The 3rd Page Interview(s):
Dr. Coral Hull

The 3rd Page: Regarding your first novel, Work The Sex, do you know what has become of the "five sex workers" whom you profiled?

Dr. Hull: They all became Coral Hull. No, just kidding. The woman whom the character Sharlena was based on works in a clothing shop. She always does well. She knows how to make women feel attractive and sexy. Another has worked for Australia Post, and both do a little sex work on the side, if the opportunity presents itself. Why wouldn't they? The pay is a lot better. The B&D mistress has gone back to nursing. The characters are fictitious. They evolved by interviewing dozens of women with a bit of my own psychology thrown in.

The 3rd Page: What attracts you most about the Australian Outback?

Dr. Hull: Minimalist environments are good for my mental processes. My mind speeds. It's a complex situation occurring in there. [laughs] The outback space slows it down. It speaks to me. It shines. The inland is holy. It's like entering the universe while still on earth.

The 3rd Page: What is The Thylazine Foundation?

Dr. Hull: The Thylazine Foundation is basically my own private company. It is non-profit. I employ staff on a casual basis. Through the company I publish Thylazine and Australian Poetry Book Review. These will remain free publications. I also sponsor ten cows who are on agistment on a property in New South Wales. Aside from the magazine they have been the major expense due to a long term drought. Once a year my company will now distribute health food and products hampers to disadvantaged children and their families through the Salvation Army. That's it for now. It is tiny and so often struggling, but I can see some good coming out of it all.

The 3rd Page: You have mentioned that Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland is your favorite book. Which section do you most enjoy?

Dr. Hull: I first read Alice in Wonderland (along with The Lord of the Rings), when I was twenty-one. I found it interesting but it didn't touch my heart like Tolkien. No favorite sections. It's more like the sections that disturbed me. I didn't like it when Alice grew too big for the house and her head popped out of the chimney, because I was scared of outgrowing my environment.

The Mad Hatter's Tea Party was scary, because I have difficulty operating in a world that is nonsensical. And the white rabbit who never has the time, while holding at a fog watch disturbed me, because the present moment was absent. The rabbit appeared to be preoccupied by matters of great importance, but the opposite was actually true. He was neglecting reality. His choice was illusion. Who hasn't been there?

The 3rd Page: What is your definition of Schizophrenia??

Dr. Hull: Schizophrenia is a complex issue. In a word, 'schizophrenia' is an umbrella term that covers a variety of symptoms. There are also many forms of schizophrenia and many theories to how it might be dealt with. Some choose to see it as an illness and others as shamanism. I cannot say; as I have never experienced it. The closest I have come is hearing music inside my head for months on end. It's the X-Files feeling of never being sure what is real or what is not real. Sounds perfectly rational to me. Fear is the main problem.

The 3rd Page: I think you bear a marked resemblance to the late Australian artist Vali Myers in her younger, tattoo-less, days. Are you familiar with her work?

Dr. Coral Hull

Dr. Hull: No. But please feel free to suggest some web sites to myself and your readership.

The 3rd Page: Vali first came to international attention in the late 1950s cafe society during Hemingway's days in Paris [A Movable Feast], and then again throughout the sixties with her fascinating art work. I first met Vali in Amsterdam [circa 1970] at a gallery opening featuring her self-portraits - which included using some of her own menstrual blood as a medium. Thanks to the late author George Plimpton, and much to her own distaste, Vali was also rather well known as The Witch of Positano.

In my own experiences with Vali, she was most certainly one of the most fascinating and enchanting women I have ever had the pleasure to meet.

Alex Burns' excellent tribute to Vali's life and times. Real Audio Interview with Vali Myers.

The 3rd Page: Do you have any taboos?

Dr. Hull: There are things that might be left taboo, at least until we are ready to embrace them with wisdom. The acquisition of knowledge is not to be taken lightly. We are meant to arrive at it through a series of rituals. Too much knowledge too soon can be disastrous. Taboos have their place so long as we require the world to be sacred. Superstitious behavior based on fear and ignorance which usually results in harming other sentient beings does not interest me. If you want to sacrifice something best to start with yourself.

The 3rd Page: Sorry, I meant to say: "tattoos!" Do you have any tattoos?

Dr. Hull: I don't have a tattoo. If I did my preference would be for a light blue crescent moon turned upwards in the middle of the upper forehead. It's a celtic/wiccan symbol. I love tattoos on other people, particularly men. I see them as masculine jewelry. The Celtic patterning and Maori facial tattoos are marvelous. I like tattoos when they make a statement of special significance, as in spiritual or cultural.

The 3rd Page: In your opinion, who in the Aboriginal family of artists and writers is doing the most contemporary work?

Dr. Hull: Artists, definitely the artists. Art is the universal language and has always been done by Australian indigenous folk, perhaps for a hundred thousand years or more. They had their own languages, so they've had to get a grasp on a foreign language that may not even describe many of the things they believe in, spirit paths, song lines, animal and plant worlds, customs, family, ritual and tradition. I think the best thing an indigenous Australia writer can do is seek to subvert the English language rather than attempt to convert to it.

The 3rd Page: Thank you so much for your intriguing answers.
Cheers to you and yours - Ed. 3rd Page.

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