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Marsupiual of La Mancha 1980-83

The various versions of my Quixote stories are still mostly in manuscript, though some excerpts have been printed. The first novel was a wild goose story written mostly in London in 1982. It was set in Sydney and moved to Egypt. Hortense of Arabia was the strong female character. Sancho also appeared and the story featured a plot to sell the bodies of store dummies to vain people who liked being looked at. Their brains were transplanted into the heads of the store dummies. The wild geese were used as a cure for baldness. This was the story where Quixote was transformed into a kangaroo, which re reamained, although his body was female. It may have been a kangaroo suit.

The second novel involved the Sheriff (who also appeared in the first one) and some life-size photographs of naked models, missing their ears, in coffins. The story moved to Upper Austria (it was written in Atzing, in a farmhouse where I stayed in 1982-ish).

These two stories, both pretty straightforward comic-novel in style, were preceded by a pastiche I wrote with Don Fitzpatrick on Thursday nights when we were both art Art School. We covered every style of writing from hard-boiled to horror, with a side excursion into sci-fi. None of it made much sense, but it we laughed a lot. Later I made an attempt to tidy it up and produced a manuscript, but somehow it lost it freshness and insanity. The original typescript, which was produced by us taking turns and typing, the other dictating and pacing (while the typist interpolated freely) was the funniest, at least to us, anyway.

A note about Peter Corris and Cliff Hardy

Interestingly, I lived in Ferry Road probably within 100 metres of Cliff Hardy, Peter Corris's fictional Sydney detective. I did not learn about Peter Corris until 1984, when I was introduced to him by Bill Psarras, a colleague at work in the Government of Victoria (Dept. of Environment and Heritage), Bill lent me Heroine Annie, a collection of short stories.

I had written the first drafts of all the Quixote stories in 80, 81 and 82 -- Peter Corris's stories influenced the rewrites in later years.

One of my favourite pieces from the Cane Toad Times was a Cliff Hardy homage "The Really Empty Beach".



excerpt published in Antithesis, 1990 More>>