opportunity, temperament, public fancy’. This ‘materialist thesis’ offends the Mathematician, who slanders the Centenarist’s argument as betraying a ‘nefarious doctrine of equality’, namely, the principle that ‘so many guilty are considered innocent all their lives that the murderer has a right to the same defence as the innocent’. In effect, the Centenarist asserts that ‘the eminence of a talent is usually pure chance and there must be many ignored talents who have an equal right to fame, if only for a small part of their production’. Recognition, canonicity, greatness: what once were the rewards of ‘a king’s accolade’ and ‘the price of a court suit’ modernity has merely adjusted to ‘the price of a billboard’. We need new ways of seeing the history of our aesthetic traditions, the Centenarist argues: ‘the history of the arts and sciences’, he says, ‘must be really like the history of music studied by Newman’s madman, a history of rests’. What we need is nothing less than a history of literature that accounts for the conditions of artistic production, which allows us to see that canonisation proceeds by way of systematic exclusion.

What is contested therefore is not Stead’s status as a modernist writer but the category of ‘modernist writer’ itself, which – like any account of modernity in this country – is too often subject to inherited criteria of aesthetic evaluation. To this end, it might also be necessary to adjust our perspective of Australian literary modernism. We have to ask, in other words, why the Ern Malley affair has provided such fertile grounds for the cynical disinvestment in Australian literary culture in general and literary modernism in particular. And it is not simply a matter of cultural cringe. In Seven Poor Men of Sydney, Kol Blount articulates the condition of spiritual degradation at hand in terms that implicate Australia’s history of colonial violence in our continuing subordination to European standards of aspiration: ‘Why can’t we run naked in our own country, on our own land, and work out our own destiny?’ Blount says. ‘Eating these regurgitated ideas from the old country makes us sick and die of sickness.’

Earlier in that novel, Stead offers, again via Blount, a compelling visual analogue for this sickness. Michael, the novel’s deathly protagonist, is leaving a party. He will, hours later, throw himself into the harbour and die. As he leaves, he confesses to Blount that he has had trouble sleeping, and has been suffering bad dreams of ‘spectres…forests of serpents, dismal rivers flowing without end’. Blount immediately detects the resemblance between the images of Michael’s psychic distress and The Sons of Clovis II, a painting by Évariste Luminais that hangs in the Art Gallery of New South Wales. The painting depicts the two young men of the title – the sons of Clovis II who were exiled, their hamstrings cut, after an attempted rebellion against the kingdom – as ‘deathly pale, floating bound on a barge down a ghastly grey river’. We learn that this painting ‘had been taken by them’ – that’s Blount and Michael, for whom the painting expresses their down-and-out Bohemianism – ‘for a picture of themselves’.

What is happening there? Is Stead suggesting that the condition of the Australian artist is the condition of the sons of Clovis? Or does the more profound point lie elsewhere, perhaps in the sentence’s elusive final phrase, ‘taken by them for a picture of themselves’? As David Brooks writes in his book The Sons of Clovis, the Ern Malley affair has maintained its ‘peculiar force and vitality’ because Australia is not only a country of immigrants but – owing to our unrepentant expropriation of Indigenous land – a kind of ‘hoax culture, even a hoax nation…we are all, in some way we have yet properly to understand, children of Clovis’. Although this is arguably too flippant a reading of Australia’s brutal history of invasion (‘hoax nation’ suggesting as it does something inappropriately light-hearted and parodic about the realities of colonialism), it helps us reframe the history of Australian literary modernism precisely in relation to that continuing history of violence. Those who argue that the Ern Malley hoax delayed the modernist project here, Brooks writes, too often don’t consider the possibility that:

modernism as it appeared elsewhere may not have been the manner in which it would manifest itself here, and that Australian cultural circumstance might have rendered some of what was elsewhere deemed modernism redundant or irrelevant, or changed some of it beyond immediate recognition. Australian modernism, this is to say, might not have looked like European modernism…The estrangements and formal reconfigurations characterising modernism elsewhere had been a part of Australian invader experience from its inception, and had brought about a very different aesthetic path. The cultural scepticism and accompanying revisions that characterise modernism had been so long underway and so much a part of everyday antipodean experience that the ‘naturalism’, which was to become the bugbear and antithesis of modernism elsewhere, could in fact be one of its vehicles here…From this alternate perspective it can be argued not only that Judith Wright, Patrick White, Francis Webb, Bruce Beaver and others carried modernism very strongly through the 1950s and ’60s, but that a number of other authors who, to unaccustomed eyes, might not look like modernists at all, display something very much like the mind of modernism deep in the fabric of their work.

The point here is that if, like Michael and Blount with the Luminais painting, we continue to accept the picture of European modernism for a picture of ourselves, we do so at our own peril, and at the cost of misreading our past. One of the things The Salzburg Tales represents clearly is an attempt on Stead’s behalf to reckon with the dual ghostly traditions of, on the one hand, the Euro-American canon and, on the other, the bloody history of dispossession that founds Australian literature, modernist or otherwise. The Tales – with its frame-story conceit borrowed from Chaucer and Boccaccio – stages the quintessential modernist encounter of a meeting between strangers, wanderers and travellers. Stead grew up and died in Australia, but she lived out her life elsewhere, in Europe and America. As Simon During points out, part of the reason Stead never received the lasting recognition she deserved was that, as an international citizen, she never quite belonged to any national literature. She was instead consigned to wander. Recall, then, her initial movements around Salzburg, alone and thousands of kilometres from the place of her birth, and try to imagine what she saw, looking up at that foreign sky – where aerial war machines had flown and would again – in which nothing but the clouds remained unchanged.


Benjamin, W. ‘The Storyteller: Reflections on the Work of Nikolai Leskov’, in Illuminations. New York, NY: Schocken Books. Pp 83­–111.

Brooks, D. The Sons of Clovis: Ern Malley, Adoré Floupette and a Secret History of Australian Poetry. St Lucia: University of Queensland Press, 2011.

Carter, A. ‘Unhappy Families’, in The Magic Phrase: Critical Essays on Christina Stead. Ed. Margaret Harris. St Lucia: University of Queensland Press, 2000. Pp 251–62.

During, S. ‘World Literature, Stalinism, and the Nation: Christina Stead as Lost Object’, in Exit Capitalism: Literary Culture, Theory and Post-Secular Modernity. London: Routledge, 2009. Pp 57–94

Moody, A. ‘Untimely Modernism’, in Sydney Review of Books, 4 May, 2016.

Rowley, H. Christina Stead: A Biography, 1994.

Simmel, G. ‘The Stranger’, in The Sociology of Georg Simmel. Ed. Kurt H. Wolff. New York, NY: The Free Press, 1950. 402–408.

Stead, Christina. Seven Poor Men of Sydney. Carlton: Miegunyah Press, 2015.

————– The Man Who Loved Children. New York, NY: Penguin, 1965.

————– The Salzburg Tales. Carlton: Miegunyah Press, 2016.

Photo: Old Town of Salzburg by ‘SandFlash