Photo credit: Robin Wallace-Crabbe

A eulogy delivered by Ivor Indyk at Beverley Farmer’s memorial service at Queenscliff on Sunday 29 April 2018.

It is difficult to write a formal eulogy for Beverley Farmer, because she was herself so much a writer of process. Her characters are often portrayed in ‘in-between’ states, in transition – culturally, socially, physically – and she pursues their fluctuating thoughts and emotions with fine discrimination, and a determination to bring to the surface the anxieties, the anger, the impulses to cruelty – and the ecstatic moments too – which lie within those thoughts. There is no aspect of experience she is not prepared to explore, and to observe, in the most exacting detail.

It is here, in her commitment to recording the transient moments of experience, that I think Beverley’s most striking achievement as a writer lies. Even in her fiction, it is the dynamic features of the natural world which command her closest attention, in part because her characters cannot be separated from the worlds they inhabit, but also because these elements are sources of wonder or fascination in themselves… [Read more]