Release date: 3rd November 2024
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Vessel: The shape of absent bodies
About the Book:
Who would think to call Ophelia a corpse? She is but a woman emptied of herself.
In 1993, when she was 18 years old, Dani Netherclift witnessed the drowning deaths of her father and brother in an irrigation channel in North-East Victoria. Or, she saw her father and brother disappear beneath an opaque surface and never saw these loved ones again. But also, never stopped imagining the shape of this bodily loss. Not viewing the bodies grows into a form of ambiguous loss that makes the world dangerous, making people seem liable to suddenly vanishing.
What would it have been like to have seen them, after the fact? To have looked upon their bodies. To picture the emptied vessels of her father and brother is to reach toward a sense of closure; a form of magical thinking in which goodbye is made possible. Vessel pulls together a language of space and ruin, interleaving stories of what it means to lose the physical body of a person you love with a bricolage of literature, history and (vessel) translations, and the realisation that all bodies become in the end bodies of text, beautifully written palimpsests—elegies—inked on the skins of the dead.
About the Author:
Dani Netherclift is a writer and poet living on unceded Taungurung lands in the Victoria High Country, surrounded by mountains. She lives with her husband, son and daughter and is a PhD candidate in creative writing at Deakin University. Her area of research is the lyric essay and its intersections with white space, elegy and the body. She has been published widely and is the head poetry editor of SWAMP mag. Vessel is her first book.