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Ern Malley’s honor for oxoplasm

FACT magazine, 1944
Oxometrical diploma

This week the Oxometrical Society of Sydney University awarded the degree of Doctor of that science to Ern Malley.
      Two copies of the degree came to FACT for forwarding to Lieut James McAuley and Corporal Harold Stewart, poets, who wrote the ‘poems of Ern Malley’ published in the Adelaide literary magazine Angry Penguins.
      Ern Malley, the fictitious author of the writings described as ‘Australia’s greatest literary hoax,’ was regarded by the society as having shown himself a notable producer of oxoplasm, said Oxometrical Society president R. N. Bracewell.

      Oxoplasm, he said, might be defined as a term describing very pretentious talk.
      The symbol of the society is a bull.
      The Oxometrical Society was formed at Sydney University in 1942. A society of the same name exists in London.
      Only two other doctorates have been awarded outside the University itself.
      Music critic Neville Cardus, whose address on the ‘Oxometrical Aspects of Moronology’ was a highlight of the society’s annual dinner in March, was made a doctor and also received the Order of the Golden Horn.
      A doctorate was conferred on actor Arundel Nixon after a debate on Wowserism at the University.
      The letter to poets McAuley and Stewart ‘commends the impartial attitude observed in conducting your investigation of the oxogenic structure of some contemporary poetry.’
      Signing it, the president lists his degrees as B.Sc.. B.E. (Syd.), D.Sc. (Oxom.).


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