Bluff Rock: Autobiography of a Massacre
The past is a problem for us. We know certain events happened, sometimes exactly when and yet our sometimes longing for certainty cannot be satisfied . . . We tell stories about where we come from and so who we are. We change these stories sometimes minutely, sometimes radically depending upon our audiences and our task.
Bluff Rockis organised around the key question- how do we know the past? Using historical material (letters, memoirs), a tourist brochure, and local histories, it focuses on the ways that the massacre(s) of Aborigines at Bluff Rock, in New England during the 1840s has been recorded and remembered.
It is the author's ability to lay herself on the line that makes this a courageous and even controversial text. Schlunke, who grew up in New England area, takes this one story from early colonial Australia and looks at the many ways it is organised as a memory of Indigenous/non-Indigenous relations.
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In this way his continuing connection to place is established , as is the veracity of his report . Of course his hearings , once they become writing , also become something to be seen and interpreted , but it is the ' heard ' which is ...
The killings of shepherds were also often connected with rapes or other acts of violence and / or insult against an Aboriginal person , which brought on a response deemed to be a suitable retaliation . Since the shepherds were ...
The sign becomes too heavily weighted as ' sign ' , too connected to meanings that might contaminate the local community . Pride , etymologically linked to the valiant and gallant , suggests a judgement that can't be sustained when ...
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IT HAPPENED ALONG THE HIGHWAY
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