To lose one editor is a misfortune; to lose two or three, damned careless. Jim Davidson paraphrased Oscar Wilde in last night’s commemorative lecture for Meanjin‘s 70th anniversary. The opposite of a sentimental stroll down memory lane, the talk, A Cork Upon the Ocean: Meanjin and the Changing Context, 1940-2010, was a focused survey of the magazine’s visionary life, culminating in a blistering critique of its current situation — Meanjin has lately become Melbourne University’s endangered quarterly.
Meanjin, you will recall, made news recently when its still current editor Sophie Cunningham declined to renew her contract. She told Crikey earlier this month that she had only met Melbourne University Press chairman Alan Kohler once during her three-year reign and that she was locked out of formal discussions about the publication’s future.