Artist Joy Hester and Max Harris, 1940s. Photo: Albert Tucker.
Court Transcript of the Trial of Max Harris
in the Adelaide Police Court, 1944
“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.”
- Edited by John Tranter in October and November 2005
- Transcribed from pages photocopied from an original document held in the Australian Manuscripts Collection of the State Library of Victoria among the papers of John and Sunday Reed:
Ms 13186. John and Sunday Reed Papers, Box 10, File 4. La Trobe Australian Manuscripts Collection, State Library of Victoria.
Five pages of that photocopy can be viewed here.
- The original document is a court typist’s transcript of the trial of Max Harris, an editor of Angry Penguins magazine, for the offence of publishing indecent advertisements. He was 23 years old at the time. The trial was held in the Adelaide Police Court in September 1944. Mr Harris was convicted of the offence and fined.
- Transcribed from the photocopy into electronic form at the request of John Tranter.
- Transcribed in October 2005 by Libby Shade, Corner Cottage Desktop Publishing, Rosanna VIC 3084, who supplied emendations in square brackets, most of which expand the court typist’s contractions.
- All text within square brackets consists of suggested expansions or emendations or editorial comment, query or hypothesis, except for one instance: the top line of page 1, where a single left square bracket has been typeset before the word ‘Form’ and printed on the original form.
- The text was further edited in October and November 2005 by John Tranter, who further emended the text with reference to the photocopy and a (facsimile?) copy of the 1944 Autumn number of Angry Penguins magazine published in a limited edition of 1000 copies.
- Electronic edition prepared in November 2005 by John Tranter and first published on the Internet on 7 November 2005 at
as part of the Ern Malley material on the Australian Literature Resources site. This site was relocated to Sydney University in 2006 and renamed the Australian Poetry Resources Internet Library, or APRIL, at: april.edu.au.
- Thanks are due to Philip Mead, Michael Heyward, and Jock Murphy and the staff of the State Library of Victoria.
- Notes are given at the end of this file, with links in the body of the text that look like this: . Click on the link to be taken to the note; likewise to return to the text.
- Further documentary material and commentary on the 1944 Ern Malley hoax which led to this trial can be found in this issue (17) of Jacket magazine on the Internet at http://jacketmagazine.com/17/, a special issue devoted to hoax poetry.
- Last modified: 1 June 2008.
IN THE ADELAIDE POLICE COURT. [in the state of South Australia] [Form K.
Tuesday the 5th day of September 1944
Before L. E. Clarke Esquire, S.M. [Stipendiary Magistrate]
Offence… Indecent Advertisements
Plea… Not Guilty
Mr. D. C. Williams for Complainant.
Mr. Eric Millhouse for Defendant.
On the application of Mr. Millhouse all witnesses are ordered out of Court.
10.10 Mr. Williams opens case for the prosecution, and
REGINALD ARTHUR C RTER [CARTER?]
of 32 Canter Har Cres. Col Lt. Gdns
[of 32 Kandahar Crescent, Colonel Light Gardens, in Adelaide]
Managing Director …………………………………………….. (SWORN.)
By Mr. Williams
I am the managing dir. of John McGrath Ltd., which conducts the business known as the Argonaut Bus. Lib. on Nth Tce. I know the deft. Max Harris. I have seen the Autumn Number of "Angry Penguins."
In June 1944 I ordered a number of copies of "Angry Penguins" for my firm. There were 4 occasns [occasions] in June when I did this. I purchased those copies from the firm of Reid [Reed] and Harris. They were deliv. to my shop on North Tce., if I rem rightly, by Mr. Harris on 2 occasns., and by Miss Mary Martin, an employee of Reid and Harris, I think, on 2 occasns. This firm of Reid and Harris has an office in Brookman Bldgs., Grenfell St. Adelaide. I have never been to that office.
XXD [cross-examined by] MR. MILLHOUSE
I read a good deal. Quite a number of modern books refer to sexual matters, I think on the whole they are regarded as realistic writing. The use of the word "loving" occurs on num [numerous] occasns. The word "bugger" is in literature a lot, and not that I have I [sic] noticed is any exceptn [exception] taken. The word "bastard" appears freq in many good novels and also in purely immoral books, but they are banned. The word appears in books which I sell, which are not banned, and which are regarded as good literature, and do not appear to give offence.
I have a large no of customers and clients for my library. We have subscribers, but we are more of bookselling shop than library. We wd deal with thousands of people during a year. I know a pubn known as "Coast to Coast" The 3rd issue has just been pub., it is annual pubn., containing what are regarded as the best stories in Aust. Literature. I have heard of a writer named Peter Cowan, I have not read any of hiw [his] work. "Coast to Coast" is a collectn of short stories, mainly, and is supposed to be the best of the present collections of Aust Short Stories.
MR. WILLIAMS CALLS
JACOBUS ANDRIES VOGELESANG
DETECTIVE STATIONED AT ADELAIDE SWORN
BY MR. WILLIAMS
I interv. [interviewed] the deft [defendant] on 2 occasns. On the 1st occasn., wh [which] was the 1st August, I saw the deft. at room 83 at Brookman Bldgs., Grenfell St. Adelaide. I made notes shortly after interv.
FROM NOTES WITH PERMISSN OF COURT
At abt. 3.30 p.m. on Tues. 1st Aug of this yr. in co. with P.C. [Police Constable] C. Cameron Smith, I saw the deft. at his office and I sd. [said] to him "We are police offs. What is yr name." He sd. "Max Harris." I sd. "We wd [would] like to have a talk to you. Are you the Editor of a mag. 'Angry Penguins' " He sd. "Well not exactly, for there is a committee of 4, of which I am one. There is Mr. John Reid [Reed] in Melbourne, Mrs. Sunday Reid [Reed], and Mr. Sydney [Sidney] Nolan." I sd "Are you and the committee respons. [responsible] for the pubn of the magazine." He sd. "Well, what happens is that the articles are submitted to us, and when they are finally approved the book is printed in Vict. [Victoria]" I sd. "Are you the S.A. represent" He sd. "Yes, writers send me stuff here and I send it on to Melbourne." I sd. "Are you one of the proptrs together with the other 3 of the magazine." He sd. "Yes." I sd. "Are you respons in S.A. [South Australia] for the distributn of the magazine to the booksellers." He sd. "No, not exactly, some might orde [order] direct from Melb." I sd. "But do you have copies sent here for distrn. to booksellers." He sd. "Yes." I sd. "I unders. that in the Autumn number, there was an Ern Malley sectn that you were respons for pubg." He sd. "Yes."
I sd. "Did you cause it to be publishes [published]." He sd. "Together with the other members of the committee." I sd. "Was it submitted to you for pbn." He sd. "Yes." He sd. "What is this enquiry abt." I sd. "It is in ref. to the magazine 'Angry Penguins' " He sd. "What do you want to know" I sd. "We first want to know if we are speaking to someone respons for its pubn and distributn." He sd. "I dont know whether I ought to answer yr questions." I sd. "You can please yrself abt that." He sd "Is this on the record, or off the record." I sd. "We have been instructed to make enqs [enquiries] and we are making enqs in connectn with the provisions of the Police Act with Respect to immoral or indec. pubns." I showed him a copy of the magazine "Angry Penguins," and I showed him the poem entitled "Sweet William" on page 11, and I sd. "Are you acquan. with all the poems in the Ern Malley Sectn" He sd. "Yes." I sd. "What is the theme of that poem." He sd. "I dont know what the author intended by that poem. You had better ask him what he meant." I sd. "What do you think it means." He sd. "I am not going to exp an opin." I sd. "That means you have an op. but you are not prep. [prepared] to exp it." He sd. "I wd have to give it 2 or 3 hrs considn [consideration] before I cd determine what it means." I sd. "Do you think it is suggestive of indecency." He sd. "I havent got an opin." I then ref. him to the poem "Boult to Marina" on page 12. I sd. "What do you think this poem is abt." He sd. "Do you know anything abt the classical characters." I sd. "What I want to know is what it means." He sd. "Pericles and Boult are both classical characters, and when you know what they stand for, you can understand the poem." I sd. "Do you think the poem is suggestive of indec." He sd. "No more than Shakespeare or Chaucer or others." I sd. "You admit then that there is suggestn of indec abt the poem." He sd. "No I don't." I sd. "Well what do you think the last verse refers to." He sd."
I had the book with me. I was ref. to the last verse of Boult to Marina.
BY MR. WILLIAMS.
He sd. "If you are looking for that sort of thing, I can refer you to plenty of books and cheaper pubs that you can fill yr dept with. Our pubn is intended for cultured minds, who understand these things, and place ordinary thoughts on a higher level."
I sd. "Your pubn is intended for genl [general] distributn." He sd. "No, its price limits it for one thing." I sd. "But all the booksellers wd have it wdnt they, and everyone that wanted it could buy it." He sd. "Yes." I sd. "What does it mean when it says "Part of me remains wench, Boult-upright, the rest of me drops off into the night" He sd. "I cant help the interpretn that some people might place on it." I sd. "Do you think that some people cd [could] place an idec [indecent] internpn [interpretation] on it." He sd. "Some peop [people] cd place an indec. interp on anythg." I sd. "Well what is yr opin on the poem." He sd. "I haven't got one." I then ref. him to a poem called "Night Piece on Page 16" and also ref him to the altern. versn on page 19. I sd. "Are you acq with Night Piece and its alternative version." He sd. "Yes." I sd. "What do you think those 2 poems descr." He sd. "I haven't an opin." I sd. "Have you given their meaning any considern." He sd. "No." I sd. "Did you have a look at them before they were pub." He sd. "Yes." I sd. "Do you think they are suggestive of sexual interc." He sd. "I havent an opin." I sd. "I think they suggest sexual matters, and I consider they are immoral."
I then ref. him to poem "Perspective Love Song" on p. 21. I read out the 3rd verse. I sd. "What do you think that means." He sd. "I havent an opin." I sd. "How abt the last verse." He sd. "I have no opin." I ref. him to the poem called "Egyptian Register" on p. 25, and I ref. him to the last 4 lines of the first verse. I sd. "What part does the word 'genitals' have in relatn to this poem." He sd. "I wd have to consider the poem as a whole before I ans. that." I sd. "The genitals refer to the sexual parts. I think it unusual for the sexual parts to be ref. to in poetry." He sd. "I cd refer you to plenty of other boks [books] if you wanted to find that sort of thing."
I pointed out to him the word "incestuos." in te [the] 3rd verse. I sd. "What relatn has this to the poem." He sd. "I havena [haven't] any opin." I ref. him to the poem "Young Prince of Tyre" on page 27, and I read the last verse to him. I sd. "What do you think that verse decrs." He sd. "I havent any opin." I sd. "I think it refers to sexual interc." He sd. "I dont think it does." I sd. "I think it is immoral."
I then sd. to him "Have you seen this article by Peter Cowan, 'The Fence' " He sd. "Yes." I sd. "Did you see it before pubn." He sd. "Yes." I sd. "Did you consent to its pubn." He sd. "Yes."
I read part of it to him, and I sd "What do you think 'You can stick the money' means." (on page 41.) He sd. "It might mean 'stick it up yr jumper' " I sd. "What do you think it means." He sd. "I haven't an opin on that." I sd. "Do you think it might mean 'stick it up yr anus' or the word that is used more vulgarly" He sd. "I dont know what the author meant." I sd. "How abt 'bugger the work' " He sd. "I can refer you to plenty of pubns with worse than that in them, if you are looking for that sort of thing." I sd. "Do you think it is immoreal [immoral]." He sd. "It all depends on who the individ is. It is not immoral to me."
I also questioned him abt some other words in the matter "the Fence" but they were not in relation to this case. I questioned him abt "Elegiac for Ern Malley" but not concerning this case. I also quest. him abt another matter "Solution to God." I ref. him to an article in p. 62, called "You called me by my proper name." I ref. him to a poem on the 1st column, and I read it to him, and sd. "Do you think that is moral. That is the poem starting "My name is Sammy Horn" and finishing "Damn his eyes." He sd. "We have thrashed that out before. It all depends on the indiv."
Then on page 64 I showed him the lines beginning "You men" at the bottom of the 1st column and ending "Its diff. for girl" at the top of the 2nd column. I sd. "What do you think that means." He sd. "That is straight fwd enough" I sd. "What do you think it means." He sd. "It means the sexual act." I sd. "Do you think that is indec or immoral." He sd. "No more indec. or immoral than any other books that you can buy" Take the Penguin Series for instance, you can buy that with one of the words "Mucken" We only print the type of word that is printed these days, the same that is being printed than other, no worse than them, and in a lot of cases better." I sd. "Have you consid. its effect on say, high school children." He sd. "Well I shd imagine there are quite a lot of parts in the Bible which could have a more indec. effect on children than that." I sd. "Are you suggesting that there is anything indec. abt the Bible." He sd. "No, only the effect of diff things. How abt Dr. Marie Stope's books, you might as well say they are indec." I sd. "They are text books dealing with a certn subject." He sd. "They are still avail to the genl pub and in my op would have a definite effect worse than this." I sd. "I am of the opin that it is immoral" He sd. "Not to people who are prep. to take the facts of life as they are." I then ref. him to a poem on p. 67 "I have never spoken of yr Nakedness"
I sd. "Is this a poem that you wrote for pubn." He sd. "Yes." I sd. "What does it mean." He sd. "It is abt a symbol of beauty. Something high up, stripped of its ordinary everyday cloak, as if you saw something without glasses, and it's [its] bare state. That is what I mean by its nakedness. It is mine, and therefore I possess it, and later I come to earth with this symbol, and materialise it with decisn and join it with my everyday phys life." I sd. "Do you think the poem is suggestive of sexual interc." He sd. "No, you cdnt say that when you see the word "decisn" The poem is abt a symbol, there is no suggestn of anything indec." I sd. "Does the poem liken the symbol in any way to a woman." He sd. "No."
I then ref. him to a poem on the same page "The legent [legend] of the little Death." I sd. "What is this abt." He sd. "That descrs the dying of a landscape the landscape being likened to a girl." I sd. "Well where do the words 'pubic dust' fit in. What does that mean" He sd. "That descr the grad dying of a landscape. That is the partic. stage likened to the stage of a girl when she reaches the stage of life." I sd. "Do you mean the stage of puberty" He sd. "Yes." I sd "The landscape has died off to that partic stage in the girl's life when she wd. have reached that partic age." He sd. "Yes."
I then ref. him to a poem on page 67 entitled "Poem for a Hourney [Journey]" I sd. "Did you prepare this poem for pubn." He sd. "Yes." I sd. "What does the first verse of 'A Journey North' mean" He sd. "What it says." I read out the 2nd part of that verse, and I sd. "Does it mea [mean] that the woman's sex. parts are aching for an evening dress." He sd. "Yes" I sd. "Dont you think that is immoral" He sd. "No." I sd. "I think it is." On page 80 I ref. him to a poem "myself and the New Year, 1944" and I read out the part starting from "From the mother's womb" down to the end. I sd. "What do you think that descrs." He sd. "I cdnt say w out studying the poem as a whole, and that wd take abt 3 readings of abt ½ hr each." I sd. "Do you think it refers to a descr of an abortn" He sd. "I cdnt say" I sd. "I think it does, and I think it is immoral. Did you see that poem before pubn." He sd. "Yes." I sd. "Did you accept it for pubn." He sd. "Yes." I sd. "That is together with yr other 3 co-partners." He sd. "Yes." I then questioned him abt anr [another] matter that does not arise in this prosecn. I sd. "I will have to report the
result of my interview with you. It is offence for anyone to pub. or distrib. any indec or immoral advert. and it may be that you will hear more abt this matter." He sd. "Alright." I sd. "You are co-editor, and copartner of Reid and Harris." He sd. "Yes." He gave full name of Maxwell Henley Harris, 23 yrs., residing at 20 Churchill Avenue, Glandore, co-partner with John Reid, Mrs. Sydney [Sunday] Reid, and Sydney Knowle [Sidney Nolan]. I sd. "Were you with the other 3 respons for the pubn of this mag." He sd "Yes."
At abt. 2. 45 p.m. on Wed. 18th Aug of this yr. in Co. with P.C.C. Cameron Smith, I saw the deft. again at his office, and Smith sd. to him "We are p.c's, and we want to have a fur. convn with you." I then spoke to him concerning anr matter, and whilst speaking to him concerng that matter, he sd. "I have been advised by my solrs, Mr. Harris of the firm of Teesdale Smith and Harris, and Melb solrs not to ans any of yr quesn." I sd. "You can please yrself whether you answer any of our ques or not. That is yr bus., but I intend asking you some questions jus [just] the same." I sd. "In respect of the Autumn no of Angry Penguins that we spoke to you abt before with the Ern Malley Sectn in it." He sd. "The one that the Adver. says is nonsense, written by 2 young soldiers, and the one that you say is indec. and immoral." I sd. "I am not concerned abt the Advertiser's opin but that identifies the book we are talkg abt. I unders. that you del some of these books to the Argonaut Lib. yself." He sd. "I del. very little myself. I have taken some poetry there, as I have told you before. I dont handle the administratn of the business. That is done by Miss Martin who is the business manager." I sd. "You are the editor." He sd. "Yes, I do the editing, and make certain recommendatns." I sd. "Has Miss Martin del. copies of the book to the Argonaut library." He sd. "I have been advised by my solrs not to ans yr questions unless in their pres. I think I am entitl not to ans yr quesns." I sd. "You can please yrself. Did the Argonaut Lib. order some copies for [from] you." He sd. "I must give you the same reply. I have been advised not to ans yr questions.' I sd. "But I unders. from when I saw you last that the majority of orders go direct. to Melb., and some copies come here, and you dist. some from this office." He sd. "Yes, but I have nothing to do with the adminisn. That is Miss Martin's job." I sd. "Is Miss Martin under yr supervisn." He sd. "I have been advised
not to ans yr questions, I refuse to ans that." I sd. "It follows that she must be under yr supervisn as you are the Harris of Reid and Harris. He sd. "You are makg yr own ans." I sd. "Do you agree." He sd. "I have been advised not to answer." I sd. "Do you deny that you have del. copies yrself to the Argonaut lib. He sd. "I refuse to ans." I sd. "And I suppose that is the ans I will get to any quesn I put to you regarding this partic enquiry." He sd. "Yes, I dont know who to obey, you or my solrs. They have advised me not to ans. any of yr questions." I sd. "Alright" and left.
I have heard the phraze [phrase] "You can stick it" before, fairly freq. To me, it has a vulgar meaning, the meaning of sticking up your anus.
Mr. Williams tenders copy of "Angry Penguins" put in marked Ex. "A" by consent.
That is the pubn to which I have been referring to.
Mr. Williams tenders copy of particulars Ex. "A."
XXD MR MILLHOUSE
I had read the copy of Angry Penguins before I saw Mr. Harris. I had been thru it, for the purpose of acquainting myself with it to ask him questns abt it. When I sd. "I think it is immoral" I was exp my own opins abt it.
The exp "You can stick it" I have heard sev. times, not among other members of the police force, never. I did regard it as part of a phraze, such as "stick it up yr anus" It is freq. used, abbreviated. There are lots of endings to it, all meaning the one thing. I have hrd other meanings to it. It was on acct of my hearing other meanings to it that I attached a meaning to it. I think that meaning would apply to other people, even if they heard other things. I dont think it cd mean "You can stick to it." It is bec. I have hrd the phraze used in other ways that I attached the meaning to it. I sd. It had a vulgar meaning to it. That was a type of vulgarity that I attached to it. If a person sd. "go to" they might mean "Go to Hell" or "Go to Hades" or somethg like that.
When I questioned Mr. Harris, when the Bible was mentioned, he did not say that the Bible was avail more than Angry Penguins, bec. it was in so many languages.
He sd. there were many verses more conducive to indec. in the Bible than in Angry Penguins. I am not in a posn. to express an opinion on that. I have not come across the word "Bugger" freq in literature. I read a book called "All quite [quiet] on the Western Front." I have not a very clear recolln of it, but I can remember the book, and there are quite a no of expressions in it which are vulgar. I wd regard the word "Bugger" as vulgar. I did not read a book "The Grapes of Wrath" to my recollectn. I don t think [I] sd. ref. to the Bible to Mr. Harris "But the Bible is priviliged [sic]."
In the poem "Sweet William" I object to the thing as a whole, and the last verse, in relation to the 5 lines, the last 5 lines of the 1st verse. In the last verse, I object to the relation to the last 5 lines in the 1st verse. Its relatn in my opinion, the first [crossed out and replaced in handwriting by the word "last"] 5 lines are suggest. of sexual interc. and the 2nd verse is suggestive of the person or whoever it is having yielded to the temptation of sexual interc. In the 2nd verse, I should think, perhaps, it is a man. I think it is a man, or somebody, who has yielded to sexual temptatn. I cdnt say if it is a man or woman. In the 2nd verse, because it is related to the 5 lines of the 1st verse, it refers to sexual interc. In the 2nd verse, "My white swan of quietness lies quiet in the Black Swan's breast" The person "I" is testifying how he yielded to the temptatn. That has not been suggested to me by anyone, that is the meaning I attached to it. I think "Stoned feet" might mean heavy feet. I dont thin [think] "The staircase of flesh" might mean "staircase of life" bef [because?] of the "Shuddring embrace" and "unforgiveable rape". At that partic. stage, it is the opposite thts [thoughts?]., the desires of the person "I", are the desires of who committed the rape. "I must go with stoned feet," "My toppling opposites" mean his thoughts, divided in one sense to thts away fro [from] interc., the thoughts on the opp. on sexual matters or interc. by "Opposite" I think might mean opposite thts in his mind. I consider it is immoral, the struggling agnst temptn and the yielding to temptatn is immoral. That is my own view, no one suggested it to me. I freq. come across "rape" and "Obscene" both those words.
Before I interv Mr. Harris I did not know who Boult was, nor who Marina was.
I knew the play of Pericles. I have read it, but I did not associate Boult with it, nor Marina. It is not a long time since I have read it. When I questioned Mr. Harris it was a long time. It wdnt have made any diff. to me if I had known Boult was a character. I think it does mean "Bolt-upright" that is what I thought at the time I saw Mr. Harris. I dont think it could mean Boult was an upright man. The suggestn that "she will rest snug and know what he means" is indec, the suggestn of his intentions is indecent. It offends my decency to suggest that a character means that he wants sexual intercourse. I think that is immoral. That governs my opin. with regard to all these matter, where interc is ref. to I take it as immoral, in the circs [circumstances] in which we find them here. I would consid. under certain circs. that it was indec. to talk abt the sexual act, to discuss it to a friend, for example.
In "Night Piece" I think there is suggestn of indec. abt it. The naked nymph is not, the visit of someone to the park, the whole thing is indec. Apparently someone is shing [shining] a torch in the dark, visiting thru the park gates, the people visiting apparently disapproved of their own visit in that they give the iron birds give them a look at disapproval. They materialize the tht [thought?] for the birds. To my mind they were going there for some disapproved motive. At that partic. stage it dos [does] not suggest interc. "Someone lays sobbing on my trembling intuitive arm" Up to that stage, I cant suggest there is anythg indec.
I think in the first version there is suggestn of indec. in it, in the way I mentioned, in that they were vis. there for some purpose, an immoral purpose. Bec. of the disapproval and the nature of the time they went there, and the disapproval of the iron birds, make me say it is immoral. 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.
On page 19 apparently they had not heeded the warning, they left in the morning "Their beaks glinted with dew" That is as they leave. That is their leaving, that is what the poem says "As we swung the park gates their beaks glinted with dew." I dont think it could be entering, in connectn with the other verse. Taking it by itself, I can see somthig suggestg sex interc. "The trembling flesh in the middle of the night" suggests to me indecency.
I read books, I do read books which do not suggest sexual interc., freq. The word "charoscuro" [sic] means the diff. betn light and shade. I do not essentially obj. to the nakes [naked] loins and breasts in a poem, I do here in its surroundings. "The conventions of faithfulness" in the first verse, and where he in the last verse "You thought — to — faithfulness" does not suggest interc. to me. The thing as whole suggests interc. to me. The conventions of faithfulness" [opening quote missing] and the 3rd verse suggests interc. It suggests to me that someone is enquiring for interc. That is all out of my mind, no one has mentioned it to me.
"Egyptian Register" on page 35, I noticed that that ref. to the hand, the heart, the skull the spine, the lungs, the body, and the genitals. I cant unders it very well, I only regard the word "genitals" as indec. They dont fit into the rest of the poem. "Genitals" refer to the private parts of a man or woman. I think it is immoral, the use of the word "genitals." If I read it in dictionary it wd not be immoral, bec. it is reference, even tho it is not connected to surroundings. I dont know if it poem that takes in part of the human body, I am not in posn to say.
The word "incestuous" I regard as being indecent, not only bec. it has no relation to the rest of the poem. I dont know what incestuous means, I think there is suggestn of indecency abt it.
"Young Prince of Tyre" — I did not know what "concupiscence" [correction in pencil] meant. I did not consider the meaning of the word "phoines" [foins, correction in handwriting, though the word as printed in the poem is foin] I did not know what it meant. I had not seen those 2 lines when I quest the deft.
I object to any descr. to any female parts in poems, or any suggsn of intercourse as being immoral or indecent. The poem abt abortion on p. 80, I think condones and encourages it. If it was warning to abortn I wdnt object to it. If it was warning agnst abortion I wdnt say it was excusable. It wdnt be necess. to go into descr of abortion. I object to the whole of it. "From the mother's womb the child is scraped away" is the only descr. of abortion, and I obj. to it. I wdnt object if someone said "Mrs. Brown had a curette." If I read anywhere "That Mrs Brown had had a curette" It would depend on the cirs. whether it wd offend my decency. If I read she had been aborted that wd not offend my sense of decency. If I read that Mrs. Bornw [Brown] had had a curette, with a descr such as "the womb was scraped" would be indecent. The fact that the womb is scraped is indec.
In ordinary desc. [discussion?] betn 2 men who had nothing to do with medical terms, I think it would be immoral. If you sd. in the street "Mrs. Brown had her womb scraped" I wd regard that as immoral. Genly [generally] speakg anything that refers to the sexual act in poetry, I wd. regard as being indec. or immoral, I would say that.
I have been in the Criminal Court a fair bit. I have not heard freq. a quotation from Don Juan "A little while — to she will ne'er consent" If that was ref. to, I wdnt regard that as immoral. In the Crim Court, I wdnt regard the word "consent" as immoral. In the literature I would
Mr. Williams tenders certif copy of the certif of regn of the firm or [of] Reid [Reed] and Harris Ex. "C."
Also statement of change of particulars relating to regn. Ex "D."
CASE FOR THE PROSECUTION.
At this state (12.55) adj. until 26th Sept. 1944 at 10 a.m.
Resuming on 26th September 1944 at 10.05 a.m.
Mr. Phillips, who now appears for Mr. Millhouse for deft., opens case for the defence.
MR. PHILLIPS CALLS
MAXWELL HENLEY HARRIS
of 20 Churchill Av. Glandore,
BY MR. HARRIS
I am a student at the University of Adelaide. I recd my educatn at St. Peters College. I have made English a partic study, I have devoted most of my time since 14 to that subject. I am a Tennyson Medallist, and have recd. the Bundy prize for English verse.
At this stage Mr. Phillips applies that Prof. Stewart, Dr. Ellery, and Brian Elliott who are to be called as expert witnesses shd be perm [permitted] to remain in Crt.
Mr. Williams objects
Witnesses permitted to remain in Court
I am one of the editors of "Angry Penguins." It was originally published by the Adel. Univ. Arts Assoctn. I accepted the financial respons. for the 2nd 3rd and 4th editns. The subs. editns including the one in question, were published with the assistance of Mr. John Reed, and other members of the committee. The pres. editn was publ by the firm of Reid and Harris. The 1944 Autumn Number, the O'Malley [Ern Malley] editn, Ex. B was published by the firm of Reed and Harris. Ex. B is the 6th editn of Angry Penguins. 1200 were printed, and only abt 450 were sold of the 5th number of Angry Penguins. The price of No. 5 editn was 2/ 6d. 900 of no. 6 were printed, that is Ex. B. All of them with the exceptn of the complimentaries, international copies, were sold. I am not sure of the cost of productn but I would say that each copy worked out at abt 3/ 6. It worked out at nearly a loss. It is a part of our policy not to turn it into a commercialised propositn. The book is sold all over Australia, and also in the internatnl sphere, S.A. [South Australian] sales are very restricted. We have 2 New York agents, as yet, we have no London agents, but we exchange with overseas journals, "Poetry London" "Horizon" "Tempest" and a no. of others I cant think of.
Q. Are any of the exchanges you ref. to available in Adel.
A. Under pres. condns very few overseas journals are available in Aust. at all.
The larger portn of Ex. B, some 30 pages out of 108, is concerned with Ern Malley. At the time of pubn I actuall bel. that Ern Malley existed or had existed. I have satisfied myself that its intention was a hoax.
I heard Const. Vogelesang's evidence. When I from time to time expressed the fact that I had no opinion — I was asked for a no. of opin. at a mins notice by Det Vogelesang, but I sd. "I am unable to pass an opin on these things without studying them, conseq. I would be forced to say 'no opin' to everything he asked abt them" I would affirm my prev. statement to him that I cant get an opinion on a hurried reading. I referred to the fact that young people might be inf. by the Bible which were "available" on the tables of the home in S.A. and would be more available than the Angry Penguins. Const Vogelesang sd. "Don't you think the Bible is privileged." I switched off on to a diff. source, and then ref. to the public availability as such things as Marie Stope's books, and then to the books of nudes, which was not ref. to in the ev [evidence] of the const, but his response to that was "Don't you think there is beauty in those photographs" I wish to correct also something which I think is not Det. Vogelesang's fault. A couple of the poems I did exp., abt 10 mins., were on fairly complex intellectual level, and conseq. Mr. Vogelesangs explanatn in his ev. does not make coherent sense, but I consider that is not his fault at all. Before pubn of these articles, they were not consid. by me in so far as their neurotic appeal is concerned, if I was interested in any form of neurotic appeal I wd have gone to vaudeville instead.
Q. These articles which were objected to were put forward by you as serious literature.
MR. WILLIAMS OBJECTS on the ground that it is leading question.
Q. Would you tell the Crt with what purpose you published those partic articles complained of?
MR WILLIAMS OBJECTS.
A. The basic principle behind everything which I did in relation to Angry Penguins is to provide a channel of expression to creative writers in this country and to potentially creative writers in this country, literature which has serious artistic purpose behind it.
Q. REFERRING TO "SWEET WILLIAM" AT P. 11 of Angry Penguins will you construe that for his honour.
MR. WILLIAMS OBJECTS to al [all] expressions of opin by the deft on the meaning of printed matter in this publicn.
A. It discusses entirely a man at conflict within himself, without refce to anything else besides his mental conditn. He has been subject to some image of desire symbolised by "the English Eyes" and he finds himself within a mental or almost skipthropenic [schizophrenic] conflict. "The stone feet down the staircase of flesh" is a refce or an associative image from Mozart's "Don Giovanni" where the stone statue walks. And it is used to symbolise the conflict betn his emotions of desire and what he later calls "self denial" These 2 emotions are in conflict with each other, and the idea of the diff mental aspects of the man struggling to destroy him is obscene in that dictionary sense which refers to "obscene" as "repulsive" and "rape" of course is used in its classical sense "rappio" to seize, and need not have any sexual connection at all.
Q. Not in conjunctn with "my toppling opposite."
A. The rape of the Sabines is an example, where opp forces are in conflict without sexual connotation.
BY MR. PHILLIPS
Q. Ref to "Boult to Marina" what does that mean.
A. This describes the impact of a character so pure as Marina on a person so dissolute as Boult. As a result of that impact, for the first time somethg noble comes out in his nature. This has a refce to Shakespeares "Pericles."
The impact is that for the first time some sort of noble trait is evoked in Boult, for altho as the poem claims he might have a silkenised kiss, part of him preserves integrity, the rest is still as before or drops off into the night. This is proved by its relatn to the first 2 lines, "part of me shall triumph, I am not Pericles" meaning that only part of him has any connection with the character Pericles. That part of him which is unable to move is his patriotism and courage. He has no desire to go off to the wars, a line taken directly from him. He develops a strain of irony in the last stanza, at her conjuring him with her acts of bravery, for all she can know abt these matters of wars and violence in the 2nd stanza are those which occur within the dream context and the 4 frowning bedposts. It is with an extreme tone of irony that Boult says "The only way you will know what I mean is when you rest snugly, and possibly smugly, to-night".
Q. Take the "Night Piece" and construe it with the alternative versn.
A. That simply means 2 people go into a park, their imaginatns are afire, and they sense they see nymphs on the lake, they sense they are trespassg when they go thru the park gates, something drops into the water, possibly a stone in reality, or the nymph disappearing from their imaginatns. and the girl is carried away by a feeling of terror. I can see nothing more in it.
The next one, the alternative version, means exactly the same thing.
Q. The Perspective Love Song.
A. The general meaning in this one, I think, is an introductn of biographical elements into the series of poems. Malley is treating the moment of plighting of troth betn himself and his beloved. but [But] having a sense of impending death, the moment contains within itself not the finality of lover's plighting their troth, assoc. with the guillotine, but the abattoirs, which is associated with the carcass. His premonition of death gives a sense of unreality to the scene, and it is as if they were under sea with the wise grinning shark his premonitn of death confronting him. He has remembered her and the impulse which she gives for him to make the most of the few surviving years, but that plighting of troth meant less than an ulterior plighting.
She cdnt partake of his impending death, and he had invented an ulterior faithfulness to that death.
The first 2 lines of the 3rd stanza is simply a visual image descriptive rather sensibly I think of nudity, and used in such an imaginative way that I cant elicit it having an errotic [erotic] effect on anybody.
The "Egyptian Register", this one does not drag in the words "the genitals by the heels" as claimed by the prosecn, it is developed into a set of images about every part of the body, hands skull spine lungs body, and then genitals. The author develops the emotional sense these parts have for him, and the genitals have an assoctn with the emotion of remorse. The effect of that, I would say, would be anti-stimulating. The 2nd sectn of it is simply a study of the magical qualities of nature and how we learn from it rather than from ourselves the poss. of re-birth, and it is these images of nature which exist like a frieze on the mausoleum. of [Of?] the conflicting emotional components of his nature, incestuous simply means there the idea of one parts of one's self conflicting against another part of one's self.
"Young Prince of Tyre" this one is possibly parody or satire on such poets as I poss represent myself, and the author has identified himself with Pericles refusing any compromise with mechanical things or mediochre things. These poets will have no compromise like Pericles with the art they consider bad. They will have no union or joining of themselves to it. At one stanza the figure of Shakespeare and it is that principle of art to which they will adhere. "He the dark hero, moistens his fingers in inguana's blood", that is how I connect it with Shakespeare. No matter how attractive these makeshift singers present their technique or surrealism or whatever it is, that is like the attractiveness of a woman, these poets with stand then [them?] just as Pericles would have withstood all temptation in his felicitudes [vicissitudes].
The 3rd stanza on p. 27, that I consider to have and to mean exactly what it says, bec. the preceding sentences descr. the clank of battle, rusty armour, and another immed [immediate] image is suggested in the mind of Portia  from [Shakespeare’s play] Julius Caesar who voluntarily inflicted a wound on herself in that region to prove her continency [consistency] [see page 56]. In its larger meaning it means that we have gone badly in the battle.
but that we will still not join with them in any union, ref of course to the battle of the poets.
The last stanza I find I can attribute no sexual assocn of any kind to the "hero of content" and it seems to be used as a simple genl symbol of the ultimate in temptation and to stress the strength of the man who now, after his trials, can withstand such temptns.
Q. On p. 41, what is the meaning of the partic words.
A. I understand the words to be used in a strongly realistic sense to depict life in brutality, bec. human life happens to be like that at times. It is symptomatic of these words that they came into use after the last war, when the sub. matter of the realistic novel concerned with the strong matters with which men are concerned.
"Stick the money" has no associative connotatn besides itself, bec. I bel it is translated from the vulgarity to the venacular, the phrase "wdnt it" —
MR WILLIAMS OBJECTS TO THIS EVIDENCE
The verse on p. 62, "I laid him dead" I cant put any interpretative ideas on those, bec. I think both mean what they say, that is what is on p. 62 and what is on p. 64 too.
"I have never spoken of yr nakedness" on p. 67, I think this can be exp most simply in the tone of reverence of the whole poem. The creative aim in writing it was to convey an emotion of quiet, and indelicacy, and was inspired more than anything by the tone of Milton's descr of the nuptials of Adam and Eve. It simply means that the spirit of nakedness or of anything seen stripped of its irrelevancies and its own nature, is a subject for the mind to climb into higher spheres (The mountains that climb) and the silence of rivers. I have got nothing more to say on that partic poems.
"The pubic dust" that poem is simply a descr. of a landscape inspired by the songs of sonnet in which a body is descr in terms of the landscape. In this cape [case?] the landscape is descr. thru parts of the body and the renewal of the life if developed with [l]inking it up with the evolutn of the human body.
The snake that dwelt on the brown girls loins simply means when I created it a literal snake living in the undulations of a landscape. "The brown girl lay kissing" is meant to suggest that after a period of summer and a decaying landscape, with bushfires, that eventually the green came forth from that landscape, and it was something that the life was coming out of the death, and that phrase is simply a symbol of nature. I used the word "pubic" in relatn to the state of existence which is puberty, which I took to be the partic change of a child into adolescence, and there it is as if the pubic period was sprouting with green is ended, and the memory of the budding is only left. The memory in this poem is indicated by the sky, and there are a number of symbols of elevation, these things go into memory or into air.
"A Journey North", the poem is written in the northern town of Pt Augusta [in South Australia] at a time when refugees from Darwin were arriving. and [And] amongst them of course a no of people of broken spirit who were known to have inhabited that place. The poem in its entirety is an attempt at a sympathetic understanding of all those forces which bring people to disintregration [disintegration] within themselves, and to descr. their life in the terms of the nostalgia, the pathos, and the thwartedness, that it involves. The stanza objected to descr the life of women livg on the North West Railway Line, a life of dust, heat and flies, and of utter emotional thwartedness, for women who desire to express themselves in life as woman rather than drudge. The passge in the stanza objected to is intended to descr. that symbolic desire in brutal and harsh terms bec it emerges from a brutal and harsh set of circs.
It was no way intended, or cd it have the effect, of errotic [erotic] stimulatn but rather the opposite.
The last poem is the work of a young lad of 18, who is outstanding for the moral sensitiving of his work. The passage objected to is an attack on the conditns which bring into existence the social crime of abortion. The author's sympathies are with the victim, who aborts because of social conditns, her fear of prejudice, or because of lack of educatn. It in no way nor cd it poss be interp. to advocate abortn.
Q. In modern literature the use of strong language is more prevalent than it was prior to the last war, isnt it.
MR. WILLIAMS OBJECTS
At this stage (12.50) Court adjourns until 2.15 p.m.
Resuming at 2.20 p.m. this day.
Defendant Harris continuing —
XXD BY MR. WILLIAMS
The pubn of Angry Penguins is to provide an outlet for progressive Ausn literature. I regard all that shows creative energy in the authors as progressive lit. Progressive does not mean it has to be modern. By creative I mean that which shows a serious and creative artistry behind it, and that which shows genuine literary thing. I consider myself a genuine writer. I do not consider myself one of the greatest writers Australia has ever produced.
Q. Do you consider yrself one of the greatest Ausn writers.
A. I do not.
I wrote a book called the Vegetative Eye.
Q. Do you consider that a great work.
A. I am not in the posn., as being so near to it, I leave that to critics.
Q. Then you have no opinion as to whether it is great work or not.
A. I cannot at this stage, and poss not at all, consider it a great work. It may in the future be regarded as being a great work. The pubn of my book, although one cannot tell, could have been a major event in Ausn literary history. The pubn of my book was a major event from me. Whether it is a major event, I leave it to Time to determine.
Q. Do you consider the poems of Ern Malley to be great literary work.
A. I consider them serious literary work.
Q. Are they a major event in Ausn literary history.
A. In certain respects. Their technique has not been developed before.
Q. How do you explain, what do you mean by the technique has not been devel before. What is there peculiar abt his technique.
A. It is pec. in that you can have assoc. imagery, but used in a detached way as against for example surrealism.
Q. What do you mean by in a detached way.
A. That cant be explained, that is in the tone quality of the poem itself.
Q. Do you mean by that that they appear to be unrelated to things mundane.
A. Not at all.
I cant explain it further than that.
Q. Do you think yr interpretatns of Ern Malley's poems are the only poss ones.
A. They are in that they evolve from the language itself.
Q. That is to say, anyone of logical mind would come to the same conclusn as yrself.
A. Anyone with sensitive mind, to come to literary assoctn.
Before you could have that assoctn. you would have to assoc. the stoned feet with the stoned feet of Don Giovanni. One more example — you must have certain assoctns with Pericles to know what is meant when Pericles is referred to. Many of the poems are internally incoherent, they are not referring to any other works. I have not found that the ordinary logical mind has in either ancient or modern literature been able to find them internally incoherent. The interpretan of literature is for those equipped to do it. Up to the same point and in the same sent [sense], I would no more regard them as the common herd in regard to literature more than in medicine.
Q. Is it that the interprn of lit. is a science.
A. It is a situation of predisposition of individs. Some people are intrinsically interested in racing, and some in art.
Q. Doesnt all that amt to this, that a poem can mean diff things to diff peop accorg to the training they have had and their disposn.
A. Within rigid limits.
Q. What are the rigid limts.
A. The poem itself.
Q. How does the poem impose rigid limits.
A. If the sub. concerns nature, you cant say that it refers to racing.
Q. Take a person myself, whos [whose] only training in lit is up to English I at the Univ. Shd I be able to unders [understand] the poems of Ern Malley
A. Most English I students can.
Q. That is to say I suppose that most people of ord intell shd be able to unders the Ern Malley.
A. I dont think it reflects on their intell, it is a matter of if you can understand it.
If you are quite illit., you cdnt unders. them.
Q. Do you think that a Crt shd be able to unders Malley's poems without any assistce from you.
A. It may be able to, it may not, it depends on the Crt.
Q. Then do you say that a person who cannot unders the Ern Malley poems is not necess. a fool.
Q. You wd say that with regard to a man with great intell, if he cdnt unders. the poems, it might be that he did not have the predisposition and background.
A. A man that has been a designer need not understand the poetry.
Q. But he shd be able to make some sense out of them.
A. I have found people who havent.
Q. People that you didn't regard as fools.
A. Not in the social sense.
I was satis they were honest when they told me they cdnt unders the Ern Malley poems.
Q. Did you have any diffic in makg up yr mind what these Ern Malley Poems meant.
A. In their genl content and in the genl emotional content, I did not but in attemptg to make what is an emotional communcn into an intellec. one, yes. There have been over 2000 books written abt Hamlet, but when you read the play, you unders. the character yrself. You may unders. emotionally and respond to it but find great diff. in descrbg this character in satis. way.
Q. I take it that on the first occasn you first read the Ern Malley poems they contained to you definite emotns and images.
A. The 2 that were sent to me first, yes.
Q. On reading them now, you get subs the same emotns and images, but more intense and other emotns at all.
A. The response is the same, except of course that their [there] is not the same quality of response now, having had to analyse them intellectually
Q. In other words to apprec. them you would want to get down to avoiding an analysis.
A. In that kind of poetry yes, similarly when in Shakespeares poem "When that I was and the little boy" which it [is] quite imposs. to analyse into logical content.
You can trace the mechanism of assoctns thru in the Ern Malley poems.
Q. You wdnt claim that Ern Malleys poems are grammatically sound.
A. I cant rem instances where they were not, but I would be ready to accept that there could be.
Q. What I was thinking of is, there are many instances, are there not, where it would be imposs to make any sense out of a sentence on its own out of its content.
Q. And even to you they wd be abs meaningless, takg them on their own.
A. If you took a sentence out of any poem it would be.
In some cases it would be grammatically meaningless, in some Shakespeare's sentences, quite.
I rem [remember] the editorial, Max Harris and Reed the cultural stream.
Mr. Reed wrote it and I endorsed it.
Q. Ref to the 2nd paragraph of the editorial "The cultural stream" you agree wholeheartedly with that.
A. In 2 of them yes, and in the other I adopt an attitude of neutrality.
There is nothg in the editorial to indicate that.
Q. You bel [believe] now that no such person as Ern Malley exists, dont you.
Q. Whom do you now bel to be the author or authors of those poem.
A. As rumour has it, Mr. McCawley [[James] McAuley] and Mr. Stuart [[Harold]Stewart].
Q. And have you any belief as to the purpose which the authors had in mind in writing the Ern Malley poems.
A. They claimed to be hoaxing the members of a modernistic culturism.
Q. Dont you bel that Ern Malley's poems were never intended to be serious work at all.
A. I have no opin on their intentns., I only worry abt their content as poems.
Q. Assuming that the poems were written by the gentlemen you mentioned, and that they wrote them as hoax and no serious purpose in view, do you still say their work is significant.
Q. And you say that it doesnt matter if the signif. is accidental or otherwise.
A. I dont know if the signif is accidental, I am concerned with the
Q. If you knew that the authors never intended the poems to have any significance at all in serious way, wd you still say that the poems have a literary significance.
A. No I dont judge poems by the intentn of people who write it, but by the result.
Q. So that this is the posn, is it not, that nothg would shake your faith as literary work in the Ern Malley poems.
Q. When you read the first 2 Ern Malley poems, you were excited.
A. Quite, without knowing anything of it biographically of course.
Q. By the way, have you made any effort to find out if the claim of the 2 men you mentioned is correct or not.
A. The only ratificatn I have had is from the Press, hearsay and people who spoke to me and also the fact that one of the claimants to authorship resided at the house from which the poems emanated. 
Q. The matter of the authorship of the poems caused consid interest some 2 months ago, do you agree.
Q. And the sale of yr pubn went up immed. didnt it.
Q. You are satis that it was bec of the Ern Malley controversy that the sales went up, arent you
Q. Did you found the magazine partly bec you cdnt find any other channel for your own work.
A. I did not found it. The founding emanated from Mrs. [?] Charles Rischbieth Jury, and the late Donald Bevis Curr, and myself edited the first editn.
I think Mr. Jury held the chair of English at the Univ. some time prev., but I will not swear on it.
Q. The people whose work had been published in Angry, were they finding it diffic. for pubng their work.
A. We did not know of any channel, the Univ journal had broken down.
Q. So that is this the posn, that when Angry Penguins was first published that it was the only Ausn journal which gave outlet for prog. Ausn lit.
A. Other journals did exist such as the Journal of the English Assn in Sydney [Southerly magazine?], but the main reason for its initial comg [coming] into existce was that Mr. Jury felt there was suffic stimulus in Adel at that point of history to set off a new productn.
Q. But is it not implied when you say that the obj of pubn is to provide an outlet for the progressive Ausn lit. does that not imply there was no such outlet before.
A. What outlets there were were quite inadequate for the lit. resurgence that was takg place in the country. I was unable to place a work satisfactorily.
Q. You are prepared to accede that a work like Angry penguins was never likely to have a great circulatn.
Q. A great no of people would regard the poems in Angry Penguins as being rubbish.
A. It all depends on what people regarded them, on the person.
Q. The majority of people in Aust. wd regard the poems as nothing but rubbish.
A. Yes, and Shakespeare.
Q. But you dont claim that a person reading Pericles, Prince of Tyre, after reading it wdnt know what he had read.
A. He wd find initial diffic in following it if he had not been trained in literature.
The ordinary person could understand it given the necess. energy and intellectual effort which I doubt he would give it.
Q. Arent there pages in Pericles which are intelligible to most people.
A. I cant think of one page in which there is not archaisism.
They dont appear at all when the lang [language] is modernised.
Q. What abt Hamlet, there are many amt of passages in that which the ordinary person can unders. w/ out diff.
A. Yes, there are many passges they can unders w/ out diffic.
Q. Having finished reading Hamlet, the reader wd have at least some idea what it was abt.
A. He wd have a genl outlet in his mind, the ordinary reader, of the emotional tension of the play, and rough outline from stage dirns [directions] and the context in which it takes place, althoug he may have no idea what is biting Hamlet.
Q. "As you like it" is a play which is feq set for school children to study isnt it.
Q. And school children wd have no diffic in understandg a good deal.
A. As a child I had diffic in all Shakespeares works, I found it neces to take out annotatns by the teacher, and meanings of the words explained.
Q. You dont mean to say there are passages in As You Like It which are not intelligible to sensible children.
A. I concede that.
Q. There is nothing in Ern Malley's poem which child of ord intell. cd understand is there.
A. I think a child of any normal intell could understand "Night Song."
Given the same explanatn that we got of Shakespeare, I wd say they wd have no difficulty in either of the "Night Songs", neither wd they in the first poem.
Q. Are you serious in that.
A. I dont think it is any more diffic. than As You Like It.
Q. You unders. me when I sd. that there was not any passage in As you Like It the ord. child wdnt have any diffic. in understanding.
Q. And you knew that a child could know that.
I will concede that certain words like "interloper" would need to be explained, and "cowled" You would have to go to a child psychologist, but all I can say is that it is extremely simple poem. They are the only 2 instances in the Ern Malley poems which are simple.
Q. Do you mean that there are some other poems of Ern Malley that are simple.
A. I retract the "extremely"
With gradations, some of the others are extremely difficult. In my opinion, "The Egyptian Register" is the most difficult.
Q. What is diffic abt it.
A. I think it requires or suggests a high degree of sophisticated intellect and remote images in the mind of the author, and a complex attitude to man and nature.
Q. Are you able to take either of the sentences in the verse of the Egyptian Register and tell the Crt what it means.
A. I can communicate to you the kind of emotional impact that the sentences in question will have. You start off with the man as it were examing [examining] the body.
Q. Where do you get that from.
A. Bec. he in turn takes various parts of the body, hand skull spine lungs etc. and lets his assoctns play abt the kind of emotns they suggest to him.
Q. Where do you get that from, you cant point to any word or sentence abt that can you. NOT PRESSED
A. Each thing he takes up suggest to him within the context of the larger idea he is developing that of the inexplicability of human life, the exotic or mysterious qualities in these physical things.
Q. Where does he say anything abt the inexp of human life.
A. A dark purpose I would say would be inexplicable.
Q. That is what you are relying on for what you have sd. abt the inexplicable purpose of human life.
A. I merely gave you one instance. "The skull gathers darkness" assimilates from without itself those things which are inexp.
Q. It wdnt be poss of course that what you have just read is meaningless gibberish wd it.
Q. What else is there which indicates that the author is talking abt the inexp. things of life.
A. Another suggestn of vagueness ane [and] inexpl is assoc with the spine refce.
Q. What is there inexp abt that except the language.
A. The spine contains part of the brain, and the author links it with the harsh and enquirg element of the brain which pierces or attempts to pierce the obscurity of life.
Q. What is the harsh and enquiring element of a brain. Where do you get that from.
A. The spine.
Q. Are there any parts of that
Q. What actual words are there referring to the harsh and enquiring element of the brain.
A. I am conceding that it is difficult to put these things into intellectual terms but it is apparent that the genl emotional suggestion is there.
Q. When you use the phrase "putting into intellectual terms" do you mean putting it into terms which the ordinary person can unders.
A. Roughly yes.
Q. What do you mean by that.
A. It is rather like trying to write out what a Beethoven symphony contains, you can talk abt storm ad finitum, in other words you are puttg it into intellectual terms. If you read out the terms, the same effect is not communicated to you as if you listen to the symphony.
Q. Is there anything else which you want to refer to which to yr mind suggests the inexplicable purposes of life.
Q. Take the first line, "The hand burns resil us [resinous] in the eving [evening] sky" What does resilous [resinous] means [sic].
A. I dont know, I think it refers to residence, I did not look it up in dict.
That is not that they cdnt be understood, that is bad studentship on my part.
There might well be other words in Ern Malleys poems which I cant unders.
Q. Is that bec. you are too lazy to look them up, or did not think it was necessary to get satis. reaction from the poems.
A. Partly both.
Even though I dont know what it means, it evokes an image in my mind.
Q. What image does it.
A. The image of exoticism.
Q. I suppose indicating both colour and sound.
Q. What is the relatnship to you betn the hand and the evening sky if any
A. I have often heard people ref. to sunset as the hand of God in the sky.
By the words "Tartariaon [Tartarian] heart" I unders. from that and from the prev. refces to "fructifying death", that is something which is in conflict with itself.
Q. Why, and what is there in the words "tartarion [tartarian] heart" to suggest that to you.
A. The significance of the Tartars is fairly clear is it not.
I think you are right when you think there is classical person known as Tartarus.  In a state of ambiguity like that, your claim is quite valid.
Q. In anr [another] way, it is a case of the readers background is it not.
A. It is possible in case of ambiguity.
Q. Is there a contrast betn the images evokes [evoked] in yr mind in the first 2 lines, on the one hand, and the images on the other hand in the 3rd line.
A. I dont understand what you mean.
Q. Wd I be right in suggesting that the first 2 lines refer to something bright glorious and beautiful, and the 3rd line refers to something dark and terrible and hopeless.
A. Yes, I wd prefer the word exotic for the first 2 lines.
Q. Subject to what you have sd. you agree that there is a contrast,
Q. In the 4th line — what is an inapt mountain.
A. Unsuitable or unsuited.
Q. For what in yr opinion.
A. A mountain looks gawky in its surrounding.
Q. Is there any indicatn of what its surroundings are.
A. Not that I can see.
Q. You wd agree wd you that the 5th line gramatically refers to the inapt mountain.
Q. What does that mean.
A. That idea of a mountain is not very rare, you have the famous case —
Q. Tell me what it means first.
A. Well, it is a kind of mountain such as Popocatepl [Popocatépetl, a volcano in Mexico] was that used imaginatively it is as if it had lived or if like Popocatepl fallen in love with a star and spent the rest of time brooding on that, as Popocatepl is supposed to do in the legend.
Q. What does "aeons" mean, just "ages."
Q. When the author speaks of a spine barred and venomous, does that suggest an arrow to you.
A. Just a spine.
Q. Does it not provoke an image of an arrow in yr mind at all.
A. Yes, the spine is rather like an arrow.
Q. The words actually used, that is what we are talking abt.
Q. The next line "unmodulated cumulus of clouds" what is that.
A. I shd say a flat expansive cloud.
Q. Does the next line suggest to you rain, after the cloud has been pierced in some manner.
Q. What does evanescent mean.
A. Vague and vaporous.
Q. Have you ever heard of striped fish moving at will in anyones lungs
Q. The words used by Malley dont mean that do they.
A. I shdnt think so.
Q. Who was Rar [Ra].
A. An Egyptian got [god], his original name was Peb [Geb?], but until I look up my mythology, I dont know what his name was.
Q. You did not need to know what the poem meant to know who Rar was
A. I knew sufficient.
Q. What do you know abt Rar,
A. He was Egyptian god, I knew nothing abt him other than that.
Q. What image did the mention of Rar evoke in yr mind.
A. An image of an Egyptian god.
Q. Does that suggest a connectn betn Egypt and lungs.
A. Ras [Ra's] is the adjective governing acquaria [aquaria], the lungs and the acquaria is the assoctn in my mind.
Q. Isnt there a distnctn betn acquaria and Ras acquaria.
A. Yes, and betn Ras divine acquaria.
Q. Did the use of the words Ras suggest any acquaria to you.
A. Yes and Egyptian acquaria and a divine acquaria.
Q. Can you suggest what the author meant to indicate by ref to the lungs as Rars divine acquaria.
A. He meant to indicate something exotic and remote
Q. Why is there something exotic abt acquaria.
A. I think they are an exotic phenomenon.
Q. Why is Ras divine acquaria an exotic phenomenon.
A. I havent seen any of them on the Glenelg jetty or any other place.
Q. Didnt you think it meant an aquarium that existed in Egypt in honour of Rar.
Q. When you come to the body passage, you notice the refce to "darling" doesnt that suggest to you that the author is referring to a female for whom he has affectn.
A. No havent rad yr English poetry, bec. there are innumerous instances of poets, Keats, who used the word "darling" in respect of anything you love, animate or inanimate, I think they refer to some of their emotns as "darling." I think darling here means "beloved" referring to the body.
Q. So that it amts to this, and he sd. "Darling, your body is a hillsid[e]
Q. The fact that darling is betn commas, does nt that indic. that darling is the thing or person being spoken to.
A. In no way whatsoever.
Q. That is to say what you are getting at is that it only a magic.
A. Used imitatively, the body applies to hillside.
Q. Are you prpared to concede that the genitals must mean the sexual organs.
Q. The words "O lures of starveling faiths" does that refer to genitals.
It is supposed to be Shakesperean or Elizabethan refce but I cdnt trace it, it means roughly that they are the lure or the false trail on which people of starveling nature place their faith to cahieve [achieve] their human value.
Q. What does the word "starveling mean"
A. It means the same as starved.
It is an archaic noun form.
Q. Reading the last line of the 1st verse of Egyptian register, doesnt index mean among other things, something that points.
A. In one sense, an index finger, in other senses, definitely.
Q. What do you say the last line means.
A. The assoctns built up ard [around] the genitals as apart from the rest of the bodies are those which missed out the whole past history of the emotion of remorse.
Q. Can you see any reasons why the genitals shd have been picked by the author to have the meaning you have given it.
A. I think there is every reason. Most attacks of remorse or conscience in their strongest form emanates from that source.
Q. Am I right or wrong in thinking that your interpretatn of "O loure [o lures] of starveling faiths" are the lures of people only interested in sex.
Q. Can you put yr meaning of interpretatn you have put on thise [these] words in diff form.
Q. I suppose you contend that a person wd have to be partic nasty minded that the words "immense index" used in connectn with the genitals, might refer to a large fallas [phallus].
A. I agree.
Q. In other words you wd have to be delib lookg for some nasty meaning before you cd suggest it meant that.
A. I think so.
Q. You dont think it wd be poss for any fair minded person to think that the author in usg the word "index" was referring to a penis in a state of erection.
A. Only the mentally depraved, I shd think.
Q. One of yr theories Mr. Harris is this, isnt it, that so long as an author is referring to some fact of stark reality it doesnt matter what words he used, so long as the words he used indic. to that stark reality.
A. I dont know that it is one of my theories.
Q. Do you bel that writers shd be allowed that privil. of ref to stark realities in stark terms.
Q. Then you have no quarrel with the regulation by law of the printing and exhibitn of indec literature.
A. I am a citizen and it is my duty to abide by the law.
Q. But you bel the law is archaic dont you.
A. I have never had much occasn to give contemplatn to the law, I am writer, it would need an expert to give a decisn on the archaic quality of the law as it would science or medicine.
Q. Do you ever exercise any censorship over articles, poems, or stories presented to me [sic] for pubn in Angry Penguins, from the point of view of the decency or otherwise thereof.
A. That is exercised by my partner, who is member of and knows the law which I did not.
Q. Do you bel there is any such limits of decency.
Q. Do you consider that the standard of decency for writers such as yrself is the same or different from the standard of decency in ordinary polite conversn.
A. Yes, Shakespeare says things you wdnt say in yr drawing room.
Q. Previous question repeated.
A. It is diff.
A. Bec. thru centuries of traditn the writers job has been to present human life to human life, and not to present drawing room conversn
Q. Is this the posn that you would be quite prep to use language in a peom [poem] which you wdnt be prepared to used [use] in the drawing room.
A. In poems dealing with certain subjects, such as "The Journey Nth" Yes.
Q. Have you got any views on the meaning of the word "immoral"
A. Not legally.
Q. What does the word "immoral" mean to you.
A. That which is performed outside the accepted social morality of the particular time.
Q. Do you bel that the practice of abortion is immoral in that time, accepting a case where someone has to be aborted for medcl reasons.
A. It is immoral, and even more immoral are the conditns which produce that phenomenon to society.
Q. Do you say that under some modern conditns abortion is moral.
A. No, I dont think it is moral.
Q. I take it that you wd consider it most immoral for someone who had conceived out of wedlock to have herself aborted.
Q. And wdnt it be immoral to advocate abortion for those people who dont want children.
Q. Whatever the circumstances are, leaving out of considern medical reasons all the time.
A. Given our present state of society, yes, but I am not speaking for societies eternally, some societies have condoned it.
Q. When you say "our present state of society" what do you mean.
A. The society whose morality we both obey, I mean.
Q. You have got sympathies with poor people who cant afford to have any more children, who nevertheless are in the unfortunate posn of producing another infant.
A. I am in sympathy with people who are going to have a child which will starve to death.
Q. And do you think that the mother of such a child shd be aborted.
Q. In the 2nd line on page 80 when the author says "there is nothg much to ask" what was he ref to there.
A. I am not quite clear of the link there. It means to my mind anr few months of inconvenience and there wd have been anr [another] life, that is not much to ask for to allow a child to come into being.
Q. When the author said "you paid more than you shd have" do you consider he is ref to a price in money or some other sense.
A. He is ref. to the other sense.
Q. What sense wd that be.
A. Self respect would turn agnst [against] him.
Q. Do you say that it does not refer to a price of money, bec there is a full stop after "Have"
Mr. Williams withdraws question.
Q. When he said "you have had yr fling" am I understand that he means that you have had yr sexual pleasure from conception.
A. I think so.
Q. That some means shd have been taken to prevent conception.
A. I think so.
Q. Do you think the "You shd have taken more care" mean that care shd have been taken to prevent conceptn.
A. I dont think so.
Q. By "you did not say you must pay" what did you think must be paid.
A. A child out of wedlick [wedlock].
Q. Do you think that the whole poem refers to a woman who has conceived out of wedlock because she has been unable to control her sexual passns
A. There is nothing to say in the poem that it did happen out of wedlock. The reasons for abortion are not mentioned, they may have been economic, the child may have been born in depressn.
Q. Does it amt to this, that you think that the child being born out of wedlock may be a reasonable meaning to place on the words.
Q. When the author used the words "the world will spurn you" what sort of spurning did you think the author ref to.
A. The social ostrachism [ostracism] of which her plight wd put her in.
Q. The plight of being pregnant, or of being discarded after the abortn
A. The plight of going to have, or having, a child out of wedlock.
Q. When the author used the words "What of it" doesnt he mean what does the opinion of the people matter
A. He means the opin of those socially rigid persons who desire to destroy the spirit and social life of a person who has been the subj of immorality, who have made one mistake.
Q. "We do not consider you wicket [wicked], merely foolish" what do you think the author is ref to there, the fact that it is to be born out of wedlock, or she has been aborted.
A. It goes back to the first "You shd have taken more care."
Q. Doesnt that amt to this, — dont you think that that means that the author does not think a person guilty of indiscrim sexual interc to be wicket [wicked].
A. I dont know what the author thought, the interpretatn I put to it
prev. not yr interprm.
Q. When the poem says "You had no sympathy with the herd, and went agnst them in yr opin in what way does it mean that the woman went against the herd.
A. She conceived out of wedlock
Q. You dont think that cd mean that she had herself aborted.
A. It wd be odd, bec. it seems he left that behind when he sd. "You had yr pleasure, you shd have taken more care." The world would not have known abt it if she was aborted.
Q. How cd she be aborted and then conceive.
A. It starts off that she was aborted.
Q. Where does it get to the stage where she conceives the child.
A. He gets back to the idea that she cd conceive the child.
BY MR WILLIAMS
Q. Would you say the world would know from her figure.
A. If she had allowed the child to live they would have known, and she wd have been spurned, and he proceeds that he does not consider her wicked in having the child, but foolish having it aborted.
Q. "You shd have been better educated, but they do not like that" what does he mean "you shd have been better educ."
A. He means that when one is educted [educated] one has less irrational fears of the spurning of mass, jibing and if she had been educated she wd have taken no notice of the jibing. It is valid opin that some people hold that uned people dislike educatn heartily.
Q. "You are a hypocrite to be frightened of them" does that indic. she is frightened of them.
A. Yes, she is frightened of the spurning they will give by having an illegit. child, it is the spurning of the masses which forces her into the social crime of abortion.
Q. The next line, what does that mean.
A. He has started off on an entirely new train of tht [thought], where he says that mankind is more frightened than proud of his advance in science and art.
At this stage 4.15 p.m. adjourned until 28th Sept 1944 at 10 a/ m.
Resuming on 28th September 1944 at 11 a.m.
At this stage evidence of John Reed interposed —
MR. PHILLIPS CALLS
of Templesday [Templestowe] Road, Heidelburg [Heidelberg], Vict. [Victoria]
BY MR PHILLIPS
I practise in Melbourne.
Q. Where did you train.
A. My University training you mean.
MR. WILLIAMS OBJECTS
I have always been interested in literature and in art genly and have read fairly extensively and in later yrs have been particl interested in the recent developments of literature and art. I have been actively associated with art activities in Melbourne. I am a foundatn Council member and am secty, honorary secty., of the contemporary arts Socty of Australia, which is the biggest Arts Socty in Australia.
I got in touch with Mr. Harris in 1942, when Mr. Harris was then in Melbourne. At that period, the question of Angry Penguins was not specifically touched on, but at a later date after I had got to know Mr. Harris better, on a further visit to Melb and from correspondence, the suggstn was made that Angry Penguins shd be enlarged to include an art sectn, to be edited by myself. Later again following a further contact with Mr. Harris, and further correspondc we agreed to join as joint editors, that is to say, Mr. Harris invited me to come in as joint editor with him. The issue of Angry Penguins has never been thought of as a commercial propositn. The fundamental objective before us is to provide a channel of expressn for the creative artist, which included writer of course, in Australia. In our opin there has been a great resurgence in creative activity in Australia, and our idea was to cater for that. In my opin there are no other works of a similar nature in Aust. which wd have served the same purpose.
Since I have been associated with it, Angry Penguins has not been a paying propositn., I cant say if it was before I was assoc with it. The cost of pubn of this partic number, I think the exact figure was 5/ 7d a copy, and it was sold for 5/ -. Prior to the pubn of Articles in Exhibit B, they were submitted to me.
Q. Were all the articles in that number published with yr approval
MR. WILLIAMS OBJECTS
I would consider myself to have sufficient qualificatns to depose on literature as an expert.
Q. Do you know the conventns in literary circles in relation to —
MR. WILLIAMS OBJECTS
I have only had school training in regard to English literature. Since my degree, B.A. and LlB [LLB] at Cambridge, and LlB at Melbourne, in my sub-graduate life I was always very interested in literature and read pretty widely. Since then I have continued my reading, and have endeavoured to keep myself up with the present trend. I have no other qualifns to put forward as a claim to be an expert on literature.
XXD BY MR WILLIAMS
Q. Do you regard the Ern Malley poems as a great literary work.
A. I am afraid I cant answer that question, if I am asked as to a specific poem I may be able to answer.
I dont regard the poems as a whole, as a work. I regard them as being a number of individual works, each one complete in itself.
Q. Do you regard any one of the Ern Malley poems as published in the Angry Penguins as a great literary work.
A. Comparatively with other work being done in Australia, yes.
Q. Have you any belief as to who was respons for the Authorship of the poems.
A. I understand McCawley [McAuley] and Corporal Stewart.
Q. You understand also dont you that the poems were written as a hoax.
A. I know they made that statement. I would not like to make a final statement on whether I believe that or not. I find it diffic. to say whether it is or not.
I bel they may have set out with the intention of perpetrating a hoax.
I bel that even if they set out wth the intentn of perpetratg a hoax, they have produced poems which are great.
Q. In what way are the Ern Malley poems great, Mr. Reed.
A. I think it shows originality of thought, power in use of images, a very suggestive and evocative use of language, and a knowledge and development of poetic forms.
Q. In short the poetry written by Ern Malley is creative poetry is that the posn.
A. In my opin.
The work of Angry Penguins is representative of the type of creative poetry for which Angry Penguins was established to publish. There is great difficulty, if you are referrg to literal meaning, in understanding the Ern Malley poems. I would not say that very few of the Ern Malley poems have got any literal meaning. I would not say that any of the Ern Malley poems could not be interpreted literally. I would say for myself that I dont regard the literal meaning as being a factor of prime importance. I wdnt say that my view is that the writers did not intend the poems to have any literal meaning at all.
Q. What do you regard as poetry Mr. Reed, what can fairly be called poetry.
A. I find it difficult to answer that question. For myself, the main factor in appreciating the poem is its overall impact on me thru its poetical qualities of imagery and rhyme and use of words, assoctn of words, and other things. I regard literary meaning as def. subsidiary, it is the overall impact I receive from it.
Q. It might be that something which is to the ordinary average person sheer rubbish, it might have some impact on you.
A. Certainly, Shakespeare for instance.
I have hrd that there are a number of people who regard the Ern Malley poems as nothing but nonsense. I know of quite honest people who are being quite honest when they express that opinion. I wdnt regard them as fools if they regarded the Ern Malley poems as rubbish.
MR. PHILLIPS CALLS
REGINALD SPENCER ELLERY
of 20 Fordeham Road, Hawthorne [Hawthorn],
MEDICAL PRACTITIONER SWORN
BY MR PHILLIPS
I practise as a psychiatrist. I hold the deg of Dr. of Medicine at the Melb university, I am fellow of the Royal Ausn College of Physicians, I have practised in psychiatry for 21 yrs., and I have hd exper overseas. I am consulting alienist for the womens hospital Melbourne, and honorary psychiatrist at the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne. My experience covers all forms of mental illness and disorder. As part of my traing [training] as psychiatrist, I dont know that it is necessary to keep trend with the modern literature, it has been my custom to do so bec. it has been my chief interest in life.
Q. Has yr reading included the type of literature to be found in Angry Penguins.
MR. WILLIAMS OBJECTS
Q. Has the literature which depends on the assoctn of idea had a place in yr reading matter.
A. I would say yes.
Q. As opposed to the ordinary literal constructn of it.
A. Yes, I know what you mean.
I have read the articles in Angry Penguins, the subject of this prosecutn. I was in Court yesterday all day when Harris was giving evidence.
Q. Did you consider his interpretatn of those poems a reasonable interpretatn.
MR. WILLIAMS OBJECTS.
A. I have read all the articles in question in the issue of Angry Penguins.
Q. Do you consider they would have a tendency to corrupt or pervert.
MR. WILLIAMS OBJECTS
NOT ALLOWED (as to form of question only)
Q. Having read the Malley poems, will you tell His Honour what effect you consider those poems wd have on a human mind.
MR. WILLIAMS OBJECTS
A. Upon the average individual?
Q. Take it both ways.
A. I should say that the effect on the average person wd be one of bewilderment, and it wd then depend on them whether they bothered to interpret them themselves. The majority of persons are mentally lazy and would not interpret them. Those not mentally lazy would interpret them and come to the conclusions along the lines of Mr. Harris. There are others again whom I do not think would try to reach a specific interprn., but would be satis with an emotional satisfaction, such as one gets from listeng to music, bec. the various sentences in these poems so far as I can see are held togr not by logic so much as assoctn of ideas.
Q. That would depend on the educatn of the individual.
Q. Is there any diff in the effect on the human mind of a matter which is put objectively or subjectively
MR. WILLIAMS OBJECTS
A. I cant quite get the questions.
Q. Is there any on the effect of the human mind if the thing is presented objectively or subjectively
MR. WILLIAMS OBJECTS
A. It depends on what is presented, of course, but I would say there is some diffce betn an objective or a subjective presentation.
Q. What would be the diff.
MR. WILLIAMS OBJECTS
A. Prob a diffce in intensity.
No questions by Mr. Williams
FURTHER XXD MR. PHILLIPS
Q. I want to make it quite clear that I was referring to the effect sexually of the articles in Angry Penguins.
Q. And my question now is from that point of view did your reading of the articles in question lead you to form an opinion that they have a tendency to deprave or corrupt
MR. WILLIAMS OBJECTS
PUT ANOTHER WAY
Q. Reading the articles in question, did you form an opin. in relation to sexual effect. If so, what
MR. WILLIAMS OBJECTS
A. My opin was that the sexual references in these poems were too involved in their meaning to have a direct sexual effect or appeal to the reader.
No questions by Mr. Williams
DEFENDANT IN BOX
FURTHER XXD MR. WILLIAMS
Q. When giving ev in chief on Tuesday, you sd. with relation to the word "rape" in the last line of the 1st stanza of Sweet William that rape is used in its classical sense, meaning "rapio" to take and that it had no sexual connectn at all. Do you rem saying that.
Q. You ref then to the rape of the Sabines, you sd. it was an example where opp forces are in conflict without sexual connotation.
Q. When you refer to the rape of the Sabines, are you ref. to the legend in Roman History.
A. I am referring to the classical picture.
Q. And by whom is that classical picture.
A. I have forgotten.
Q. What does it depict.
A. A gigantic conflict with people seizing people, abduction. It was of men seizing women.
Q. Has that any sexual connotation.
Q. You know dont you that there is a legend concerning the rape of the Sabines.
A. I do not know the legend, I know the picture, I know nothing of the legend.
Q. Dont you know that the followers of Romelus [Romulus] the mythical founder of Rome, were short of wives, and that they seized a number of Sabine maidens by guile.
Q. Have you never heard of that, the rape of the Sabines.
Q. This classical picture you are talkg abt., there are only men seizing women in it, aren't there.
Q. What makes you think the picture refers to opposite forces in conflict, not sexual connotation.
A. Bec. the act of seizing and carrying off or abducting can be referred to as a rape, and need not have the police Court sense of the word.
Q. Not even when it is the carrying off of women, dont you think there it must have the Police Crt. sense.
Q. Would you enlighten me on what an unforgivable rape is, as used in Sweet William
A. All rape is unforgivable, the phraze [phrase] invacuo is a redundancy
Q. Are all rapes obscene.
A. Yes, in one sense of the word, in another sense of the word obscene can be used without any sexual connotatn., to mean repulsive.
Q. Wdnt do you the man in the street hearing the term "an unforgivable rape" would think, dont you think he would take it as having sexual connotat
A. I dont know what the ordinary man in the street, thinks.
Q. You consider yrself above the ordinary man in the street, dont you.
MR. PHILLIPS OBJECTS
ALLOWED — PUT ANOTHER WAY
Q. Do you consider you are not one who could be classified an ordinary common man.
A. I have been born one, so I assume I am.
Q. Dont you agree that the natural meaning of obscene rape, is a sexual rape of particularly indecent character.
A. I passed my opinion on that before.
Q. What was yr opin.
A. I sd. all rape is obscene, the phraze [phrase] redundant.
Q. You will notice in the poem "Sweet William" the 6th line ends with the word "flesh"
Q. The next line ends with the word "embrace"
Q. Then the last line of the 3rd stanza ends with "rape"
Q. Dont you think it reas in view of the recurrence of the words, flesh and embrace before rape for one to assume that sexual rape is referred to.
A. It is difficult for parts of mental personality to indulge in sexual activity.
Q. Please put it in anr way.
A. The images of the mental conflict are depicted as in "rape" gives as a symbol "the staircase of flesh" can bear no connectn with the last part of the sentence, and the use of the word flesh embrace and rape as an assoctn of ideas is utterly arbitrary having been torn from the genl meaning of the sentence.
Q. Doesnt all that amt to this, that you refuse to try and interpret literally, not in the sense that you wont, but that you dont bel. it is the proper way to study Sweet William.
A. When the word "staircase of flesh" is used, I dont intend to interpret it as staircase made of flesh.
Q. You bel the way to go abt Sweet Wm is to ignore the literal meaning dont you.
A. You ignore the words as logical meanings, altho there is literal meaning behind the symbols if you bother to go back to find them.
Q. You hrd Dr. Ellery say the majority of people are mentally lazy
Q. Wdnt a mentally lazy man reading the first stanza of Sweet William come to the conclusn that it related to a sexual rape.
A. He would probably come to no conclusion.
Q. No conclusion at all.
A. Never having been mentally lazy in that sense, I dont know.
Q. Do you think it would occur to anyone reading that stanza that sexual rape was ref to.
A. No person with any reas amt of intellgce.
Q. Does it follow that an unintelligent person might bel that it did relate to a sexual rape.
A. An unintelligent person would take the words out of context at their face value, and get the same reaction as he gets from reading accts of cases in the "Truth" [newspaper].
Q. When the author of Sweet Williams [says] "my blood becomes a damage[d] man, most like yr Albion" what does he mean.
A. I have not checked up on my allusion, but I unders. "most like yr Albion" is a refce from Lear, and is an assoctn with his mental conflict on the heath.
Q. Isnt Albion also another word for England.
Q. What is the connectn betn King Lear, England and Albion.
A. As far as Lear was concerned, they are identical, in that you can call Albion England, and England Albion.
Q. Is that pointed out in "King Lear"
A. I only understand that, I dont know from my own experience
Q. Can you suggest any reason why the author used capital letters to commence damaged, and to commence man.
Q. Do those words, damaged, man, suggest any literary allusion to you.
A. No literary allusion. They suggest the biological allusion Try panoserous.
Q. What does that word "Try — — " mean.
A. It is a biological phraze [phrase] ref. to the conflict in the blood associated in the organizm of syphilis.
Q. You dont suggest the author had that in mind, but that is what it
siggests [suggests] to you.
A. What it suggests to me is the transposition of "damaged man" to "damaged lives."
Q. How do you make that out.
A. I interpret the thing as a whole.
BY MR. WILLIAMS
Q. Can you interpret what the 2 lines "my blood — to — Albion" mean
A. My blood becomes involved in a struggle with a corrupting force just as Lear was torn by corrupting forces.
Q. Look at the first line of "Sweet William" "I have avoided yr wide English eyes:" in yr opinion what does that mean.
A. "I try to escape from the emotion of desire."
Q. And is there indicatn of the sex of the person whose eyes are ref. to.
At this stage (1.00 p.m.) Court adjourns until 2.15 p.m.
Resuming at 2.20 p.m. this day.
XXD BY MR. WILLIAMS
Q. What relevance has the title "Sweet William" to what appears in the poem.
A. I do not know.
Q. It doesnt suggest anythg to you at all.
A. It suggests to me the name of an old English flower.
Q. But there is nothing in the poem itself to indic that that is what is referred to, is there.
I rem talking abt the organ associated with syphilis in the blood. I am not a biological expert, that is what is associated to my mind. I have no idea of anything connected to sleeping sickness. I have been assured by a medcl [medical] authority that it does relate to syphilis.
That was after I published this.
That had nothing to do with this case, or with the poem "Sweet William"
Q. What abt the 2nd line of Sweet William
A. It means now I am subject to the emotion of desire, desire in the generic sense.
Q. What does that mean.
A. Desire in general, no specific desire that I know of.
Q. Why do you assoc the words "with stoned feet" with Don Giovanni.
A. I cannot explain the processes of my mind.
Q. When on the first occasn you read the poem "Sweet William" did those words suggest Mozart's Don Giovanni to you.
Q. The 2nd last line of the last stanza of Swt Wm. What does my toppling opposites suggest to you.
A. Desire and self denial.
Q. Does the word "toppling" in any way help you arrive at that view.
Q. Has it any signifce to you.
A. Exactly what it says. Toppling means "about to fall."
Q. Do you say that the 2nd stanza follows on with a similar line of tht. to that suggested in the first stanza.
Q. Has the 2nd stanza any relation to the thoughts expressed in the first stanza.
A. Yes. They provide a logical development, the desire of peace from conflict.
Q. What does he mean "one moment of daylight let me have."
A. One moment of light in his darkness.
Q. What is a self denying wave.
A. Emotion of self denial.
Q. What is "The white arm which is thrust out of the self-denying wave"
A. I dont know
The last 5 lines of the stanza mean the emotions of desire and self denial are reconciled, in that they are no longer fighting.
Q. What do you unders by the use of the words in the last line "my black swan's breast."
A. What is [it] says.
It has a symbolic signif there, white swan, self denial; black swan, desire.
Q. When the author refers in the first line of "Boult to Marina" to "Only a part of me" you say it is diff part of him than referred to in the 5th line.
A. The same.
That part is the part of his personality which triumphs.
Q. Dont you think it is at all poss that anyone knowing the story of Boult and Marina might conclude that the part of Boult which was going to triumph was his sexual organs.
Q. The word "Boult-upright" is quite an appropriate word to descr. a man's penis in a state of erection.
A. I do not know.
Q. Why not.
A. If you desire to describe it, yes.
Boult was instructed by the brothel keeper to crack the glass of Marina's virginity in the play "Pericles"
Q. Wdnt anyone reading this who was familiar with Pericles, Prince of Tyre, immed [immediately?] think of the scene in which Boult does approach Marina in order to carry out his purpose.
Q. What does the last line of the first stanza of Boult to Marina suggest to you
A. The rest of his personality does not triumph.
Q. How do you get "does not triumph" out of "drops up off into the night
A. I assume he sets up 2 opposites, one of them shall triumph, the other drops off into the night, which I assume is not to triumph.
Q. The 3rd and 4th to last lines in Boult to Marina quite clearly mean do they not that he considers that Marina is at his mercy to do what he will with her.
Q. I unders you say "but I am not Pericles" means that he is not a man of good character and intergrity [integrity].
A. He is not a completely virtuous man, he is a coward.
Q. Why a coward particularly.
A. Bec. he is frightened to go to the wars.
Q. I take it from that that you have to read the 2nd stanza to unders. what "I am not Pericles" means.
A. You would have to read the hole [whole] poem to know what "I am not Pericles" means.
Q. What do you say the sentence "There is damp deceipt … and I am no cheat" means.
A. He distrusts the glories of war as much as Falstaff does,
Q. He is not there ref. to the shell and wound-thrusts of war.
Q. Surely he is ref. that the wounds thrusts and shell holes he is ref. to are those of the cause.
Q. What cause.
A. The cause of war.
Q. How do you get that out of it.
A. I cant explain how I get things Mr. Williams.
Q. You are unable to suggest to me why I come to the same conclusn.
A. I cant suggest yr defects, Mr. Williams.
Q. You assume that you are a super-intelligent being.
A. I assume nothing.
Q. You assume that I havent got the intellgce or the background to understand this.
A. I assume you are not trying to unders it.
I do not assume that if you try to understand it you would come to the same conclusn as myself.
Q. Do you concede that if I tried to unders it I could come to some conclusn quite diff to yrs.
A. I can concede there might be minor differences of interpretatn, but substantially we would have the same emotional expce., further than that one is unable to go in modern poetry.
Q. It follows on what we have just been talking abt "I am no cheat" what does that mean.
A. I dont deceive myself.
Normally it means when that is sd. that he is not the sort of person who cheats others.
Q. What abt the last 2 lines of the 2nd stanza. What do they mean to you
A. They mean that for the first time he is giving up his evil character and he is proud of himself for it.
Q. Can you indic. how you arrived out of that conclusn.
A. Out of the poem as a whole.
Q. What does the lily refer to
Q. Why shd it.
A. Why shdnt it.
I have some reason for having associated it with virtue, I associate a lily with virtue. I cannot explain my mental associations.
Q. In the last verse "sainted and schismatic" what does it mean.
A. What it says.
Schismatic means causing of division.
Q. Doesnt that line suggest in view of the scene of "Boult to Marina" in Pericles, Prince of Tyre, that she is proving tiresome, and unwilling to subject herself to the clients of the brothel.
Q. That in fact, Marina did prove intractable from the point of view of the brothel keeper.
A. Yes, in Shakespeare.
I cant explain to you in other words what it means, even though it means what it says.
Q. The poem then refers to "4 frowning bedposts" and in the last line the words "you shall rest snug tonight" In yr mind is there any assocn betn the first set of words and the last.
Q. What 4 frowning bedposts are ref to.
A. A bed.
Q. What abt the next 2 lines, " — -windthrummelled sea"
A. The limits of the adventures such as the wars you adjure me to venture to
Q. What part of that is suggested to you by "wind thrummelled sea"
I cant give you any indicatn of my mental processes in arrivg at that conclusn.
Q. "Lady of these coasts" — does that refer to the cliffs, or to Marina
Q. What abt blown lily, surplice and stole of Mytilene" does that refer to Marina.
Q. Does lily mean the same thing to you there as in the 2nd stanza.
A. No. Here it means image there of Marina.
Q. What abt surplice and stole of Mytilene
A. The same thing.
A blown lily is a lily that is fully grown.
Q. The last line "You shall lay snug tonight and know what I mean."
A. He is speaking ironically to say that it is in resting snugly within the safety or [of] 4 bedposts that she will know what he means when he attacks the desires for him to go to the wars.
Q. On the next page "The swung torch scatteresseas [scatters seeds]"
A. That can be taken literally, espec when you add on the next words, "umbeliferous [umbelliferous] dark."
Umbeliferous means causing shadows.  When the author refers to naked and trespassing nymph of the lake, the trespass ref. to is trespass on the domain of the frog, that is the lake. "The guttural comment" is the croak of the frog who is indignant at the trespass.
Mr. Williams reads the 2nd stanza, Q. What does it mean to you.
A. Wrought iron gates look with what seems disapproval, wht the symbols are I dont know. Nothing is suggested to me by those words.
Q. Doesnt that leave the fact that you are not able to associate what the symbols are, that that leaves the 2nd stanza somewhat meaningless from literal and emotional point of view."
A. Literal yes, but emotnl, no.
Q. What emotional impact have the words "symbols" on you, can you exp
A. I cannot.
I know they have an emotional impact on me, but I cant descr it in words. I shd say the ordinary meaning of "invidious" is hateful.
Q. I suppose it is used there as it would be used in an invidious comparison.
A. I suppose so.
Q. Is there anythg in that part of Night Piece which suggests that it is a man and a woman going into the park in company.
A. Except that it is rather unusual for a man to lay sobbing on a man's arm. The impressn it gives me is that it is a man and woman going into a park.
Q. Don't you think the suggestn is that they are going into the park for some purpose which would not meet with genl approval.
A. There is no suggestn of any kind of such a purpose.
Q. What do you take the words "the iron birds look disapproval with rusty invidious beaks." to mean.
A. The iron birds look on with disapproval with rusty invidious beaks.
Simply that they had a look of disapproval on their faces.
There is nothing in the poem to suggest why they look on with disapproval, the dogs in the Botanic Park look with disapproval at diff times of the day and night. I mean iron casts of dogs in the Botanic Park
Q. You are suggesting that those iron dogs always appear to you to have a disapproving look.
A. Very much so.
Q. Is there anythg to suggest why the speakers arm should be trembling
A. Yes, they have both had a fright, possibly a stone in reality falling into the lake, a nymph in their imaginatns.
Q. Why a nymph in their imaginatns.
A. Bec. she is there in the first stanza.
Q. There is nothing there in the poem to suggest they have ever seen the nymph before.
A. I dont think they have seen it before. I think they are seeing her in their imaginations.
Q. Did you allow yr interpretatn on pg. 15 to be influenced by reading the alternative version.
Q. Do you think it is imposs that yr alternative version of Night Piece may have given you assistce in interpreting the first version of Night Piece.
Q. I suppose both versions mean substantially the same thing dont they
Q. We had not heeded the warning that the iron birds creaked — does that not suggest a warning agnst the purpose for which they are going into the park.
A. They are trespassg. I say that bec. both poems suggest the going of human being to some place which involves them being susceptible to shocks, such as falling stones, other words some place where they trespass, such as a zoo and a park after dark.
Q. Dont you agree that the purpose being more susceptible to fear was if they went there for an immoral purpose.
Q. Where is the indicatn that they are trespassing in the altern. versn of Night Piece.
A. In the emotional tone and whole context of the poem.
Q. Bearing in mind what the poem "Perspective Lovesong" says, what is the meaning of the title "Perspective Lovesong"
A. A song which contains a perspective view of love.
Q. Does everything referred to in Perspective Lovesong take place in the night.
A. I dont think "the urchins pick their nose in the sun" at night.
Q. The first 2 stanzas refer to events taking place at night.
[A.] The first 2 stanzas mean that 2 lovers have plighted their troths, in principle that covers it.
Q. "It seemed we had substituted the abattoirs for the guillotine"
What does that mean to you.
A. There is fairly large interpretatn of this in my evidence. As explained in my evidence I pointed out that I consid. for me the poem cont. first the intrusion of biological — —
I am saying that his (O'Malley's) [Ern Malley's] sense of death added premonition to the scene. That was in answer to the question abt the abattoirs and guillotine, that is where the suggestion in my mind comes from.
The abattoirs gives you more the idea of carcasses and being herded thru to the quick finality of the guillotine. The guillotine takes the head off in a few seconds, and the abattoirs involves the taking of the animals thru the slaughter yard. Premonition of death is pointed out in "the sad altar [autumn] of my Balhallah [Valhalla]"
By "ulterior plighting" I mean ulterior trothing with death. Ulterior in connection with troth means higher form.
Q. "I have remembered — - loins" what do those words mean to yr mind.
A. They don't evoke any images.
Q. Do you suggest anything to you.
A. Their literal content, it simply means what it says, naked breasts and loins. I think those 2 lines are literally intelligible.
Q. Are you the 2 lines which suggested to you "he has remembered her and — - — years"
A. That and the next 4 lines.
Q. Doesnt that suggest in those circs something carnal.
Q. What is "Valhalla"
A. Another word for Heaven
Q. When you said you tht [thought] that the paying of price of admission to the sad autumn of my Valhalla what is he talking abt.
A. By plighting his troth to her finally and absolutely.
That is to say, plighting the troth of a man who is doomed to die within a short space of time.
Q. "But I too invented faithfulness"
A. That means he has been faithful he has decided to be faithful to the principal [principle] ulterior to love, that is death.
Q. Ref to the word "incestuous" in Egyptian Register in the 2nd to last line, you told us in examn in chief that incestuous means there simply the idea of one part — - I dont understand how that word "incestuous" used in relatn to death means the idea of one part of ones self conflicting agnst another part of ones self. It does refer to death doesnt it.
I cannot explain it in other words than I have used in examn in chief.
Q. Do you mean by that it is death in which one part of ones self conflicts agnst another part of ones self.
A. Yes, mental conflict and mental death.
Q. Literally incestuous can never mean the idea of one part of ones self conflicting against another part of ones self. Can it.
Q. What is there abt the context in which the word is used there to prompt you to give the meaning of it you have given
Q. In yr poem "Biography" "This eye, the black eternal waters, etc" has incestuous there the same or diff meaning.
A. Possibly the same, in my sense it means an evil in genl., in a partic horrifying form. Caverns can scarcely be physically incestuous.
Q. Looking at the 3rd stanza of "Young Prince of Tyre" the particular sentce which is obj to "Poor Thaisa has a red wound in the groin, down to [that is, from this part of the text down to the word] fein [foin]" that sentce could be taken out of its context and given a meaning very easily cant it.
A. No, no meaning at all.
There is no grammatical difficulty in that sentce. In my opin, the word "fein" [foin] is a fencing term meaning "lunge, or thrust"
Q. To prove her constancy in what sense (ref to evidence in p. 17)
A. It is never explained in Caesar [Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar; see foot of page 17].
Q. Did she use any partic type of instrument to inflict this wound on herself.
A. I dont recollect what it was, but from my memory I think it is knife
My memory is not too clear on it, but I think it was knife. I think you may be right when you say "needle" I think it was inflicted in the thigh.
Q. Why shd you be reminded of Portia who wounded herself in the thigh by the 2 lines I just read to you.
A. I cannot tell you why, Mr. Williams.
Q. You are not of course suggestg that when the author used the name Thaisa he was using that as anr [another] name for Portia are you
Thaisa is the wife of Pericles in Shakespeare's play, Prince of Tyre. The word "concupiscence" means to me violent desire. It could suggest sexual desire. I have seen it used so rarely that I cannot say what its common usage is.
Q. Why do you say that the lion heated out hero [misheard: should be: the line "He the dark hero…"] thru iguaga's blood is how you connect Shakespeare to the figure which stands in the gaps Why is that.
Q. [A.] Quite an irrational predelection [predilection].
There is a suggestion of course to Shakespeares famous Brown Lady, "He the brown hero" makes me think back to the Brown Lady. Only the gen refce and complete influence to that source which is right thru these poems, I think that right throughout the poems it shows that the author was greatly influenced by Shakespeare.
Q. Taking this 3rd stanza again, what meaning did you obtain from "the magpie's carol — - contempt"
A. His song has died away, the mechanical man's song.
Q. I fail to see the relation betn magpie's and mechanical men.
A. The song of a mechanical man equates with that of the magpie, and not the nightingale, for instance.
Q. Why shd this.
A. This man thinks the moderns are bad poets.
Q. What are nonce-men ref to in the 2nd stanza.
A. I dont know, Mr. Williams.
Q. The dance that the nonce-men falter in, what does that suggest to you.
A. The dance of the tricks of the trade of the modern poets.
Q. When he says that "how unforgiving are they — - dance" Who are the "they" referred to.
A. People like me, I suppose.
There is nothing in the poem to indic. who is ref. to, only bad poets.
Q. What is there to indicate in it that bad poets are referred to.
A. Might we have it from ev. in chief, bec. I have gone into it fully there.
Q. I disagree that you told us in ev in chief where in Young Prince of Tyre you get refce to a poet such as yrself.
A. The botched tribe of imperial poets — - as agnst that "The new men — - get you out — - makeshift singers" and the genl sense of the poem.
Q. The botched tribe of imperial poets follows on from Nero, I suppose there is an image there betn Nero and his supposed fiddling while Rome burned.
A. Yes. Definitely.
Q. The fact that the fire of imperial poets burned in conjunction with Nero refers to the Roman poets of the Imperial age.
A. Not to me, bec. an Imperial man in yr sense would be a poet in the
dark ages, and I dont think he means that.
I sd. that it wd be rather senseless to say that the new men were a few poets of the dark ages, bec. they are obviously referring to themselves, and Nero's tribe could refer to any group of ruly or dominating writers, that is what I take Imperial to mean there.
Q. You know that Nero was one of the Roman emperors.
Q. What is this "He the dark hero — - down to — - renew the language" mean.
A. That is some mystic symbol associated with some mythology with which I am not aware.
Q. I think Siegfried is the mythological embodiment of all that is strong in the German character.
A. I dont know, Mr. Williams.
Q. Has it no Teutonic implicatns to you at all.
A. It has a wignerian [Wagnerian] implication, vaguely.
Q. What abt the Siegfried line, you know of the existce of that.
Q. Having thought of that fact, does it not now occur to you that Siegfried must have something to do with Germany.
A. It may.
Q. Well then at all events when you first read that partic sentce abt "He the dark hero" the words "Siegfried like" had no signif. to you had they
A. A significance which largely borders on what you told me, only I deduced it from the whole idea of some powerful figure in European history, without having to go thru mythology to get anythg out of the poem.
Q. I unders. that to properly understand the Ern Malley poems, one had to have a good background in literature and a good genl knowledge of things in genl, was I right in assuming that is what you meant.
Q. I suppose if you had known exactly what Siegrfried was, that sentc would have had an even more satisfactory meaning for you than before.
A. It may have.
Q. Let's get to the next stanza, the 2nd line "Sail seas — - for't" have you any idea whether that is a line from anr author's work.
A. Yes, Shakespeares.
Q. In what play
Q. Can you tell me approx at what stage of Pericles it is.
A. I am not an encyclopaedia, I cant remember.
Q. Do you rem whether it was Pericles himself who spoke those words.
A. I rather imagine it was.
Q. What abt this next line "New sign-posts — - on the spool" what interpretatn have you of that sentce.
A. New forms of art are before us.
Q. And I suppose the idea is that they are on a spool like a film ready to be stored up ready for use at some future time.
A. I suppose so.
Q. What abt this next sentce, "Our creeping disjunct — - slatterns" what does that mean.
A. The first 2 lines seem alright, seeing new things, the next line, I am unable to literally transpose at all.
Q. Then I take it that it has some satis emotional meaning.
A. It does not.
Q. Does it have any emotional meaning for you of any sort.
A. No I think that is bad line, bad poetry, because it leaves me "flat" That is the line "Else — - slatterns."
At this stage (4.15 p.m.) Court adjourns until 29th Sept 1944 at 10.45 a.m.
Resuming on 29th September, 1944, at 10.55 a.m.
Defendant continuing — -
XXD BY MR. WILLIAMS.
The title "Angry Penguins" was originally chosen from a poem of mine by Mr. Kerr. It has no special symbolical significance.
Q. What in yr opinion the last stanza on page 28 means.
A. It means that the valiant man after all his vicissitudes can desist [resist] any temptatn.
Q. But you get that out of the last 3 lines dont you.
A. I get it out of the whole stanza
Q. Let's take the first sentce of the stanza "Take it for a sign — - herb of content" What does that mean.
A. It means that he is confronted by a temptatn.
Q. Where is the indicatn of temptation
A. In the whole 4 lines.
Q. You cant point to anythg specific in the 4 lines which indicates temptatn.
A. The whole 4 lines indicate temptatn.
Q. Any partic type of temptatn.
A. A symbol of a woman is used, but what the form behind it is is not indicated, but I would assume that it is ease, comfort, association in general, because "herb of content" means tobacco.
Q. So that for you those 4 lines have no sexual signif. at all.
A. An image of a woman is used, but simply nothing but the image of a woman.
Q. Dont the words "opens her cunning thighs" suggest opening her thighs for sexual intercourse.
A. It suggests opening her thighs to reveal the "herb of content."
I rem saying that "stick the money" has no associative connotation by itself, bec. I bel it is translated from the vulgarity to the vernacular. I have no doubt that once the phraze "you can stick the money" did have a vulgar meaning. There have been many variants. The only variant I can think of was given by Det. Vogelesang in his evidence, and the one suggested to me by Det. Vogelesang.
Q. There is a variant of it, "you can stick it up yr jumper" isnt it.
A. So I believe.
Q. But that is simply saying in anr way what Det. Vogelesang sd. "You can stick it."
A. I did not know what it was another way of saying.
Q. When did you believe that the phraze "you can stick it" had the meaning that Det. Vogelesang ascribed to it.
A. When it was and is used in the way Det. Vogelesang used it.
I have occas. heard the expressn used in the way that Det. Vogelesang used it. I myself am not a realistic writer, and would not use such a phrase as "you can stick it."
Q. You would not use it in ordinary polite conversn.
A. I myself would not use it, because I prefer English to vernacular.
Q. You are not in the habit of using the word "bugger" either are you.
Q. And the use of the word "bugger" in the way that it is used on page. 41 is still frowned upon in ordinary polite conversn., isn't it.
A. In so far as I am an authority on polite conversatn., yes.
The meetings of the Univ. Council are held in camera, I have no information if it would be used at a meeting of the Univ. Council. I would not suggest that it would be used, I have no right to. I am answering your questions, not quibbling.
Q. Assuming for the moment that the phrase "you can stick it" is still used in the sense which Det. Vogelesang gave to it, you wdnt suggest would you that such a phraze used in a short story is not indecent, always assuming that it has that meaning.
A. I would not assume that it were indecent if it occurred in a short story which aimed to reflect in a serious way or with a moral purpose life as it actually exists, in its brutality and actuality.
Q. So that in yr view a writer is entitled to use language of any nature however vile, provided that he is depicting life as it really is in a serious way.
Q. Why not.
A. Because the writer conforms, or shd conform, to the standards of convention in his sphere of activity. From my experience of realistic
writers, such a phrase has become conventionally used, altho not necessarily with my approval because in genl I am not a protagonist of realist writing, e.g., in the News of Saty fortnight, a dispatch from the S.W. Pacific referred to an order given to bad fliers called the order of the irremovable digit. This apparently has not offended the public of Aust., nor does it offend my mind.
Q. You assume dont you throughout that if a writer uses a certain phrase and is not prosecuted for it therefore it must be legally quite alright.
A. I assume if a convention is established as for instance the phrase "the order of the irremovable digit" and over a period of an extensive length of time it is currently used, that it is in process of becoming a convention unless the law has or does object.
Q. But do you seriously contend that a convention has been established that the use of the word "bugger" as a swear word in literature is innocuous.
A. As an expletive, I have seen it used it used [repeated] in innumerable books in the past 25 years, I mean books written over the past 25 years.
Q. Do you bel there are any limits which a writer must observe in depicting life as it actually is.
A. I bel I have already passed my opin on that, that is, that he must observe the conventions.
Q. What are the conventions.
A. In expletives so far as I know it is a tacit convention; in literature, the convention is in my opin, that any treatment of sexual life which possesses its own dignity and validity should aim not to elicit or provoke the appetite it describes or depicts and that convention provides for me a distinctn betn sincere treatment of emotional life, and phornographic [sic] treatment of emotional life.
Q. You would not be courageous enough to walk up to a policeman and say "bugger you" would you.
A. It is not matter of courage, but a matter of good behaviour.
Q. You would expect anyone who sd. "bugger you" to a policeman to be arrested for indecent language.
A. In so far as I know abt that part of the law, what you say is true.
Q. That is to say, you think that the word "bugger" can be offensive, dont you
A. It most assuredly can be personally offensive.
Q. Provided that a serious piece of writing was under consideration, you would see nothing wrong or indec abt the phrase "bugger you" appear
A. In a piece of serious creative writing, the use of such a phrase can be for the public good; used in society, the same criterion would not apply.
Q. Why is it for the public good used in writing.
A. Bec the public is not an ostrich, and the understandg of human nature is in the public good.
Q. Does that amt to this, that the public shd be informed that the phraze "bugger you" is commonly used.
A. It may be for the public good for example for the public to understand the outlook and life of an individual who might use such a phraze.
Q. You have hrd the expression "fuck you" havent you.
Q. Suppose the character in this story, Max in "The Fence" had sd. to his employer "fuck you," and that was written down, wd you find anythg offensive in that.
A. I would find that offensive as I did when I found it recently in a 10d. Penguin book.
I think the writer intended it seriously. I object to the use of that phraze bec. the conventions prohibit it, and I am, in addition to accepting conventions of literature and society.
Q. You will concede that the phraze 'bugger the work" would not be used in polite socty.
A. I have already sd. it would not be used in polite socty., but it has become conventional in realistic writing.
Q. What convention meaning has it now got.
A. Simply expletive.
Q. Any stronger than "damn the work" for instance.
A. It is a stronger expletive.
Q. Can you think of any stronger expletive than that.
A. The one you mentioned.
Q. That is abt the only one isnt it.
A. There are various other expletives such as I have seen indicated by dashes in the newspapers
Q. I suppose you see nothing offensive abt the 2 verses on p. 62.
A. Both the words objected to occur in the Coward film "In Which We Serve" and were available to every man woman and child in the country so I assume such convention in a popular film is just as acceptable in literature, and I have seen it accepted over the past 20 yrs of literature.
Q. Will you concede that those 2 verses are pretty crude.
A. I will concede that they are entirely crude.
Q. Hardly the thing that you would sing in King William Street.
A. They are hardly the sort of thing that if [I] would sing, if I sang in King Wm St.
Q. It is the sort of thing you would expect a medical student to sing at one of their "do's" isnt it.
A. Or law students.
Q. Can you tell me how you went abt writing the poem "I have Never Spoken of Yr Nakedness" on p. 67.
A. The processes in preparing are very difficult to explain, but the principal emotional drive at that time was one of reverence and almost a religious felling [feeling] towards human life.
Q. Did you sit strt down and write that strt out, or did it require consid. emotional effort.
A. The processes of artistic creation are rather queer, Wordsworth descrs it as "emotion recollected in tranquility" I would descr it rather as a chance emotional incidence, the mood is set in operatn by something ostensibly quite irrelevant, e.g., the sigh of a tree as you pass it, and conseq on this — -
Q. What I want to know is, did you take you a long while to write or only a few mins.
A. The term is relevant, I dont rem the length of time, it may have taken half an hour, and then in remoulding, in straightening out of different effects — -
Q. You didnt leave it in the first form in which you wrote it down.
A. In content, entirely
Q. But not in words or arrangements.
A. There was a rhythmical re-arrangement of the phraze
Q. You realise of course that you have made a pretty free use of carnal things as symbols in this poem.
A. I dont realise that.
Q. Isnt nakedness carnal.
A. It depends on the moral distortion of yr outlook, to me it is not and to most human beings who have wives, I do not imagine they would agree with you either.
Q. In the 3rd last line, you used the word "love", and then you talk abt "decision and bringing our loins togr" Dont you think in those circs the ordinary person will think of the bringing of loins togr for sexual intercourse.
A. Not if they follow the sense of the poem.
Q. Suppose they read it quickly, dont you imagine they wd think that is what you were talkg abt.
A. If they read it thru with the slightest vestige of intellgce in their reading they would not think so.
Q. Do you claim that no one reading the poem and endeavourg sincerely to understand it, would think that you meant the bringing of loins togr in sexual interc.
A. I cannot claim anything for the mental and moral pervert.
Q. That means, doesnt it, that he would have to be a mental or moral pervert to get that meaning.
A. He could misunderstand it. People can misunderstnd anything.
Q. Turn to the "Journey North" on p. 69, particl the words "the flat-chested women — - to — - satin" Isnt that meant to represent feeling of lasciviousness.
A. It means exactly what it says, but I do not think that thwartedness and lasciviousness are the same things.
Q. The words "passionate copulation" what poss. meaning cd that have but an absolute frenzy in connectn with sexual copulation.
A. It could have the very meaning of the words themselves.
Q. You tell us what the phrase "whose genitals — - satin" means.
A. I cannot make it any clearer than it is there.
Q. That is realistic writing is it.
A. Part of it is, the first stanza, and odd lines throughout the poem.
I mean in the whole poem "Poem for a Journey"
MR. PHILLIPS CALLS
JOHN INNES MACKINTOSH STEWART
Of 7 The Parkway, Leabrook,
Professor of English Language at the Univ. SWORN
BY MR PHILLIPS
I am in attendance under a subpoena. I was on the staff of the Leeds Univ. as Assitant [Assistant] lecturer in English, I am a Master of Arts at the Oxford University, I studied at Concordia college, and became the Bishop Frazer there, and Matthew Arnold prizewinner.
I have done some serious works in Literature, and amongst others is Elizabethan translation of Montaigne's Essays.
I have read all the separate poems or articles of stories where the complt is made, and a good part of the others, in Ex. B.
Q. The type of poems such as the Ern Malley poems, relying on assoctn of ideas, is that a modern development of English literature.
MR. WILLIAMS OBJECTS
A. Substantially yes.
Q. Has that school a moderately large following.
Q. And is the development noticeable in Ausn [Australian] literature.
MR. WILLIAMS OBJECTS
A. My reading of Ausn writers is limited, but as far as my knowledge goes, it is so.
Q. In yr reading of the "Angry Penguins" (Ex. B) did you form an opin. regarding the sincerity of the writing.
MR. WILLIAMS OBJECTS
PUT IN ANOTHER WAY
Q. As result of yr reading did you form an opinion regarding the sincerity of the writer in an attempt to express an honest picture as opposed to mere bawdy.
A. I suppose I am to speak of the writers of the whole — - I shd say that while
MR. WILLIAMS OBJECTS TO THIS
Q. Did you form an opinion.
Q. What is that opinion.
MR. WILLIAMS OBJECTS
A. In the Autumn number as a whole I distinguish some effectation [affectation] and a love of mystification but overall it appears to me to have a character of a serious literary journal, in which the writers are sincerely endeavouring to contemplate their material in the spirit of art.
Q. In literature generally are there any conventions in relation to the treatment of sexual emotions.
MR. WILLIAMS OBJECTS
A. There are conventions in point of words and phrases which may be allowed to imaginative writers. There are further conventions relating to themes which writers may without offence be free to discuss. These conventions vary so much from age to age.
Q. I put it that since the last war the convention regarding usages of language has broadened in relation to sexual emotions.
MR. WILLIAMS OBJECTS
A. I believe it has substantially broadened.
Q. And of course from the time of Shakespeare on an examination of a sexual emotion has been permitted in literature, has it not.
MR. WILLIAMS OBJECTS
Q. And it gets is puerilency [poetic licence? leniency?] in the method of treatment.
MR. WILLIAMS OBJECTS
Q. Would you regard Angry Penguins as serving a useful purpose in relation to Ausn literature.
MR. WILLIAMS OBJECTS.
Q. Having read Angry Penguins did you form an opinion regarding the decency or indecency of the various articles. First of all, you have heard the discussns in Court, and the basis on which the Court will judge whether a work tends to deprave or corrupt and on that basis I ask you whether you formed any opinion as to whether these articles complained of were obscene.
A. I have.
Q. And would you tell the Court the opinion you have formed.
MR. WILLIAMS OBJECTS
A. I consider that there are matters in the number which are indecent in the sense of offending agnst delicacy, but which would not in my opinion deprave or corrupt save in point of literary style.
Q. Or have that tendency
A. Or have that tendency upon any person suffic. normal to live and work in modern socty.
Q. In other words some of the work you regard as the want of good manners.
MR. WILLIAMS OBJECTS
QUESTION PUT ANR WAY
Q. Do you find in Angry Penguins anythg that in yr opinion would be more than a mere want of good manners.
MR. WILLIAMS OBJECTS
A. There is in my opinion defect of manners.
Q. And wd that be yr chief complt regarding these artices from the sexual point of view.
A. From the sexual point of view, yes.
XXD BY MR. WILLIAMS
Q. You sd. there were a number of matters in the Angry Penguins which are indecent in that they offend agnst delicacy. Would you indic. what they are.
A. I cant undertake to point to everything. In the passages which are complained of, I find 2 which are to me extremely and equally displeasing. One is on p. 27, and is the 2 lines descriptive of Thaisa
Q. You found those 2 lines offensive to delicacy.
The 2nd is to be found in those 2 lines of the Journey North on p. 69 which follow the words "women of the camp." They are the 2 different sections of this book Angry Penguins which to me were offensive, I particularly dont like them.
Q. Offensive in what way.
A. These are judgments of value Mr. Williams, and I think scarcely to be adduced. They are offensive to my literary taste, I dont know if I can go further than that.
Q. Do they offend yr sense of decenty [decency] in any way.
A. They offend my sense of decent craftsmanship, especially the 2nd. but I dont find that either could corrupt. They are emetic rather than erotic. It is the same thing as "catharsis".
Q. On Page 27 "Poor Thaisa — - foin" can you give intellectual meaning to those 2 lines.
A. The first line has clearly a face value, but I am not clear on the constructn of the 2nd, but there too something might be excogitated. I think you can get some literal sense out of the lines.
Q. When you sd. then that the 2 lines offend against yr decency, you did not mean anythg but yr sense of literary decency in crafts manship.
A. Yes, they are an indelicate refce to the sexual sphere of the field, there can be no doubt abt that.
Q. On p. 69 would the passage be "women in the camp — - satin" be the one you ref. to.
Q. When you say those words offended yr sense of delicacy, would you say they also offended yr sense of delicacy bec of the manner in which they ref. to sex.
A. Yes, I think that is it primarily. A literary judgment comes in more here, with me, because he is doing well "New Year Brt [brought] its concertinas in — - song" and then this extremely crude manner of expressing him follows
I have done my best to consider the verse on p. 80 that the prosecution objects to.
Q. Is there nothing in that that offends yr sense of decency.
A. There is nothing that offends my moral sense, bec. the writer, in my opin very stupid, prob has a heart of gold.
Q. Dont you think it is quite likely that there are a number of people who would be offended by that partic verse.
A. Yes, but I cant speak for the manner of their being offended.
Q. Rightly or wrongly, I take the course that amts [amounts] to a condemnation or condoning of abortion.
A. My impression on reading the stanza is that the writer is conveying his moral condemnation of abortion., and poss. as the defendant suggested, of something in our social conditions, but he is using, I think, a method or irony, and without skill, so that the matter remains somewhat obscure.
Q. Have you any belief as to the authorship of the Ern Malley poems.
A. No, I have a belief as to the species of the poem they are.
Q. You have hrd rumours of the authorship of them.
A. Yes, several.
At one stage it was suggested that I was the author of them.
Q. You had hrd a rumour that these poems were written for the purpose of hexing [hoaxing] the editors of angry Penguins.
Q. In consid. the poems did you bear that in mind, or simply consider them as poems.
A. I consid. some of them before any spurious origin was suggested or known to me.
Q. And some after.
A. I did not read them all until this bother came up.
It is scarcely within my recollection whether I sat down and read them all at once, I judge not.
Q. I take it you read the poems bec. you tht it was likely that you would be called to give evidence.
A. I have read the poems with some intension [sic] since I was told abt the matter.
Q. In doing so did you do so apart from the authorship and the circs under which they would poss be written.
A. I dont think that would be poss to any man
Q. Did you endeav so far as poss to exclude the rumours that you heard abt the authorship and the supposed circs under which they were written.
A. Yes, that is elementary critical method.
MR. PHILLIPS CALLS
BRIAN ROBINSON ELLIOTT
Of 6 Young Street, Burnside,
BY MR. PHILLIPS
I am the lecturer in Ausn Literature at the Adelaide Univ. I have been so since 1939. I hold the degree of Master of Arts in the Univ. of S.A. I have published occasional essays or articles in the Ausn Quarterly and Meanjin Papers. Meanjin Papers is a small irregular but supposedly reg. journal, which is devoted to Ausn literature and Ausn poetry.
I have read Ex. B., the Autumn no of Angry Penguins.
Q. Did you form an opin regarding the genuineness or otherwise of the Ern Malley poems.
MR. PHILLIPS WITHDRAWS QUESTION.
Q. Yr reading of the poems complained of — did you form an opin as with regard to their being a work or [of] art or not.
Q. What was that.
MR. WILLIAMS OBJECTS
A. The opin was a very mixed one. I think it might be taken seriously as art.
Q. Have you the opinion whether or not the Angry Penguins is serving any useful purpose in advancing Ausn Art.
A. I have an opin.
Q. What is that opin.
A. Yes, I do think so.
Q. You have hrd the definition of obscenity, the legal refce of obscenity, as being something likely to deprave or corrupt.
Q. In your reading of the poems complained of, did you form an opin as to whether they wd have that effect.
A. I can only speak for myself. I did not find anything of that nature anywhere in the book, though I would make the same reservatn as Prof. Stewart, that is that there are some passages which are distasteful to ones sense of literary delicacy, without any moral judgement being involved.
Q. In yr reading did you form a judgment whether the authors were approaching the sexual refces, are put honest or objectively
A. Yes, I did form an opin.
Q. What was that.
MR. WILLIAMS OBJECTS
A. I take it that they were sincere and objective, but the methods are those of literary greenhorns.
XXD MR. WILLIAMS
Q. The passages which offended you, are they the same as offended Prof. Stewart,
A. I think so, I agree with him entirely abt the 2 of which he spoke.
Q. Have those 2 poems, do they offend agnst yr sense of delicacy in any way except in literary way.
A. No. They have sexual refces but I dont find those offensive.
Q. It is not bec. of the refces to sex that you find them offensive in the literary sense, just that they are crude.
A. Yes, crudely expressed.
I dont object to the vocabulary, I object to lapses of what you might call the literary elevatn of the poem.
Q. That is to say that the rfces to the sexual matters in the 2 passg had no influence on yr opin you arrived at when you sd. they were offensive.
A. I feel that the handling of a sexual copy requires consid. delicacy, and if it is clumsily managed, it is offensive to one's good taste, but whether it is clumsily or adroitly handled the meaning must come to the same thing, and I take no offence from the meaning.
I have read thru the works complained of. I would say that isolated from their context from the poem, I cant see anything useful to Ausn literature, unless it is useful to the young writers controversial thought.
CASE FOR THE DEFENCE.
MR. WILLIAMS CALLS (IN REBUTTAL)
JACOBUS ANDRIES VOGELESANG
DET. STAT AT ADELAIDE
BY MR. WILLIAMS
I was in Court when the deft gave his ev in chief. I rem that he sd. that he referred to Marie Stopes books, and then the books of nudes. He did refer to Marie Stope's books, he may have ref to books of nudes. If he did, I def. did not say "Don't you think there is beauty in those photographs" I sd. nothing like that.
NO QUESTIONS BY MR. PHILLIPS
CASE IN REBUTTAL.
 Shakespeare named two of his female characters Portia: this Portia is the wife of Brutus in the play Julius Caesar: ‘I have made strong proof of my consistency, / Giving myself a voluntary wound;/ Here, in the thigh; can I bear that with patience / And not my husband's secrets?’ — Act II Scene 1.
40 Dalmar Street, Croydon, Sydney. Photograph by John Tranter.
 In the 1940s Harold Stewart lived at 40 Dalmar Street, Croydon, in Sydney, New South Wales. This is the address given by "Ethel Malley" when she — that is, Harold Stewart — sent the poems of her recently dead brother Ern to Max Harris. Ashfield Municipal Council in 2005 listed this house on its heritage register because of its literary connection with the Ern Malley saga.
 Tartarus, Classical mythology, a sunless abyss, below Hades, in which Zeus imprisoned the Titan; alternatively, a place in Hades for the punishment of the wicked. Max Harris may have been thinking of Tantalus, a Phrygian king who was condemned to remain in Tartarus, chin deep in water, with fruit-laden branches hanging above his head: whenever he tried to drink or eat, the water and fruit receded out of reach. (Random House Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary.)
 An umbel is an inflorescence in which a number of flower stalks or pedicels, nearly equal in length, spread from a common center. (Random House Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary). The word is related to "seeds" in the previous line. Max Harris may have been thinking of the Latin root ‘umbra’ meaning shade, as in penumbra or umbrella.
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