Oct 5, 2011

Good night, Diana Gribble, goodbye, rest in peace

How do you lose someone? It is why we can't take anything for granted, though we do that every minute. When I heard that Diana, great friend and much admired and adored person, ha

W H Chong — Culture Mulcher

W H Chong

Culture Mulcher

How do you lose someone?

It is why we can’t take anything for granted, though we do that every minute.

When I heard that Diana, great friend and much admired and adored person, had passed away last night, it had already seemed a long time coming, though she had only been ill three months.

She was a pole star to her family and friends and colleagues; her influence, her soft power, was immense and deep. She was the probity of friendship. She was a legend in the book world, instrumental in creating two Australian beacons of independent publishing: McPhee Gribble, and Text. And so on

How do you recall someone, now that you must recall them? I felt only empty and dry when the news arrived; but looking through pictures of Diana, I was awash with feelings — pictures are not memories but memorials, or they are fuses. I see the picture and feel … the distance close, as if time had not passed, and things had not come to pass … then recoiling to reality: salt and bitter. As if one could have time again; when what we had is all we have. Why do we take anything for granted?

Loss has no name. Moment by moment I have an odd sense of dislocation — as if I had lost my bearings, as if I had lost my compass.

Dearest Diana…

(I wrote a more conventional eulogy in the next post.)

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14 thoughts on “Good night, Diana Gribble, goodbye, rest in peace

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  2. RIP Di Gribble « Skeeterrific

    […] good to remember a female publishing pioneer- don’t you think? Other obituaries here: and here LD_AddCustomAttr("AdOpt", "1"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Origin", "other"); […]

  3. Eulogy for Diana Gribble | Culture Mulcher

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  4. John Addis

    Thank you for those moving words Chong. And thank you Di, a beautiful confluence of the very best that humanity has to offer.

  5. Sophie Black

    Agree Chong, we mustn’t forget her big laugh (which Sophie Cunningham has captured beautifully here:… and that expression twinkle in the eye is apt — Di was always in on the joke…

  6. Susan Hawthorne

    So sad to hear that Di has died. She was very generous to me when we first set up Spinifex Press. She was also a fantastic publisher. A great loss to Australia.

  7. Vale Diana Gribble | LiteraryMinded

    […] WH Chong has written a beautiful, moving post on Culture Mulcher. […]

  8. W H Chong

    Feeling sad we musn’t forget: Diana loved fun, and she was great fun to be with…

  9. Michael Dobbie

    Di was a wonderful person to work with. Tough when required (especially in negotiations) and a mother figure to so many young employees at Text. Warm, generous, fun… she’ll be greatly missed by so many of us who learnt so much from her.

  10. Diana Simmonds

    Mentor, pioneer, visionary and thoroughly decent and lovely human being. I am so so sorry. She will be deeply missed.

  11. Neil Spark

    Di was a great Australian, a great publisher and great leader. She was a mentor of mine for a while and I am a better person for it. Her impact on Australian culture and many people was considerable and will live on.

  12. Steve Murray

    Di Gribble – what a great Australian! What a great citizen of the world! Friendship is just a word until you experience it. I was lucky enough to have called Di my friend, she was a rock in so many people’s lives and especially mine. I was lucky to have her wisdom in my world and that will live with me forever. I will miss her deeply. Steve Murray

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