Reappraisal: Dirt Music By Tim Winton Essay, Research Paper

Rednecks of the outbackDirt Music

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!

order now

by Tim Winton

480pp, Picador For old ages now Australia has been the last frontier. Those who flock to its scattered wild topographic points come from all over the planet, non least from within Australia itself. The crowds at Darwin or Broome, or reconnoitering through the Red Heart, are every bit likely to get down out from Macquaries Street Consulting Rooms or Collins Street Legal Chambers as from Detmold or San Diego. Merely a few will be ecological pilgrims: most are attracted by the combination of rugged landscape and high-tech convenience. Nature may still be bleaker at that place than anyplace on Earth, but its visitants can anticipate the latest in aircraft, infrigidation, personal hygiene and haute culinary art, plus the best sporting installations that well-equipped marinas and golf classs can offer. The retired twosomes driving nomadic places across the continent know they are safe & # 8211 ; provided they don & # 8217 ; t run out of gasoline. Travelers en path to the well-publicised finishs of modern eco-travel who stop at some ill-favored point along the manner will happen that the people who live and work outside the metropoliss besides enjoy Australia & # 8217 ; s renowned amenitiess. But they will detect something else every bit good. Here live the other Australians, those for whom the state has had to borrow American nomenclature: & # 8220 ; trailer rubbish & # 8221 ; and & # 8220 ; crackers & # 8221 ; . Some, but non all, are hapless ; most make their life the difficult manner. But their adult females frock in the brightest of Lycra and their childs have the newest computing machine games. No affair how remote, no colony is beyond the range of Blockbuster. White Point is Tim Winton & # 8217 ; s invented fishing port about five hours & # 8217 ; drive North of Perth, Western Australia. Continuing along the Indian ocean seashore, WA covers more than 1,000 stat mis of desert, vacant beach and rumbling tables every bit far as the Kimberleys, a terrain of crocodile-infested rivers and archipelagos. The action of Dirt Music is stretched along this line. Its supporters are White Pointers. First we have the Buckridge household, led by the maestro of the town, Jim: the best fisherman on the seashore and a certain locator of stone lobster and ear-shell, a hard currency harvest that is airlifted to Tokyo the same twenty-four hours it is unloaded in Australia. Then there is the Fox household, friendless instrumentalists with, in the individual of Luther Fox, a & # 8220 ; shamateur & # 8221 ; or poacher of the to a great extent policed fishing evidences and a challenger of Jim Buckridge for the book & # 8217 ; s chief female figure, Georgiana Jutland. & # 8220 ; Georgie & # 8221 ; comes from Perth & # 8217 ; s elite ; her male parent is a yacht-owning barrister, and she is witting of being & # 8220 ; merely another Princess from the Lady Mill & # 8221 ; ( a farther Australian adoption from American societal terminology ) . Georgie has turned her dorsum on university and the

professions to become a nurse, working in Saudi Arabia and then travelling the world. At the novel’s start, she is an eco-refugee at White Point. She had helped crew a yacht that was wrecked at Lombok in Indonesia, where she took up with Jim Buckridge on the tourist trail. A salient moment in her life came when she was forced to beach in the northwest of WA at Coronation Island, a place that contributes heavily to the novel’s ambience of pantheism. Winton’s plot is well-handled, though the pace is slow. Georgie knows there is some sort of dirty secret surrounding Buckridge, and her affair with Luther Fox sets in place the unravelling of this mystery. Revelations about the dysfunctional Fox family follow: everyone in White Point is hiding something. A sort of sexual shimmering pervades the atmosphere. Perhaps Winton’s most considerable achievement is his description of this fishing community, with its violence, its resentment of urban big shots (”lawyers and surgeons and kick-arse CEOs”) and its love of “dirt music”, an Australian composite of everything that was ever moaned along to a guitar in the United States. Perth society doesn’t escape, either. The “Dress Circle Suburbs”, where the sprinklers come on automatically each evening, are full of tranquillised shoppers obsessed with money and health. The course of Georgie and Luther’s true love runs far from smooth. White Pointers kill Luther’s dog and set fire to his house. He escapes drowning and travels north to find Coronation Island, which Georgie has invested with a mystic force for him. There he becomes a sort of New Age beachcomber, substituting a fishnet Aeolian harp for his beloved guitar. Some of the rednecks he encounters on his trip are worthy of any Bumper Book of Monsters. Lotus-land Broome is presented as a vision from book three of Gulliver’s Travels. The novel’s final scenes are protracted, and it would be wrong to reveal the outcome beyond commending Winton’s skill with traditional adventure-story climaxes. Dirt Music is very well written. Winton has absolute command of Australian vernacular, but enough taste not to employ it as a guarantee of democratic decency. Jim’s memory of betraying his wife with an oversexed female member of the Fox clan cannot be assuaged by landing the biggest barramundi in the north; Luther’s privations won’t banish his forced recognition of the corruption of his music-obsessed family. Georgie’s sisters remain in thrall to celebrity culture and nursing homes, while Georgie herself needs a harsh coup de thetre to overcome her irresolution. Over everything and everybody looms an Australia of hard options, relieved and yet benighted by technology. World travellers, beware!· Peter Porter’s most recent book of poems is Max Is Missing (Picador)