CIRCLES (A Parable)
BY Bella Li
THEME LEADER Justin Clemens
SUPPORTED BY University of Melbourne, as part of the NGV Triennial – exploring the emerging intersections of art, design, science and society.
Bella Li is a Melbourne writer and editor. For Triennial Voices, Bella has contributed extracts from her books Argosy (Vagabond Press, 2017) and Lost Lake (Vagabond Press, forthcoming in 2018), which explore the theme of change through the media of poetry and collage.
Bella Li is the author of Maps, Cargo (Vagabond Press, 2013), shortlisted for the 2014 Wesley Michel Wright Prize, and Argosy (Vagabond Press, 2017)—a book of poetry, collage and photography—commended in the 2017 Wesley Michel Wright Prize and awarded the 2018 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Poetry.
This work was commissioned for and published in Issue 82 of Cordite Poetry Review (August 2017).
The epigraph is from The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri: Inferno, translated by Allen Mandelbaum (New York: Bantam, 1982).
Phrases were sourced from the following texts: John Milton, Paradise Lost (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004); Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness (London: Penguin, 1995); Malcolm Lowry, Under the Volcano (London: Penguin, 1962); Primo Levi, The Periodic Table, translated by Raymond Rosenthal (London: Penguin, 2000); The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri: Inferno, translated by Allen Mandelbaum (New York: Bantam, 1982).
Images for collages were sourced from the following texts: Archie Carr, The Land and Wildlife of Africa (Amsterdam: Time-Life International, 1965), with photographs by Laurence Lowry; David Attenborough, The Living Planet (London: The Book Club Associates, 1985), with photographs by S. Thorarinsson; New Zealand Tourist and Publicity Department, Wonderland of the South: New Zealand (Wellington: New Zealand Government Printer, 1966); Robert Wallace, The Grand Canyon (Amsterdam: Time-Life Books, 1972), with photographs by Ernst Haas and Harald Sund.