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This review is taken from PN Review 184, Volume 35 Number 2, November - December 2008.

SLANTS AND RIGHT ANGLES Jacket Magazine, edited by John Tranter, special review edition CD, on the Internet at jacketmagazine.com

A recent issue of Jacket, the award-winning online literary magazine edited by the Australian poet John Tranter, contains an evocative photograph entitled Slant Fence, Blackheath, NSW (December 2007; http://jacketmagazine.com/35/index.shtml). Taken by Tranter himself, the landscape displays a single named location, yet the image also manages to inhabit multiple spaces at once. As such, the photograph can be seen as a suggestive metaphor for the ways in which Jacket can be critically approached, and ultimately appreciated, through the multiple frames of its own imagery. In Slant Fence, a sloping white picket fence frames the edge of a modest yard, behind which a wooden house lies largely concealed by the lush vegetation of an over-grown pine tree. The bright white upright slats of the fence are vividly positioned against horizontal wooden boards that appear in muted earth tones and form sharp right angles at the corners of the house. In Tranter's microcosmic image of interwoven contrasts, something straight is placed in relation to something that is leaning, while something that is revealed serves as a screen for that which remains concealed.

Prima facie, Jacket appears to be a postmodern literary magazine; Time magazine (Pacific edition, April 23, 2001; http://jacketmagazine.com/00/jacket-reviewed.shtml#time) characterised it as 'an Internet café for postmodernists'. Yet Jacket is much more than this. The journal is a collection of slants and right angles, poetry and prose, modern ...


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