The minute we leave, the world that we know is gone. Our very departure changes the world, if only a tiny, unmeasurable way. On my best days, I think that’s as good as immortality. The world will not be quite the same as it was going to be when we are no longer there. We die, leaving a person or two to catch their breath and then, a baby is born and the world shifts again, and piece by piece the world becomes a different one. There are new problems to solve, new reasons to celebrate.
Problems unforetold and celebrations unimagined.
I have no idea how Miles Franklin imagined the world of 2011 would look, but I guess she saw it as one in which the announcement of a literary prize ‘portraying Australian life in any of its phases’ would be an opportunity for celebration. Not another reminder of how far we’ve still got to go.
(and, though I think it goes without saying, I’m going to say it anyway – this is not to say the shortlisted works aren’t excellent books by excellent writers)