Questions of Address: For Meaghan Morris

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John Frow


In beginning to prepare this tribute to Meaghan Morris’s work I went to the bulging folder that contains the letters and postcards and draft papers she sent me over a period of about twenty years, from the early 1980s to the early 2000s (more recently we’ve communicated almost entirely by email). One of the things that strikes me, looking through these pages with their typewritten text full of crossings-out and handwritten marginalia, is the enormous care Meaghan gives to her intellectual relationships, in my case with someone she didn’t know all that well, who lived on the other side of the country, and with whom there were significant points of intellectual difference. One of the letters I’m going to quote from is ten closely typed pages long, and to write it she would first have to have read, closely and carefully, a dense and abstruse paper of mine, set in what looks like 8-point font and to me today almost unreadable. Now consider that I was just one of Meaghan’s correspondents. I don’t know how many people received letters like this from her, but I’m pretty sure she had ongoing written conversations with a number of other people in Australia and elsewhere. Meaghan was and is a teacher: she takes intellectual debate as seriously as anyone I’ve ever known, and she conducts it with care, with tact, and with passion.

Article Details

The Meaghan Morris Festival
Author Biography

John Frow, University of Sydney

John Frow is Professor of English at the University of Sydney and the author of many articles and books, including most recently 'Character and Person' (2014). 'On Interpretive Conflict' is due to be published later in 2018.