'Story-telling, the pleasure of sitting in close company and listening to a story, allowing oneself to float free in the moment and enter, both in the senses and in imagination, into the story's events so that the story becomes our own, must be one of the oldest and earliest of our pleasures - a function of that uniquely human faculty in us, the capacity to step beyond the actual into the possible.' (Introduction)
Editor's note: This speech was delivered as the Opening Address of the 2018 Australian Short Story Festival. The event was supported by the Institute of Advanced Studies, The University of Western Australia; Gallery Central , North Metropolitan TAFE; and Silverstream Wines. David Malouf was an invited guest and speaker at the Festival, which took place at the Centre for Stories in Northbridge, WA. In 2019, the Festival will be located in Melbourne.