Empty land? Empty hopes


The country itself had no travel-established identity for white people, and its quality as a blank slate was internalised by the immigrants as a basis for their own reconstructions. Those anxieties were also projected on to the land, as Paul Carter has argued in his profound book The Road to Botany Bay. Carter shows how places were named for whites and their ideologies, from Melbourne and Sydney after peers of the governmental realm to places like Mt Disappointment and Mt Misery where the explores’ noble hopes were dashed. More than that, naming and interpreting the land were forms of fictionalising, rewriting the alien land mass into a familiar fable of Europeanicity.

Page 154 of Stephen Knight “The Selling of the Australian Mind”


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