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Jacket 17 — June 2002 — Contents page

Special H O A X issue

Photo of John Ashbery

John Ashbery; photo John Tranter

Faking Literature

Faking Literature: Patrick Herron: Ken Ruthven’s Faking Literature (and Ern Malley)

Faking Literature: The Bibliography Ken Ruthven: — 25 pages of rare and hard-to-find source materials (including Ern Malley)

Girls on the Run: Michael Leddy: Lives and Art: John Ashbery and Henry Darger (and Ern Malley)

John Ashbery and John Kinsella and John Tranter (and Ern Malley) —
The Ern Malley poems’

Ern Malley Feature

Photo of Ern Malley

Man believed to be Ern Malley, Sydney to Melbourne night express, 29 April 1941, Sun Photo Archive.

Ethel MalleyLetter to Max Harris, 28 October 1943

David Lehman — The Ern Malley Hoax — Introduction

Max HarrisIntroduction [his original Introduction to the Ern Malley poems in Angry Penguins magazine, Autumn 1944]

Ern MalleyThe Complete Poems

Ern Malley’s recently discovered Last Will and Testament

Max HarrisTwo pieces [immediately following the Ern Malley poems in Angry Penguins magazine, Autumn 1944]

David LehmanA Note on Harold Stewart [written after a visit with ‘Uncle Harold’ Stewart in Kyoto in 1990]

John ThompsonThe Ern Malley Story: audio — the 1-hour radio documentary in RealAudio, with the voices of all those involved in the hoax, made by the Australian Broadcasting Commission in 1959. You can download the free basic model of the RealAudio plug-in for your browser here:

John ThompsonThe Ern Malley Story: transcript — the full transcript of the radio documentary above; first published as an Appendix to Clement Semmler, For the Uncanny Man — Essays, Mainly Literary, 1963.

The Ern Malley Story... poster

Ern Malley movie poster

Free movie poster
Get your free electronic copy of the poster from The Ern Malley Story... you’ll love the HTML version, but you'll go crazy over the special full-color high-definition download at 300 ppi! Only from Jacket magazine!


Press Clippings from 1944
FACT, 18 (?) June 1944: Ern Malley, the great poet, or the greatest hoax?
FACT, 25 June 1944: Ern Malley, Poet of Debunk: full story
     from the two authors (with McAuley and Stewart photos)
The Herald, 4 July 1944: ‘Nearly Bad Enough to be Genuine’
     ...with McAuley photo and reader's letter.
The Herald, 4 July 1944 — The Case of The Angry Penguins
Ern Malley’s Doctor of Oxometry degree (FACT magazine, 1944)
FACT’S London News Bureau, 9 July 1944 — English comment on Ern Malley
Sydney Morning Herald, 15 July 1944 — FEATHERS FLY!
The Bulletin ‘Red Page’, 19 July 1944 — ‘Hoaxed Penguins’
Unknown print source, 1944 — [a summary of the hoax]
The (Melbourne) Age, 4 November 1944 (a notice of The Darkening Ecliptic)

[... with thanks to Nicholas Pounder  
for supplying this invaluable archival material.]

Voices magazine (Vermont, USA): Contents page, Number 118, Summer 1944

Max Harris:Commentary on Australian Poetry’, from Voices magazine, Number 118, Summer 1944

Michael AcklandDamaged Men — ‘ day it will be irrefutably proved that James McAuley and Harold Stewart were really figments of the imagination of the real-life Ern Malley and in fact never existed! ’ — a 50-page excerpt from the book about the brilliant hoaxers who created Ern Malley.

Michael Heyward — ‘Indecent, Immoral, Obscene’: a 60-page excerpt, dealing with the obscenity trial and the public crucifixion of Max Harris, from Michael Heyward’s book The Ern Malley Affair.

The Apotheosis of Ern Malley, by Gary Shead

The Apotheosis of Ern Malley, by Gary Shead, circa 2001. Reproduced with the kind permission of the artist. The two figures in army uniform represent Harold Stewart and James McAuley.


“I have found that people who go into parks at night go there for immoral purposes. My exper as police officer might under certn circs., tinge my apprecn of literature.”

N E W :  The court typist’s transcript, in full, of the trial of Max Harris, an editor of Angry Penguins magazine, for the offence of publishing indecent advertisements. The trial was held in the Adelaide Police Court in September 1944. Mr Harris was convicted of the offence and fined. The original has 74 typed pages. Edited by John Tranter in 2005, with emendations and notes.

Max Harris, Detective Vogelsang, and others — ‘Indecent Advertisements’: photographic copies of five pages from the transcript of the trial of Max Harris charged with the offence of ‘Indecent Advertisements’ in the Adelaide Police Court, 5 September 1944, courtesy Philip Mead.

McKenzie Wark — ‘Black Swan of Trespass’ — a postmodern response.

See also John MilesLost Angry Penguins in Jacket 12: with the deaths of D.B. Kerr and P.G. Pfeiffer as young Royal Australian Air Force airmen during World War II, Australia lost two original and promising poets. They were also among the founders of the Angry Penguin movement.

See also Jacket 29David Brooks: “Petit Testament”: A Reading [on the Ern Malley hoax]

Small robot

Hans Magnus Enzensberger’s
Poetry Machine’:

My magic is perfumed with rage. I giggle, I sing:
Fear not our parents glowing in the dark!
Downstairs the country is doing fine.

A three-page Introduction to this poetry-writing computer is given in English; a twenty-page paper by Enzensberger explaining the theory and operation of the machine is published (in German) in this issue of Jacket: Einladung zu einem Poesie-Automaten. An English translation of this paper is in preparation.

Seiffert at piano

Seiffert at piano

Catherine Daly

Marjorie Allen Seiffert and the ‘Spectra’ Hoax

Photo of Schuldt

Photo: Schuldt, Berlin, 2001, photo by John Tranter.

Homi Bhabha

Schuldt: ‘Homi Bhabha and the Forty Words’

Free Grass magazine:

An electronic edition of the only extant number of Free Grass magazine, made up of HTML text and linked photographic images of the original printed pages. Free Grass, a five page mimeographed magazine, splashed into the pond of little ‘underground’ magazines in Australia in 1968. The editorial standards were loose, and there was a strong counter-cultural flavour to the thing. Strangest of all, it lived up to its title: it was literally free. But Free Grass had a secret...

Please note: This link takes you off-site, to the University of Sydney Library secret research laboratory buried deep under the sandstone escarpments of Eastern Australia... to return to Jacket, hit the ‘back’ button of your browser.

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