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About Trojan Press

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An Account Of Our Times

In 2006, with the help of some very talented friends – Brad Webb, Vane Lindesay, Karen Wilson and Chris Giacomi –  I created a website for the publications of Trojan Press. It was a large site, but in the ensuing years, with new work added regularly, it more than doubled in size. It was successful in that a good many people from around the world accepted my invitation to download works that interested them, free of charge. That was thirteen years ago, a long time in these years when the electronic revolution is changing everything. Despite these regular additions, the old site was essentially a static collection and my designer, Brad Webb put it to me that we should modernise our presentation, making it more interactive, and guiding visitors through all the works I had completed by the age of 85.

A considerable pile! And moving in many directions. Thirty books, including several collections of opera librettos, thirty-eight essays on Australian writers and their books (Ozlit), a variety of memoirs, stories, essays and reflections, all bundled together in the format I’ve come to call mini-mags, handy little booklets easily read in idle moments, perhaps on public transport while moving about the city. As I sat down with Brad to plan this new website it dawned on me that I was presenting a life’s work and it’s this realisation that has shaped the site I am now introducing. I began writing seriously in my twenties, and sixty years later I’m still at it.  I remember a moment, many years ago in the Bairnsdale Library, in East Gippsland, Victoria, when Hal Porter, the librarian and perhaps my first role model as a writer, showed me volumes of Hokusai’s Mengwa and told me about the famous artist saying, ‘I’m an old man mad about painting.’ The words lodged inside me as few others have done, and I had a feeling, confirmed in me by what I became, and what I am offering on this site, that a direction, perhaps a goal, had been shown to me, and that I must follow the lead I had been given.

The path, the track, the direction, have brought me to the site I am presenting today. It’s my turn, today, to be the old man surrounded by his work. The gift of life was given to me – my parents are well represented in my writings – and in return I give my reflections, in all their many forms, on what I have seen and experienced. The collection bears the title An Account of Our Times. The reader may query the possessive pronoun. I affirm it.  Your times, dear reader, overlap with mine. As a writer, I am sharing with you the years I have lived through, just as you will share the years of your existence with those who are important to you. In saying this, I am thinking of Shakespeare, and Homer, and all who’ve put their understanding into words. Life is incomplete until it’s been understood. The work on this website is my offering of such understanding as I have managed to find.  I share it with you. Read, download, and print if you wish. Life has been generous to me and now I give it back to the world, recorded but transformed as best I have been able to manage.

Chester Eagle
26 May 2019