Issue 5, Summer 2016
Nestled to the breast of the Baroque, Issue 5 conjures the Romantics with lush language, dense stories, muddied and emotive meanings. At times it’s a tempestuous read, lulling the reader with nostalgia and the sublime, whilst revelling in individualism and hedonistic excess.
Sarah Endacott’s short story ‘Sea Volcanoes’ is perhaps the most controversial piece we have published. It’s an apprehensive reading experience, where bare, frank language juxtaposes two ethically ambiguous stories. Whilst reading the piece we begged for a judgement call; a clear place to draw our moral line. But it never came. We were denied our binary reading and instead forced to question, discuss and argue over what exactly made us squirm, and why.
Unlike Endacott, the prose in Toby Sime’s ‘Dying Fall’ and in Olga Kotnowska’s ‘The Only Sure Thing’ is playful, visceral and sensory – yet the reader must still work for their meaning. Both are driven by place, nostalgia, inevitability and the threat of fate.
As a jocular antidote, metaphor is at play in Fiona Skepper’s short story ‘After Dinner Shots’, Peter Bakowski’s poem ‘Earning the Airfare’ and Bruce Shearer’s play ‘Esla and Fitz Go Partying’. These pieces frolic in self-parody and the delicious indulgence of allegory.
So, dear reader, Bon Appétit!
Issue 4, Winter 2016
Issue 4 questions ‘truth’ and experience through the aesthetics of ambiguity. As an ensemble, these pieces suggest that perception can never disengage from The Self; that we, ourselves, are the first muddied lens through which we see the world. As Friedrich Nietzsche wrote in Human, all too Human, “Convictions are more dangerous foes of truth than lies”.
Charlotte O’Neil toys with this concept in ‘Brother’, where the reader, through the eyes of a young boy, is forced to straddle bias and the character’s suggestions. Similarly, Lucas Smith’s ‘Your Eisenhower Dollar’ is a symbolic pilgrimage that explores privileged naivety, middle-class guilt and the blanket of contextually. This search for ‘truth’ is filtered through digital and cognitive spaces in Michelle Vlatkovic’s limerent analysis, ‘My Honeypot Dropox’, where the character’s frank sexual life is both squeamish witticism and philosophical discussion.
Gargouille seeks to publish alternative genres and this issue treats readers to Vivienne Glance’s surrealist play Freedom of Birds, where a rat, a crow and a young girl battle for the metaphoric blue egg. Additionally, Sofia Chapman’s diarist parody, ‘The Cave of Dr Cayla’, is a meta-scrapbook dedicated to the good things in life: love, wine, cheese and the South of France. So, dear reader, if truth is finite and this is as good as it gets – salut!
Issue 3, Summer 2015
Much of Issue 3 examines voice and gender. What is literary femininity? How do men rewrite women? And can our self- perception ever truly break from how others perceive us? As Simone de Beauvoir wrote in the The Second Sex, “When an individual is kept in a situation of inferiority, the fact is that [s]he does become inferior.”
We begin with Felicity Anne’s ‘I’m a Feint, Distinct and Lethal Thing’, which reads like a whisper in the night, the Id’s hushed voice playing with words and reminding the reader of untamed feminine mystique. In contrast, Libbie Chellew’s piece ‘The Curettage’ is rawly written to match its content and explodes from the page with the burden of womanhood. Shannon Burns’ self-reflexive extract, ‘Kneading and Burrowing’, examines creativity and the edited woman.
Anxiety, loss and grief are intrinsically tied to identity and also feature heavily in Issue 3. Through metaphor, Fiona Robertson’s ‘The Ground Beneath’ mourns the loss of a marriage and the self. Robert Poposki’s ‘Rock Bottom’ is hilarious, anxiety laden and curses self-destruction. Comparatively, Anne M Carson’s ‘Sitting for the Archibald’ is a cathartic essay that addresses the relationship between artist/writer and viewer/reader. It also questions one’s identity as an artist when forced to forgo creativity for the care of an ailing loved one. Issue 3 thunders with writers screaming to be heard. So, dear reader, reclaim your voice as we continue to wrangle with ours.
Issue 2, Winter 2015
Issue 2 of Gargouille came at us faster than a Japanese speed train. We barely had time to breathe in Issue 1’s new-book smell before we were once again rolling in hopeful submissions.
As with our last issue, we were determined to exhibit literature that transcends typically published genre and style. Two such stylistic pieces that we chose are Natalie Harman’s ‘The Transfiguration’ and Alison Coppe’s ‘On How to Begin’. Harman’s piece is a subversive prose poem that plays with symbols and typography to allegorise the tortured mind of a sexually frustrated ballet teacher. Coppe was a contributor in Issue 1 with her stream of consciousness piece ‘Letter Street’. Her current piece, whilst largely autonomous, derives from the same body of work, allowing return readers a deeper and more complex interpretation of her writing.
As we had hoped, we were also able to expand our Lost and Found Words genre with a Southern recipe that is an extension of Harold G I Foulds’ story ‘Brigham and the Barotrauma’. In regards to alternative genre, Issue 2 features three plays: Sarah Vincent’s ‘The Existential Crisis Hotline’, Deborah Sheldon’s ‘We Have What You Want’ and Michael Lill’s ‘Terra Nullius’. These works exemplify the undercurrent themes and tones of Issue 2 as an ensemble; that is, as a collection squirming with violence, perversion and social dissatisfaction. Enjoy your time in the dark.
This issue is dedicated to freedom of expression.
Issue 1, Spring 2014
Gargouille was conceived in a Melbourne laneway and spent two years expanding and contracting into shape. The French word ‘gargouille’ translates as ‘gargoyle’, and was originally used to describe the devilish rainwater spouts carved into medieval buildings. The term also stems from the Old French word for ‘throat’ and is related to ‘gargle’ and ‘gurgle’. We were drawn to ‘gargouille’ for its grotesque and visceral nature; we liked to play with it on our tongues and feel it pulsate at the back of our throats. For the journal, we have imposed an Anglo pronunciation, ‘gar-goo-ee’, which is a feature of our masthead and is intended to emphasise the word’s physicality.
Gargouille’s content embraces the aesthetic. Our motto is always artistry over ideology, and our prose and poetry are chosen for their affect, whether sensual, melancholy, absurd or playful. Gargouille also creates a space for non-traditionally-published genres – such as script, storyboard and aesthetic essay – to illustrate the literary merit of these works and to provide an alternate reading experience. Our genre, Lost & Found Words, further develops this idea by publishing words that have no artistic intent, yet have an undeniable poetic presence. We hope to expand this section as the journal grows. Gargouille, both in name and content, is an exercise into the subversive and corporeal nature of words and literature.
Welcome to the first issue. Enjoy.