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McDougall RJ. Preface to 'The Ape Men of Mobongu'. 2002.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://e-publications.une.edu.au/1959.11/1798
Preface to 'The Ape Men of Mobongu'
Twelve years ago, when I was putting together "Short Stories 1925-1934 by Xavier Herbert: South of Capricornia" (Oxford, 1990), I discovered a fragment of an introductory chapter written in April 1979 for a planned but unpublished sequel to his autobiography. I took up the story from where "Disturbing Element" ends, with his arrival in Sydney in 1926, which marked the real beginning of his literary career. In Melbourne before that he had published only one story. He was twenty-five and had come to Sydney to write. He was poor, his stories when they were accepted earned little, and he was writing paragraphs as 'Soda' for "Smith's Weekly". Money was constantly on his mind, and he chased every opportunity. In the fragment of autobiography I learned that he had written stories for 'a magazine for boys'.