Broken song: T.G.H. Strehlow and aboriginal possession

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Knopf, 2002 - Biography & Autobiography - 818 pages
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An important, timely and compelling biography of a man possessed by two cultures, whose life in translation led to the creation of one of the great books of the world - and the accusation that he finally betrayed what was sacred.'A group of men, their heads and bodies shaking rhythmically, chanting with the enthusiasm that made them forget age & weakness & becoming young again in spirit, glowing fires ... a windbreak of boughs, a moon dripping through fleeing clouds, 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 started out on his life work translating for his great book, SONGS OF CENTRAL AUSTRALIA, which OVERLAND called 'the great source book of the poetic lore of the region ... a huge, marvellous, astonishing gift of a book - a gem, a jewel in the lotus.'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.

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