In 1977, Robyn Davidson travelled from Alice Springs across 2,700 kilometres of Australian desert to the Indian Ocean, alone with her dog and four camels. On the one hand, Davidson’s journey is an exploit in the tradition of Victorian women explorers; on the other, it is a means to go beyond the alienation of modern urban existence and seek fulfillment in close harmony with the natural world. Testing her physical and emotional resources, Davidson crosses half of Australia on foot, coming to understand the desert, the rhythms of traditional Aboriginal society and herself. Davidson’s travel account, Tracks, published in 1980, includes feminist, environmentalist and postcolonial issues. From the beginning of her narrative, Davidson clearly points out the strong gender and race limits established around both the physical and textual desert. Challenging the realm of male mythology, Davidson denounces the racism upon which dominant versions of Australian desert culture are built. Davidson’s first negotiation with the incommensurate site of desert space occurs early on in her narrative. The woman traveller is paralysed at the vastness of the desert. In her attempt at reading the desert’s spatial legacy, she positions herself not as an observer, but as a participant, a component of the desert space. Davidson plots a new track, conceiving a space that the community of non-Aboriginal Australians can inhabit. * The crucial question is whether, by trying to see through Aboriginal eyes, and to get back to a primitive idea of nature, the traveller is able to escape the history of Western approaches to nature. She penetrates this desert space accompanied by Eddie, an Aboriginal whose relationship with nature is radically different from hers. He is a descendant of the ‘dream-time heroes’, whose tracks across the desert are ingrained in the landscape thanks to their mental maps. Davidson assumes and seeks to emulate Eddie’s vision of nature. * At the end of her journey, Davidson finally perceives Australia as home, with all its contradictions, past and present. The traveller’s encounter with the desert not only generates her growing awareness of the violent history of Western exploration and exploitation of Australia, but also contributes to her personal freedom, connected with what she considers the substance of her inner world: ‘desert, purity, fire, air, hot wind, space, sun, desert desert desert’.
|Titolo:||Following tracks across the Australian desert : Robyn Davidson’s physical and textual journey|
|Data di pubblicazione:||25-set-2014|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore L-LIN/10 - Letteratura Inglese|
|Enti collegati al convegno:||European Association for Studies of Australia (EASA)|
|Citazione:||Following tracks across the Australian desert : Robyn Davidson’s physical and textual journey / N. Brazzelli. ((Intervento presentato al convegno International Conference ‘Encountering Australia : Transcultural Conversations tenutosi a Prato nel 2014.|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||14 - Intervento a convegno non pubblicato|