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Feb 6, 2009

Something a bit like Pseud’s Corner but with a different name

Crikey reveals the cracking opening to Australian Literary Review editor Stephen Romei's new blog.

A cracking opening to Australian Literary Review editor Stephen Romei’s new blog. Thank goodness he tried to keep the whole thing unpretentious.

IT may be an inauspicious start but I need to open this blog with a confession: it was supposed to be up and running a few months ago. All was in readiness until The Australian’s webmaster told me the blog had to have a name. Weeks of paralysis followed. What to call a blog about books and writing and culture in general that wouldn’t sound pretentious? I was conscious of a bad track record in this regard: some years ago I bought a share in a racehorse and wanted to name him Dostoyevsky. His sire was Semipalatinsk, I explained to my co-owners, who laughed even harder and named him Classic Sam. He raced six times and each time struggled to beat the ambulance home. I don’t suppose he would have ran any faster had he been named after a great Russian novelist. Anyway, I digress. The name of this blog is A Pair of Ragged Claws, which is taken from one of my favourite poems, T.S. Eliot’s The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock:

I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.

I have alwas loved that image: the solitude, the silence, the humility it implies. It also seems an apt description of my job as editor of The Australian Literary Review. At a time of rapid diversification in the media, especially in delivery platforms, the ALR seems a bit like an old crab: a monthly journal of books and ideas running to about 50,000 words, printed on paper no less. But nimble! Note we are scuttling. 

Seen a piece of pseudery worth sharing? Send an email and a link to [email protected] with “psueuds” in the subject field. You can also post clippings to The editor, Crikey Level 7, 22 William Street, Melbourne, Australia, 3000.


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3 thoughts on “Something a bit like Pseud’s Corner but with a different name

  1. David Sanderson

    What a sweet pseud. He’ll need to do some very nimble scuttling to live that one down. Luckily he is copiously well-endowed with humility – he will have plenty of opportunities to put all that humility to good use because, yeah, that was a very,very inauspicious start.

    If he is not very careful Uncle Rupert may give him more solitude than he bargained for:
    “Butler, stop that crab!”

  2. poetry lover

    Why is it pretentious to quote a great poem written by one of the world’s literary giants? As a reader of the ALR and now its blog, I think Stephen Romei should be congratulated for striving to produce a publication of quality every month. I’m sure, David Sanderson, that he is copiously endowed with many things, and at the very least an intellect greater than yours if your petty, small-minded anti-intellectual comment is any guide

  3. Rachel

    A Pair of Ragged Claws. PORC. I like it.