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Issue Details: First known date: 2002... 2002 Broken Song : T. G. H. Strehlow and Aboriginal Possession
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'A group of men…chanting with the enthusiasm that made them forget age & weakness & becoming young again in spirit…the rising and falling of the chant melody, like the breathing that gives us life – what an unforgettable scene!’ Thus wrote T. G. H. Strehlow in 1935, as he began his life work, Songs of Central Australia, acclaimed as one of the great books of world literature. Prize-winning poet and historian, Barry Hill, with exclusive access to Strehlow’s diaries, has written a major work about the troubled man who grew up on the Hermannsburg mission, became the first Patrol Officer of Central Australia, called himself the ‘last of the Aranda’, and compulsively collected secret-sacred objects and images. Broken Song straddles a century of Australian history, from the race wars on the frontier to the modern era of Aboriginal land rights, tracking Strehlow’s creative and tragic life in translation.' (Source: Reading Australia website)


  • Dedication: To Hugh Streeton and Peter Latz

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Milsons Point, North Sydney - Lane Cove area, Sydney Northern Suburbs, Sydney,: London,
      United Kingdom (UK),
      Western Europe, Europe,
      Knopf ,
      2002 .
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: xvii, 818p., [32]p. of platesp.
      Description: illus., maps, ports.
      • Includes bibliography: p.763-782 and index.
      ISBN: 1740510658

Works about this Work

EarthSong and Desert Art : Painted Literature from Sacred Ground Lloyd D. Graham , 2017 single work criticism
— Appears in: Literature and Theology , June vol. 31 no. 2 2017; (p. 164–186)

'Like the travel memoirs of writers who have wandered the Songlines of the Australian desert under the guidance of indigenous custodians, Aboriginal desert art offers a window into the lyrical and sacred world of the Dreaming. The paintings of the EarthSong exhibition (Australian Catholic University, 2015) embody excerpts from the song-myth cycles of the Western Desert; using ceremonial iconography to portray the actions of Ancestral Beings at specific sites, they form maps of terrain and title deeds to country. An exploration of several of the exhibition’s paintings affords a sense of the beauty, drama and complexity of the song-myth cycles that underpin and connect all of the paintings in the collection.'  (Publication abstract)

Cast Against Type Ross Gibson , 2015 single work criticism
— Appears in: Interventions : International Journal of Postcolonial Studies , January vol. 17 no. 2 2015; (p. 196-210)
'William Dawes was a marine lieutenant in the First Fleet at Sydney Cove. A self-taught engineer and natural philosopher, he became involved with the local people, particularly with an investigation of the language. His notebooks show people and cultures on both sides of the colonial cut slipping their organizational categories and commonsense typologies. At Sydney Cove, Dawes swirled into a relational world that undid the nominalist world that he had been trained to manage.' (Publication abstract)
"We Sing Our Law, Is That Still TEK?" : Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Can the West Come to Know? John Bradley , Stephen Johnson , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: PAN , no. 11 2014-2015; (p. 19-26)

'Throughout history, anthropologists have confronted a number of uncomfortable truths around the supposed nature of reality. The anthropological maxim, "through the study of others we learn more about ourselves" has been sorely tested en route. Arguably, this challenge reached culmination during the 1970s and 80s, with several prominent social commentators from Geertz to Clifford suggesting that anthropologists had, in both past and present, been much more concerned with the study of 'others' than of 'ourselves' (Nader 1964:289). In essence, this reflexive critique suggested that ethnographers were in the business of writing fiction and more insidiously came to the field equipped with a set of assumptions and presuppositions about the world in all its variety. These universal verities functioned to reduce all subjects of study into conformity with the observer's sense of what was real and of import and what was not and inconsequential.' (Publication summary)

Anecdote and Anthropomorphism : Writing the Australian Pied Butcherbird Hollis Taylor , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australasian Journal of Ecocriticism and Cultural Ecology , Summer vol. 1 no. 2011;
This paper surveys textual references to the Australian pied butcherbird (Cracticus nigrogularis). We begin with my initial encounter with this songbird (in re-worked excerpts from the book Post Impressions), and then expand our review to aboriginal stories, historic ornithological reports and field guides, informal stories, archival Australian periodicals, children’s literature, literary references, and composers’ texts. Many of these reveal the tension between the superlative pied butcherbird vocal abilities and their ferocious hunting prowess. The paper shuns neither anecdote nor anthropomorphism as it attempts a new mode of interspecies narrative. I argue that anecdotes can contribute to an understanding of this understudied songbird. In inventorying pied butcherbird textual references, we find that our stories about them are ultimately stories about us as well—anthropomorphism seems to be an innate human proclivity. Reflecting on the lives of animals is of psychological, intellectual, and metaphysical significance for humans.
What the Eye Can Hear Ross Gibson , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Journal of Australian Studies , June vol. 35 no. 2 2011; (p. 145-151)
'This paper draws on studies of encounters with remote Indigenous Australian cultures by scholars such as Barry Hill and Martin Thomas. I also refer to my own studies of the transactions between Indigenous and invasive cultures around Sydney, 1788_1791. Again and again in Europeans' first-contact accounts of Indigenous cultures, there is a sense that Indigenous knowledge is arranged in people and in space and time in ways that are completely at odds with Western presumptions about cognition and interpretation. There is a sense that awareness is a multi-modal experience and that there is no point in separating the senses that Western commonsense tends to distinguish and hierarchise. While I do not purport to explain Indigenous thought here, I do want to dwell on the enigmas that arise in accounts of the encounters between the indigenous and incursive mentalities. What fundamental questions do the records of these encounters pose for Western assumptions about the operations of sense and the separated senses?' (Publisher's abstract)
A Tragedy of Two Worlds Philip Jones , 2002 single work review
— Appears in: The Age , 14 December 2002; (p. 9)

— Review of Broken Song : T. G. H. Strehlow and Aboriginal Possession Barry Hill 2002 single work biography
Melancholy Sentinel Frances Devlin-Glass , 2002-2003 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , December-January no. 247 2002-2003; (p. 22-23)

— Review of Broken Song : T. G. H. Strehlow and Aboriginal Possession Barry Hill 2002 single work biography
Life's Lonely Mission Craig Munro , 2003 single work review
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 11 January 2003; (p. 8)

— Review of Broken Song : T. G. H. Strehlow and Aboriginal Possession Barry Hill 2002 single work biography
Melinda Hinkson on Knowledge, Power and Possession Among the Aborigines Melinda Hinkson , 2003 single work review
— Appears in: Arena Magazine , February - March no. 63 2003; (p. 49-50)

— Review of Broken Song : T. G. H. Strehlow and Aboriginal Possession Barry Hill 2002 single work biography
Contact and Tragedy Gary Clark , 2003 single work review
— Appears in: Quadrant , April vol. 47 no. 4 2003; (p. 51-55)

— Review of Broken Song : T. G. H. Strehlow and Aboriginal Possession Barry Hill 2002 single work biography ; The Inland Sea Barry Hill 2001 selected work poetry
An Essential Ambivalence Robert Manne , 2002 single work criticism
— Appears in: Eureka Street , December vol. 12 no. 10 2002; (p. 34-36)
Talking Broken Song Stephen Bennetts (interviewer), 2003 single work interview
— Appears in: Overland , Winter no. 171 2003; (p. 31-37)
Crossing Cultures Barry Hill , 2003 single work essay
— Appears in: Meanjin , vol. 62 no. 4 2003; (p. 116-120)
'Poet and historian Barry Hill meditates on the possibilities and limitations of cross-cultural relationships with Aborigines in the light of his travels in Aboriginal country and those of his subjects, William Buckley and T. G. H. Strehlow.' --Editor's note, p.116
Bookmarks : Hill Continues to Climb Jason Steger , 2004 single work column
— Appears in: The Age , 20 March 2004; (p. 6)
Possession, Dispossession, What about Re-Possession? Chester Eagle , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Well in the Shadow : A Writer's Journey through Australian Literature 2010; (p. 333-351)
Last amended 6 Apr 2017 17:35:13
  • Southern Northern Territory, Northern Territory,
  • Hermannsburg / Ntaria, South West Northern Territory, Southern Northern Territory, Northern Territory,
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