Griffith Review 83 Past Perfect

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The past, famously, is a foreign country – but in the twenty-first century, it’s one in which we increasingly seek solace. What fuels this love affair with recycling our history? What periods do we choose to romanticise, and how do our rose-tinted glasses occlude reality? Is all this nostalgia signifying – as the late Mark Fisher opined – the disappearance of the future? 

In this edition, we explore the connection between loneliness, nostalgia and Big Tech and the ways nostalgia has been weaponised for political gain. 

We revisit the heyday of advertising in the ’90s and investigate two long-standing editorial myths: have editors got worse? Do they infringe too much on the work of authors? 

We talk with Melissa Lukashenko about the important role of historical fiction in recovering First Nations knowledges, experiences and stories, and learn from Witi Ihimaera about the ingenuity, mischief and gift for reinvention at the heart of Indigenous storytelling. 

Griffith Review 83: Past Perfect surveys our need to idealise, sensationalise and glamorise – and asks what the circular nature of our obsessions says about our present cultural moment.