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Brow Books, 2018 - Australian essays - 224 pages

This boundary-shifting fusion of thinking, storytelling, and meditation takes as its starting point five axioms:

* 'Give Me a Child Before the Age of 7 and I'll Give You the (Wo)Man'
* 'History Repeats Itself...'
* 'Those Who Forget the Past are Condemned to Repeat It'
* 'You Can't Enter The Same River Twice'
* 'Time Heals All Wounds'.

These beliefs -- or intuitions -- about the role the past plays in our present are often evoked as if they are timeless and self-evident truths. It is precisely because they are neither, yet still we are persuaded by them, that they tell us a great deal about the forces that shape our culture and the way we live.

The past shapes the present -- they teach us this in schools and universities. But the past cannot be visited like an ageing relative; the past doesn't live in little zoo enclosures. Half the time, the past is nothing less than the beating heart of the present. So, how to speak of the searing, unpindownable power that the past -- ours, our family's, our culture's -- wields now?

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User Review  - Publishers Weekly

Examining the theme of trauma and grief over the course of five extended essays, cultural historian Tumarkin (Otherland) presents a remarkable tour de force. Each essay derives its title from a ... Read full review

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About the author (2018)

Maria Tumarkin is a writer, historian, teacher, and translator. Currently she teaches creative writing at The University of Melbourne. She has written numerous essays which have appeared in the Griffith Review, the Sydney Review of Books, The Conversation, Right Now, Meanjin and other publications. Her books include Axiomatic, Otherland, Courage, and Traumascapes. In December 2018, she was awarded the Best Writing Award as part of the Melbourne Prize for Literature for her book, Axiomatic.

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