The Mythology of Absence: David Malouf’s 12 Edmonstone Street and Stefan Ackerie’s ‘Skyneedle’

Suzie Gibson


The folkloric power of place cannot be underestimated. This article examines the importance of David Malouf’s childhood home in South Brisbane—12 Edmonstone Street—in shaping the imagination of one of Australia’s most celebrated writers. It also addresses another very different kind of South Brisbane architectural site, hairdresser Stefan Ackerie’s phallic Skyneedle. What will be considered is how Malouf’s now long destroyed weatherboard home preserves the sheen of mythology, whereas Ackerie’s all too visible Skyneedle short circuits the very possibility of being legendary because of its vertical omnipresence.


Identity; Place; David Malouf;

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