26 September 2023

Meanjin Quarterly, Autumn 2022 Edition

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Reviewed by Rama Gaind.

Edited by Jonathan Green, Melbourne University Publishing, $24.99.

Anger is a complex emotion and a natural response to perceived threats, but it’s what you do with it that matters.

In the Meanjin Quarterly, editor Jonathan Green writes: “… Anger may be the catalytic force that finally sparks change, but to do that it needs to be more than a clenched internal scream.”

“… Anger teaches us that not everything has to be either/or. The turning point might be in the flash of recognition: when we see that our outrage is shared and realise that by acting in the angry collective, we might finally bring a sense of individual purpose and change.”

The Case for Anger is the lead article in this edition. It’s an insightful and personal essay by Lucia Osborne-Crowley, who writes on learning to embrace anger as a multi-faceted emotion. “Anger can be an act of caring, anger can be a force for personal power, and inter-personal good; anger, she says, ‘can sit alongside love and hope and connection rather than being their opposite’.”

She concludes: “I can be angry with the people I love and sill love them. I can be furious not because I want to hurt someone but because I want to change something – a relationship, a community, a society, a world. Dichotomies are about survival, and I am grateful to them for keeping me alive. But they are not useful to me anymore. I think Freud was right – displacing anger as anxiety limits us, and embracing rage could be the best way to find a bigger place in the sun.”

Meanjin Vol 81.1 has other notable contributions. Guy Rundle studies the rise of the Knowledge Class, the laptop tapping workers at the core of the west’s new economy, and details the challenge — and opportunity — this growing group poses for traditional progressive politics. El Gibbs writes on the hidden pandemic: of living with both Covid and disability.

What is the title of the lead essay? If the answer is correct, you could be one of two winners to get a copy of the book. Entries should be sent to [email protected] by Monday, 2 May 2022. Names of the winners will be announced in Frank Cassidy’s PS-sssst…! column on 3 May 2022.

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