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How the parallel lives of two influential editors shaped Australia's literary culture

By Jeff Sparrow, Lecturer, Centre for Advancing Journalism, The University of Melbourne
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The cover of Jim Davidson’s Emperors in Lilliput juxtaposes a photograph of Meanjin’s Clem Christesen smoking a pipe with a picture of Overland’s Stephen Murray-Smith lighting his.

The design conveys Davidson’s focus on the parallels between the two editors, each of whom founded and presided over a little magazine for a remarkable 34 years. But the mirrored images also highlight the gulf between a past in which Men of Letters might casually puff on their briars and a present in which pipe-smoking…The Conversation


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