Arena Magazine came into being thirty years ago as contemporary Australia was being born. What is that beast?
Trying to disentangle the recent history of Australia from its mythical past sometimes seems akin to labouring under the lights in Ceaușescu’s enormous national kitsch factory, Romania’s Palace of People, trying to sort plaster myth from real ornament. But it also seems a good time to try to do so, as this magazine of Australian commentary changes its form once again from one begun three decades ago. For that is when the Australia now before us was brought into being. Trying to untangle what we are now from the recent past, the real past and the mythical past seems essential to future action.
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