Gulaga Story

The White Horse Press
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Studies in Travel Writing, 2007, 11 (1), pp. 83 - 91
Issue Date:
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A ficto-critical essay, this narrative of a journey also presents an argument about time, modernity and indigenous versus colonial perceptions of place. The place in question is Gulaga, Mt. Dromedary, on the South Coast of New South Wales to which the author and his family went on a trip. This is the site on the Australian mainland first sighted and named by Captain Cook's party in 1770. The article performs the idea of multiple travels and stories/histories; this particular site sees Cook's account intersect with and contradict that of the local Aboriginal people, the Yuin. Neither is given more authority, nor are the Aborigines confined to ancient or timeless tradition. The fictocritical style tries to avoid the tendency to monologism of conventional scholarship and historical accounts. The author brings texts with him on his trip: Cook, the anthropologist Debbie Rose, and new characters met are woven into the script as they function to illustrate indigenous, romantic and spiritual positions. The eternal place of the mountain is set against the ephemera of empire(s) and the New World Order, setting up unresolved contradictions as other strange contingencies are included in the narrative.
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