My editorial for the previous September issue contained a contradiction for which I must apologise: in my opening paragraph I said that contributions put together by Richard Overell for a Victoria branch issue would be held over till 2004 and that the present December issue would contain other contributions that I had received, but in my second paragraph I referred to “the December issue that will now be the Victorian one”. The former statement referred to my revised intention as explained in that opening paragraph, the latter referred to my original intention and should have been deleted. The present December issue in fact contains those other contributions.
A somewhat more serious oversight in the September issue is that in processing the issue we did not notice that the notes to Jürgen Wegner’s “Collecting the festschrifts” had disappeared from it before it was printed out from Jeff Bidgood’s computer. (Jeff opines that it is connected with the sorts of problems we often have when transferring documents from my Mac computer program to his the editor program on his PC.) Jürgen drew our attention to this after he received his copy of the issue, saying that without the notes the point of his asking me not to edit his article had been lost. We apologise for the error and are reprinting his article in this present issue, this time in full, and again I have virtuously/ virtually not touched it.
Jürgen has also at my request contributed an article on the Frankfurt Book Fair, which he attended in October 2003. I had myself attended the Book Fair a couple of times in previous years and had long intended to write something for Biblionews about it, but I never did get around to it. So, when Jürgen indicated before his departure for Germany that he was going there and would be willing to write about it for our journal I jumped at his offer and am delighted with the result. As I am with his review.
It is good to see Frank Carleton back in print with us with one of his typically acerbic sets of reflections on his encounters with the book and manuscript worlds, this time the world of the archivist.
Alan Rickard’s “Some perplexities of book addiction” may call forth memories or reactions from readers, as it did from me, for instance when I read his “I wonder what might be discovered at the annual book fairs conducted by some churches.” As a couple of readers know, I regularly man the book stall at the fetes of a church in the Sydney suburb of Annandale, and at a recent one I observed the new minister casting his eye over the (NB not by me) donated stock and whipping out a few tomes such as “Hot Sex” and dropping them into the church garbage bin, so Alan’s curiosity in that sentence is certainly justified.
I suppose many a contributor to Biblionews wonders whether anyone takes any notice of what he or she writes for it, so it is pleasing for me personally to see Janet Robinson contribute an item triggered by her reading of one of my own recent contributions (as was evidently Jürgen’s “festschrift” article).
Once again Colin Steele is to be thanked for providing us with another of his excellent reviews, which have become such a regular and welcome feature of Biblionews.
Dr Wallace Kirsop has drawn my attention to the fact that Simone Kadi, the author of the French thesis on Christopher Brennan which I dealt with in my “Brennaniana” article in the June 2003 (338th) issue “taught French at Townsville for some years in the 1970s”, so that helps to explain her interest in Brennan and Australian literature.
Finally, I recommend any member that does not already have one to see if they can still purchase from our Secretary Jeff Bidgood a copy of our newest publicationP. Neville Barnett: Australian genius with books. A volume of essays issued on the 50th anniversary of his death, which was launched at the December 2003 meeting in Sydney. As no. 6 in our series Studies in Australian Bibliophily, it is certainly the finest volume the Society has yet published.