Dreams of Speaking by Gail Jones

Dreams of Speaking

Gail Jones

Alice Black, an academic from a working-class West Australian family has taken up a residency in Paris to write a book. There she meets a fellow author, Mr Sakamoto, a survivor of Hiroshima. Written in poetic language, this is an exploration of relationships and the search for belonging, friendship and a coming to terms with the past. Thought provoking.


The telephone is our rapturous disembodiment. We breathe ourselves, like lovers, into its tiny receptacle, and glide out the other end, mere voice, mere function. Wires, currents, satellites, electrical systems: these are the hardware we extend ourselves into, spaced out, underground, alive in the trembling skeins that arch across nations. Countless conversations happening at once. Transecting the sky, like lines of flight, like the trajectories of ancient deities borne by eagles or dragons, sentences, words, syllables, sighs - all fly into airy enunciation, becoming messages, becoming text. The cradle, the handset, the curly extendable wire. Voices are more lovable on the telephone. Things are said, promises exchanged, that could not bear the weight of incarnation. Voices are also more repulsive, and more distinctly other.

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