Friday, 6 June 2008

Demons At Dusk, a nonfiction book about the Myall Creek Massacre (1838) featured on the First Tuesday Book Club this week. The day before there was an op-ed piece by Graeme Cordiner in The Sydney Morning Herald, 'Let's bury our hearts at Myall Creek'.

So I'm heading up to the Northern Tablelands after work - Myall Creek is about an hour and 20 minutes west of Glen Innes and about two hours north west of Armidale. I should arrive around midnight.

It took Peter Stewart almost 30 years to write the book, said Peter Fitzsimons, who proposed reviewing the book on the show. The case caused turmoil in the colony because white men were convicted and sentenced to hang. Some historians say this caused later killers to avoid reporting their activities.

It was the second of George Anderson's encounters with the native blacks since Dangar had banished him to the role of hutkeeper on the remote Myall Creek station.

Peter Fitzsimons: "I finished it at midnight and I woke up at 4 o’clock in the morning, not quite in tears but close, somehow or other I just had this thing of; Jesus I understand what the black mark on the nations soul."

Peter Fitzsimons: "Just remember I played in the front row; I’ve got no idea what didactic means."

Jennifer Byrne: "Peter this is your pick, in fact you’ve raised the stakes, every Australian should read it – why?"

Marieke Hardy: "I’m very glad I know the story but I felt like I was watching a re-enactment at Warner Bros Movie World where they do all the fall backs on to the big gym mats, that’s what it felt like, it felt like a very cartoonish retelling of the story."

Peter Fitzsimons: "What about if I said; you, you and you, you’re all literary snobs, you’re focusing on the literary form and you’re ignoring the force of the story – thank you and goodnight!"

Added 5 Dec 2009 - See also:

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