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Transmission Press






Download The Beautiful Obscure media release.


Enquiries: Wendy Cavenett, Publisher



by Luke Stegemann

You can buy your copy here.

FORMAT: Trade paperback

ISBN: 9780648037439
RRP: $AUS29.95


The Beautiful Obscure by Luke Stegemann is a powerful work that introduces the reader to an extraordinary array of characters and events. Drawing on his more than 30 years living between Australia and Spain, Stegemann combines documentary research with art history, political analysis, memoir, travelogue and family anecdote to essay a largely unconsidered cultural history.

Cover image shows a detail from Joachim Patinir, El paso de la laguna Estigia (Charon crossing the Styx), 1520-1524.
© Madrid,
Museo del Prado.


'This book spoke to my heart. An outsider's love letter to a people and their way of life... a rich palimpsest of ideas and episodes and tumbling phrases. A country, a culture, a life, all intertwined - who could ask for more?' - Nicolas Rothwell




Luke Stegemann was born in Brisbane and raised in Queensland, southern New South Wales and the A.C.T. He has spent his adult life living between Australia and Spain, working in media, publishing and higher education. He was formerly the managing editor of The Adelaide Review and the founding editor of The Melbourne Review. He has written widely on Spanish art, history, culture and politics, and now lives and works in rural south-east Queensland.

Visit Meanjin and find out what Luke has been reading.

Access a selected bibliography for The Beautiful Obscure.



"Partly in jest, the British Marxist writer and urban theorist Andy Merrifield commented, during one of the panels at last year’s Brisbane Writers’ Festival: ‘People who read a lot of Dostoyevsky, end up looking like Dostoyevsky.’ I didn’t need to check the mirror to feel suddenly self-conscious; the great Russian has been a constant reference point and companion throughout my reading life. I find time every few years to re-read his major novels, and my enjoyment shows no signs of weakening."

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