The Darkening Ecliptic
In 1944 the Australian literary world was rocked by a hoax which was to become a worldwide scandal. Ern Malley, deceased motor mechanic and poet, was the invention of two Sydney poets, James McAuley and Harold Stewart, who were intent on proving that modern poetry was a sham. The work of Malley comprised lines and words selected randomly, everywhere from Shakespeare to an American report on the drainage of the breeding grounds of mosquitoes.
Max Harris published the poetry in the literary magazine Angry Penguins but when the deception was revealed he was mercilessly lampooned, tried and convicted of publishing 'indecent advertisements'. This definitive edition contains all of the poems, a new introduction by artist Albert Tucker and historical background by Max Harris, John Reed and Colin Wilson; augmented by the unique contribution of drawings and etchings by Garry Shead.