The Kyogle Line: 12 Edmonstone Street, hospitality and memories of home

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The spaces of our childhood maintain a particularly enduring hold when they cease to exist or are so reconstructed that the previous version is effectively obliterated. Recollections of an early home that no longer exists provide the framework for David Malouf’s celebrated 12 Edmondstone Street. In this article, I juxtapose Malouf’s experiences with recollections of my own family home in Kyogle, coincidentally situated at the other end of the old railway line that began just a couple of hundred metres from Malouf’s childhood dwelling. In addressing both the similarities and differences between Malouf’s and my own example, the discussion will develop around the fact that in contrast to the physical non- existence of the address of 12 Edmonstone Street, my own family home in Kyogle has not been extinguished; instead, it is today a disfigured ‘renovation’ of its former self. Ultimately, 12 Edmondstone Street – a piece of writing whose poetic power and mnemonic resonance go beyond the mortal limits of physical space – will operate as a literary shelter through which the power of memories of former living spaces can be articulated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-72
Number of pages13
JournalQueensland Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 08 Jun 2020


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