The Critic moved to Australia on a big wave of love for a man who then gradually slipped into a comatose depression. Her early twenties were spent learning how to cope with isolation, loneliness, and a sense of despair that came from trying to care while simultaneously pretending that no care was given. The Critic had never known true denial and silence until she started dating Australian men. Do you think you may be getting depressed?, she would say, carefully calibrating her voice to hit just the perfect note of worried, but not overbearing; casual, but not flippant. You haven’t spoken to me in a week, and you’re locked in your room, playing computer games… The answer was, many times, How dare you insinuate…?, Leave me alone…!
— from ‘The Critic’, Jana Perkovic’s Performance column in The Lifted Brow 26. Find a stockist and get your copy now.