Alison's Authorial August ~ theatre notes

Monday, July 28, 2008

Alison's Authorial August

As I have always suspected, being an Author is not the same as being a Writer. It might even be something like the opposite. I'm beginning to see how one can be so busy being an Author that one has no time to be a Writer. In some weird convergence ("Worlds are colliding, Gerry!), this August I am all over the place being an Author.

On the performance side, on August 21 and 22, the excellent folk at North Melbourne Arts House are hosting the Melbourne debut of The Villainelles, which features poems by Jordie Albiston, Kathleen Mary Fallon and myself set to music by Andree Greenwell. It's "cabaret-folk electronica layered with shades of opera". And I'm pleased, because I'll finally get to see it after missing its premiere in Sydney a couple of months ago.

I'm also doing some Melbourne Writers Festival appearances on August 28 and 29. Of interest to TNers will be a panel I'm chairing with theatre historians Julian Meyrick and Gabrielle Wolf which will discuss the ongoing influence of the theatre of the 1970s. Another couple of sessions are around poetry, including the delightful chance to discuss Anna Akhmatova with Russian historian Orlando Figes.

Simultaneously, the first book of my fantasy series, The Gift, has been chosen as part of the 50 Books You can't Put Down promotion being launched at the Australian public under the giant Books Alive program. This is of course very cool, even if Australian commentator Beth Driscoll thinks that books being promoted as a "thumping great read" undermines the intellectual seriousness with which one ought to approach Literature. (Well, as you all know, I am ever happy to be a crass populist...) So I have a fairly heavy schedule of appearances for this - closet Pellinor fans can find the dates here.

I really don't know why this is all happening at once, but que sera sera. Perversely, perhaps, after months and months of writing nothing at all, I have started a new novel. I guess all this stuff is pretty meaningless if I'm not actually writing. I'll of course be reviewing and blogging as I go, but this might be rather sternly minimal at times. In the interests of health and sanity, you understand...

4 comments:

genevieve said...

Hey, thanks for the link to that op-ed of Beth's.

It was a funny piece - having been invited to assist with SLV's Summer Reads campaign, I bridled somewhat at her suggestion that statewide reading campaigns were simply marketing exercises for publishers. I'm certainly looking forward to it being a little more stimulating than that :-)

and congratulations for the exposure for your book, Alison. I'm looking forward to that session at MWF on Akhmatova.

theatre enthusiast said...

Alison you might enjoy reading Alma De Groen's play on Akhmatova which we workshopped at the Playwight's Conference a decade ago. A fascinating work, I believe it is called "The Woman in the Window."

Alison Croggon said...

Hi TE - thanks for that. I did in fact see that play when the MTC did it, some years ago. And (in very tiny letters here) I really hated it. As I remember, I thought it struck every awful romantic cliche about poetry in general and Akhmatova in particular that there was...

theatre enthusiast said...

Yes I did read that MTC had done a less-than-successful production. No doubt your response to it was accurate. That's the problem with being too close to something or the person involved in a project--one loses one's objectivity, and I probably wished it to be better than it was. I hope your seminar is more rewarding!