Li Bai, the 8th century Chinese poet, was writing about the Yangtze River when, so enamoured with the moon’s reflection on the water’s surface, he tried to embrace it, fell in, drowned. To be emotionally consumed by your art is a beautiful thing. To be literally consumed is a product of his alleged alcoholism and his inability to swim but that doesn’t make it any less moving. There’s another version of the story, that he died in bed, at a grand old age, surrounded by his family. It’s more reasonable and, therefore, less told.
This episode of Honi Soit is a celebration of the good story. The one all your friends have already heard, and the one you gleefully impart onto new ones. The time you scaled the Annapurna mountain range in Nepal, a photograph of which graces the cover. The first time you played contact sports on roller skates. The time Courtney Love crashed a party you were at to hassle conservatives. It’s also about art and creativity in every form, and with regard to any subject. So there’s a euthanasia opinion piece that’s sort of a review, and a review that’s mostly a Marxist critique. There’s a short story about shitting.
Sound good? What are you waiting for then? Well, the next thing I’m going to say.
An aphorism. Twee, yes, but important. It’s this: if you write, you’re a writer. And if you make art, you’re an artist. If you’ve got a complicated camera, or a notepad, or a blank canvas, or a WordPress account, a pirated copy of PhotoShop, or a simple awareness of the world outside your head, you can tell a tale. Even the US Studies Centre, NLS, and St John’s College are not exempted when they try hard enough.
There are loads of ways to get your creative work out to the public at Sydney University, the student produced journals (Arna and Hermes) spring immediately to mind. But the way I see it—and I understand this may be optimistic, bear with me—Honi has the potential to be the creative outlet for all the students in this place. Not only is there no restriction on content or medium, but it’s also distributed on a scale that’s unrivalled on campus. To fully realise that potential, however, we’ll need you guys to bring in the goods. As long as you keep sending us your stories, caustic opinions, poems about the Yangtze River, we’ll keep on publishing them.
Producing this paper is an ongoing process and we’re always digging. Every time a great piece comes in it’s like our nails have scratched something wooden and strange, and we wipe off the soil to see that it has hinges, that it opens…
This is what we found.