Monographic Course - The Songlines - Page six

In this section, I'm going to try to write an essay on "The Songlines" by Bruce Chatwin, 1988 Penguin Books.

"Music", said Arkady,"is a memory bank for finding one's way about the world".

  • Initiation and Transformation
    Chatwin revelation occurred during his travels. He experienced the peaceful life of nomads, admired them closely, living with them for long periods. He decided that the nomadic alternative was definitely the best way, and he kept repeating in his books that the modern men are totally wrong. Chatwin revelation didn't consist in finding a God or the Supernatural, but quite the opposite. Religion was for him, "a guide book for settlers".

    Aboriginals might have their revelation if they go walkabout. Many of those living in reservations nowadays, followed their call, stayed on the land, and are living traditionally. Some others, dwelling in the western cities of Australia, still take to the bush for a period of the year, in search of enlightment. The bus driver in Kakadu, at the time of my visit, belonged to the Warramal people. He was also our guide and told us that for a few months each year he would go into Arnhem land, east of Kakadu, to stay with his people, and live the traditional way.

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