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Vicarious Dreaming
With Jack Idriess on Madman's Island
Author: Ernest Hunter RRP A$9.99 (Ebook)
Publisher: ETT Imprint Pub Date: 2019-05-01
BIC Category: Memoirs ISBN: 9781925706642
BISAC Category1: BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Personal Memoirs
BISAC Category2: BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Cultural Heritage


Millions of years in the making, sustaining human voyagers and societies for millennia, a couple of centuries of that by Europeans - the Great Barrier Reef - in maybe five or six decades the largest living structure visible from space will have become the largest dead one.
Vicarious Dreaming documents a series of personal voyages between Cooktown and the Torres Strait that are interwoven with accounts of exploration, exploitation and escape. The travels and tales coalesce around the works of Ion Idriess and the lives of solitary men at the edge of the world, drawn to the wild by folly and obsession, and to an island in the Howick Group that Idriess knew well and which was the site of his first book - Madman's Island. And as with the slow-motion ecological catastrophe that is the Reef's agonal decline there are players - and bystanders; stories of people and places, of life and death, of arrivals and departures, and of journeys that involve even the most remote, uninhabited spaces - the necklace of islands scattered along more than two thousand kilometres of Queensland's Coral Sea coast.
At once a journey into the far north of Australia and into the furthest depths of the human mind. A tale of Cape York's past and a new chapter in the exploration of its present. A dream narrative - maybe; a case study - perhaps; literary art, yes, absolutely, in its purest and most ambitious form. - Nicholas Rothwell

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