Yes, The Acolyte's the one I like best ... l was working at Macquarie University at the time, and the corridors were ringing with the sound of symbols, and I wanted to write an anti-symbol novel. I always remember the time someone rushed down the corridor and said, 'Moby Dick is actually a giant penis.' I got tired of this extrapolation of symbols from novels and I thought, I'll write an anti-symbolic novel and I'll use as many symbols as I can, and send them up. That's why Vesper built a gigantic sling- it was really a giant phallus.1
Kirkby, Joan, The Vertigris of Glory': The Lure of Abjection in Thea Astley's The Acolyte, Kunapipi, 16(1), 1994.