Editing ALS: A Memoir


Australian Literary Studies, launched by A.D. Hope in Hobart in August 1963, celebrates its fiftieth anniversary in 2013. This is an unusual span for a literary little magazine in Australia. Only five have lasted longer: Southerly (1939), Meanjin (1940), Overland (1954), Quadrant and Westerly (both, 1956). What makes the survival of ALS unusual is that unlike its literary forerunners—all journals of creative writing and criticism—ALS was intended primarily to be a scholarly journal. Its career illuminates its changing relationship with its readerships, with universities, and with the public promotion of Australian literature. In this memoir (written as foundation editor 1963-2002) I aim to survey the journal's development, and to offer some selective glimpses of its history, relying on memory and reference to back issues. Personal memory can play tricks, yet through its very subjectivity it also provides perspectives on the past not otherwise available. What follows is a personal and tentative outline.

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Published 1 June 2013 in Volume 28 No. 1-2. Subjects: Anniversaries, Australian literature and writers, Editing, Life experiences, Literary history, Literary magazines, Memoirs, Publishing, Publishing history.

Cite as: Hergenhan, Laurie. ‘Editing ALS: A Memoir.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 28, no. 1/2, 2013, doi: 10.20314/als.49e4cf3382.