Fiche sur Back home (Songlines by Bruce Chatwin), 3 pages
The Document we are dealing with is an excerpt from The Songlines written by Bruce Chatwin (1940-1989) who was a journalist, an adventurer and a great traveller. He lived in Australia for many years, especially among the Aboriginals.
[...] I quote, line delighted them [ ] degree”, end of quotation. He equally disappointed them when he appeared to turn his back on their hope (he could have been a brilliant scholar (savant) earned a lot of money and become famous) to go and work as a school teacher among the Aboriginals (not a very glorious career), I quote, line 8 to line 10: made them [ ] settlement”, end of quotation. So coming from such a family, he managed to succeed brilliantly in his studies but, instead of becoming a university lecturer or doing research, he went to live and taught the Aboriginals the 3 R's (Reading, Writing and Arithmetic). [...]
[...] the Dreamtime” (line 26) means at the time of the ancestors. By singing the ancestors made the world exist fir them; I quote line 29: so singing [ ] existence”. He was struck by the beauty of the Creation myth which tells of the legendary beings who wander all the over the Land during the Dreamtime. II) Arkady's travel to Europe after a row One year, an anthropologist from Canberra came to study Walbiri systems of tenure; he didn't get on well with Arkady. [...]
[...] In the end, he bought 2 tickets home; home is of course Australia. He went to live in Alice Spring with his wife because he wanted to go back and work with the Aboriginals in Walbiri country. Conclusion: From the text is it clear that many Australians considers the Aboriginals to be inferior, helpless and useless. They are many negative words, line 20: dying line60: “drunken and incompetent savages” and line 61: “flyblown squalor” and finally his parent's disappointment at wasting his qualifications. [...]
[...] The word “nothing” is between inverted commas because that is what people generally ay about Australia: nothing of any cultural interest, of any intellectual value. At the same time, the narrator appears to distance himself from this idea. He found Europeans to be materialistic and shallow (superficiels) but of course it is own personal experience. He was disappointed with Europe (lines 56 and 57). Perhaps he was looking for an excuse to go back to his “songmen” who entrusted him with their secrets and taught him their songs. [...]
[...] The Songlines tells about the culture and the ancestral civilisation of this people. This passage is about the life of a man called Arkady who is an Australian, Russian by birth, who has chosen to live and work with the Aboriginals. I)Arkady's choice (to live and work with the Aboriginals) The main character is Arkady who is a school teacher and he lives on an aboriginal settlement in Walbiri country to the north of Alice Springs. His parents are Russian immigrants; they probably immigrated because they wanted a better life (more opportunities, a better standard of living and maybe a better climate). [...]
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