Ern Malley

Ern Malley

Brilliant hoax poet

Man believed to be Ern Malley, Sydney to Melbourne night express, 29 April 1941,
Man believed to be Ern Malley, Sydney to Melbourne night express, 29 April 1941, Sun Photo Archive.

Jacket 17 is perhaps my favorite among all the forty glittering habiliments; exploring a dozen aspects of fakery and forgery, which one distinguished contributor identifies as the very heart of poetry. The jewel in the crown of Jacket 17 is the Ern Malley hoax of 1943: it inspired Ashbery as a young man, and opened the world’s eyelids to the dark energy from the bottom of the planet. Here it is, in relentless detail:
Faking Literature: Patrick Herron: Ken Ruthven’s Faking Literature (and Ern Malley)
Faking Literature: The Bibliography Ken Ruthven: — 25 pages of rare and hard-to-find source materials (including Ern Malley)
Girls on the Run: Michael Leddy: Lives and Art: John Ashbery and Henry Darger (and Ern Malley)
John Ashbery and John Kinsella and John Tranter (and Ern Malley) — ‘The Ern Malley poems’

Ern Malley Feature
Ethel Malley — Letter to Max Harris, 28 October 1943
David Lehman — The Ern Malley Hoax — Introduction

Ern Malley feature

from Jacket #17 (2002)

Edited by John Tranter, introduced by David Lehman.

1. Ethel MalleyLetter to Max Harris, 28 October 1943
2. David Lehman — The Ern Malley Hoax — Introduction
3. Max Harris
Introduction [his original Introduction to the Ern Malley poems in Angry Penguins magazine, Autumn 1944]
4. Ern Malley
The Complete Poems
5. Ern Malley’s recently discovered Last Will and Testament
6. Max Harris
Two pieces [immediately following the Ern Malley poems in Angry Penguins magazine, Autumn 1944]
7. David Lehman
A Note on Harold Stewart [written after a visit with ‘Uncle Harold’ Stewart in Kyoto in 1990]
8. John ThompsonThe Ern Malley Story: audio — the 1-hour radio documentary in RealAudio, with the voices of all those involved in the hoax, made by the Australian Broadcasting Commission in 1959. [You can download the free basic model of the RealAudio plug-in for your browser here: http://www.real.com/]
9. John Thompson
The Ern Malley Story: transcript — the full transcript of the radio documentary above; first published as an Appendix to Clement Semmler, For the Uncanny Man — Essays, Mainly Literary, 1963.

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