Westerly Centre

Randolph Stow lecture

The Inaugural Annual Randolph Stow Lecture - Presented by Dr Gabrielle Carey

Getting to Know Randolph Stow: towards a portrait of the artist as a young man

The Inaugural Randolph Stow Lecture was held on Tuesday 20th September this year, featuring guest speaker Dr. Gabrielle Carey. This turned out to be a great night with an engaging discussion from Dr. Carey. A transcript of the lecture will be forthcoming.

In 2009, a year before his death, Carey wrote to Randolph Stow asking for permission to visit him in Harwich, England. He promptly turned down the offer, describing himself as ‘rather an unsavoury old bachelor’ who ‘preferred to be left alone’. This only increased Carey’s curiosity in a writer who had been a favourite ever since the age of eight when her mother had handed her, with restrained, yet distinct ceremony a copy of Midnite: a story of a wild colonial boy.

Gabrielle Carey spoke about Randolph Stow from the point of view of a reader, a scholar and a writer as well as from the perspective of the daughter of a dear friend, born from several generations of family friendships spanning Geraldton to the Swan Valley. What do we really know of this famously reclusive and most enigmatic of writers? Carey has begun the task of trying to get to know Randolph Stow only after coming to terms with the possibility that her subject may have preferred to remain unknown and possibly, ultimately, unknowable.