Amongst the reliefs felt after the result of the recent Federal election was a little sprinkle on top: we wouldn’t have to publish this celebratory issue of TSR into a world where no cause for celebration could be plausibly conceived. There is a lot for us still to want, and to demand, especially in the arts—but a small and provisional victory is a victory, and I’ll take it.

I had been thinking about our theme, REVEL, for a few weeks pre-election. I’d taken a novel out from my local library (free book!) in which two broke young women (best friends!) get around New York City in what is very recognisably 2013, wearing fraudulently opulent dresses (the joy of materiality!) and having other people pay for their drinks (free drinks!). I read the book eating sushi on the well-kept grass in my local park, on a precious day off from working. Taken together, these two pictures of what an indulgent sensibility can be—the one fictive and breathless, and the other kind of damp—open up some of the key questions of this issue: who gets to revel, and in what, and why? A number of our contributions explore the powers that dictate the answers to these questions, whether these powers be the church, the state, capital, or something even stranger.

I think many of them, too, posit the revelatory stance—so often one taken ‘despite it all’—as a subversive one. There seems to be a relationship, here, between reveling and revelation: the bright bringing to light of some new, hot knowledge. Then again, this is not always the case. Sometimes reveling is its own entire purpose, and a number of our contributors rightly celebrate celebrating as valuable in and of itself.

Inside our hypnotic cover by Moillo, the issue opens with Angelita Biscotti’s ‘the stars are posing, no they’re not’, which delights in twists and plays of meaning, even while registering cycles of deflation: denied JobKeeper applications, invoice numbering, the long time of superannuation. Our closing poem, Sarah Pearce’s ‘into the woods’, takes this delight in form and emphasises the visceral, leaving us dancing at the end.

Like Pearce’s, Meng-Tsung Lee’s visual work focuses on the bodily aspects of the party—and, indeed, the bodily experiences that feel very far away from the party. Cherry Zheng’s story ‘The magic act’ sings of embodied and interpersonal joy. Imaginative, touching, and totally human (though, technically, a little more than human… ), the work revels in the possibilities offered by its genre and its characters. Moillo’s illustrative response to this work beautifully draws attention to the attachments and movements at its centre. Molly McKew’s illustrative work, ‘a fling’, also takes us into the wild and occasionally terrifying world of the interpersonal—this time ambivalent, reflective, and expansive.

Kerry Greer’s poem ‘The See-Through Friend’ pitches childhood fantasies against their (often less endearing) adult counterparts, through the voice of a speaker reflecting on relationships with their lover and their son. Luoyang Chen’s poems ‘I Despise Communism’ and ‘Time is a Blah’ both pack and unpick punchy insight in tight, taut forms. Guy Webster’s essay, which self-consciously amps itself up into moments of hyper-stylisation, asks questions about grief and aestheticisation: how or why we might wish to revel in difficult affects and experiences? Lou Garcia-Dolnik’s suite of poems, ‘Departures Suite’, also takes up notions of loss and longing, reckoning fully with the transformative feeling that ripples around and beneath them: ‘as if music was a practice of making love / with what failed to containerise it.’

Please take this collection of works as a party favour: a reminder about the good times, and an invitation to partake of them over and over in some small way, however that fits into your life.

ERIN MCFADYEN
DEPUTY EDITOR

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