Sunday, 24 November 2013

Speaking out in Writing

I've kept writing about the pozible project (my first novel, The Antipode Room) here and on Facebook, because I will not be suppressed like my mother and the line of strong creative intellectual women I am descended from- who have been sidelined and forgotten despite their extraordinary achievements in their lives. I write about them in the series Australian Fugue which tells of how I came to uncover the family secret in our hidden history- a story of a white colonial Australian family that no one was supposed to know about.

I began to write about my discoveries, and the unfolding story, on this blog. My novels tell much more.

Ruth Skilbeck 24.11.2013

Writing Survival

I have had a lifetime of opposition to my writing, and never more than in universities in Australia which no longer employ me, but that is what I am doing, telling my stories as a 'white Australian female' and stories of my family- a secret history. I have written books, which I am making now myself. Publishing.
The first is the Antipode Room, first novel in the series Australian Fugue adapting the musical and psychogenic meanings of fugue (forgetting-flight from self a temporary state of amnesia). The main character Ruby-Roxanne is in state of fugue, the novel traces her flight from fugue to knowledge as she gradually finds out about her family, past history and who she is. So this first novel – set in London, and the Central desert, Coober Peedy, rainforest, and Sydney and jail- is an extreme introduction to this mad state, which she moves beyond in further novels.
I have put my project on pozible as a way of starting to make it real.

Ruth Skilbeck 24.11.13

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Supporters of first edition: The Antipode Room- Australian Fugue 1

Many thanks to the supporters of this new project in Australian literature- speaking out against the silence of history. 

Backers of the first edition of The Antipode Room, Australian Fugue 1:
Our thanks and respect to our supporters:
Maxim Skilbeck-Porter
Alex Wisser and Georgina Pollard
Carolyn McKay
Karen Kennedy
Doctor Fiona Dodwell
Ian Milliss
Mary Scott

Vee Malnar

Ella S-P

Graham Anderson

David Eldridge

Lucy Skilbeck

Gianni Wise

Professor Bronwyn Parry, Kings College London

Kate Agyemang

Geoffrey Goodes

Ali Buttkicker Bee


Anthony Cahill

Mark Travers
 You can back this project, the backers will all receive a limited first edition of either the eBook with backers listed in the Ebook and/or a limited first edition print book numbered and signed by me, and/or a limited numbered signed photographic art work, the cover art of the book, The Antipode Room.
Make a donation and find out what rewards you can receive in collector limited editions here:
Many thanks to all who have given their support and backing to this new literary publishing initiative, the first of its kind in the world.
Ruth Skilbeck
*Updated to show the new supporters backing the project, as pledges are made on the pozible site.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Help Needed from Daily Fugue Readers!

Dear Readers, 

Can you help? With your support I can make my dream of publication, my own books and books by other authors and artists, a reality. But only with your support can I do this!  Sometimes there are things that we cannot do alone, and I have reached that point. I am deeply and eternally grateful to those who have backed my project so far, but only 10 per cent of the target has been reached!! and there are only 12 days left! Please please help me by donating anything you can to this project- which starts at only $1- every dollar counts- in supporting new literary publishing in Australia, we do not want to be left out of what is happening in many other places in the US and UK and Europe, and India. That is why I am doing this- to create a precedent and work out all the hard stuff to make it easier for others to follow. I am explaining what I am doing on my blog, and here and will write more about this and make it freely available. Please help me to support literature and Art in Australia. 

In respect and gratitude,


Dr Ruth Skilbeck

Saturday, 16 November 2013

New Trends in Literary Publishing- Author-Publishing in Australia

The purpose of this project is to make a limited edition special collectors edition of the novel The Antipode Room, which will be published on December 1, 2013. The aim is to make a limited edition eBook, and signed print book to commemorate the launch. This will also be the first book publication of its kind in Australia, hence the occasion for a commemorative edition.
The book began life in an MA and PhD in creative writing and literature and has since evolved into its own form. This is the first author-publisher new literary publication, to use eBook and printed book format in Australia, which aims to show other authors that this is a viable way of reaching new audiences and readers.

Interweaving loss of self-awareness coupled with a strange excursion or journey, The Antipode Room, is a fugue narrative, telling of Ruby’s flight to Australia and her past lost life, it voices the main characters’ inner thoughts of: Ruby, Hugo, Ray and Margarita. She ends up on a murder charge in an Australian jail.
Innocents are often condemned, scapegoated, for crimes they did not commit, but is this the case with Ruby? Imprisoned in Australian jail she writes to remember what happened on that "fateful fatal afternoon" when her best friend violinist, Margy, was murdered. The Antipode Room is based in London, Sydney, Newcastle, forest in northern New South Wales, the underground opal town Cooper Peedy and the desert. The main character "Countess Ruby Rivers" emerged in London from an amnesiac fugue, forgetting her past, she reinvents her self-identity and her past. Her life is transformed when she meets the infamous conservative phenomenologist and professor, Hugo, who gives her Ruby Love, a contemporary art gallery in inner London. The Antipode Room is a point of departure, the space of the art gallery, it tells the story of their one-way trip to Australia on a mission to collect Australian artists for Ruby Love.
A chance meeting in a Sydney art galley, at the opening of the NEW REPUBLIC exhibition brings Ruby into dangerously close proximity to the leader of art-activists, Art Criminals, who had a mysteriously profound influence in another life; she has not been able to forget his words, and her lost self rushes back. Forgetting Hugo, she disappears with Ray.

I think you might lose yourself gazing into mesmerizing sclerophyll forests in northern New South Wales.

    Another day I might feel inclined at the low ebb before lunch, to go into my office and lock the door. Browse through my private collection; fall into images of beauty, irresistibly seductive objects of desire. Objects. I can hold within my gaze. I can own and possess in a way that’s impossible to ever possess a real lover. Make mine forever. (The Antipode Room)

The Antipode Room is 75,000 words, a medium length novel of approx. 240 pages to be published as an eBook, and printed book, with photographs.

The cover image is a new photographic work:

Blue Fugue, digital photographic montage, Ruth Skilbeck (2013)

E-Book and printed book.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Refugee Writers- a new anthology, edited by Rosie Scott and Thomas Keneally

Another Country- Writers in Detention was a landmark anthology of writings by refugees detained in camps in Australia, edited by award-winning authors, Rosie Scott and Thomas Keneally, and published by Sydney PEN (Poets, Essayists, Novelists) and Halstead Press in Sydney in 2004.

Now Rosie Scott and Thomas Keneally (author of Schindler’s Ark turned into the Hollywood movie Schindler’s List) have edited another anthology of writings by well-known Australian authors, on refugees, which is designed to raise public awareness of the new crisis in Australian refugee policies and the appalling conditions that are once again facing those poor legal refugees held in detention camps run by the Australian Liberal Government on the islands of Manus, Nauru and Christmas Island.

A Country Too Far: Writings On Asylum Seekers was published in October by Penguin and is available in eBook and print book editions. It contains stories and poems by a raft of Australian authors including Christos Tsiolkas, Gail Jones, Anna Funder, and Rosie Scott and Thomas Keneally amongst many others- including refugee writers.

The Daily Fugue published an exclusive interview with Rosie Scott by Ruth Skilbeck on the issues of refugee policy and offshore detention, just over two years ago. Ruth also interviewed Rosie Scott in 2008 on the anthology Another Country and her work with PEN, for articles published in peer reviewed academic journals- Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies and Pacific Journalism Review. 
These are listed below.

Ruth Skilbeck 15/11/2013

Skilbeck, Ruth  (2010), ‘Exiled writers, Human Rights, and Social Advocacy Movements in Australia: A Critical Fugal Analysis’, Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, Vol. 7, No. 3, September 2010, pp. 280-296
-- -- (2009).'Arts Journalism and Exiled Writers: A Case Study of Fugal, Reflexive Practice'. Pacific Journalism Review, Vol. 15, No. 2, Oct 2009: 132-151

-- -- (2011) 'Refugee children and the Malaysia Solution: "a very scary proposition,"' The Daily Fugue, August 7, 2011.