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The Past | The Previous

Badlands.

"A colony always gets built in the spirit world at the same time as claims get staked in the geographical world."

that quote comes from ross gibson's seven versions of an australian badland, which is a fantastic little book. it's an examination of a small stretch of road between mackay and rockhampton in queensland. it is a piece of land that gibson has identified as a badland, this title given to it due to a long history of murder and violence and death that stains the area. in gibson's mind, the dirty imprint on the locality has left the knowledge that this is a badland onto the people in the area, or those who know of it, and so that they approach it and deal with it as if it were.

during his examination of the area, gibson offers a vivid history of the area with brief analytical stops to connect the thread of his badland narrative throughout it. he begins with murders in the seventies, then goes to the border patrol in the 1860's, and to the cultural stew of 'the other' that worked as cane cutters later. at all times, it's a fascinating portrait of an area stained by history and myth, and i totally recommend it. indeed, such is the strength of my liking for this book, that i am going to go out and find gibson's other work, and secure myself some copies of that.

can't get a better recommendation from me, i reckon.