The Blue Plateau PDF/EPUB ¶ The Blue PDF/EPUB ²

The Blue Plateau PDF/EPUB ¶ The Blue PDF/EPUB ²

  • Paperback
  • 256 pages
  • The Blue Plateau
  • Mark Tredinnick
  • English
  • 14 April 2014
  • 9781571313201

10 thoughts on “The Blue Plateau

  1. Steve Dow Steve Dow says:

    Tredinnick's sentences are to die for as he engages with a land both familiar and alien Here's my 2009 interview with the author and prose writer Mark Tredinnick sits at a desk of ironbark railway sleepers in his writing studio a century old brick cow shed Through his studio windows Tredinnick can see a neighbouring field where a horse gallops and a windmill turns while out of view his children’s tyre swing hangs from a branch of a prickly hawthorn Growing up in Epping the twice married father of five has lived in Lavender Bay and Balmain “I love city life but I was feeling suffocated” says the lean built 47 year old urbane in round spectacles who teaches creative writing in the cow shed and on weekly city commutes His life here in the Southern Highlands with his wife Maree and their three children Henry 6 Daniel 4 and Lucy 2 – he has two older children Michael 19 and Louisa 17 from his first marriage – is his second tree change in a decade Having won prizes for his poems and written books on grammar and creative inspiration Tredinnick had long admired nature writers such as US author Barry Lopez who chronicles physical landscapes and human cultures So he went in search of a place that might “make a book” for the genre he calls “landscape literature” That book The Blue Plateau A Landscape Memoir was born of his previous foray living near yet away from Sydney the seven years between 1998 and 2005 he called the Blue Mountains west of the city home His book completed and finally published perhaps it was only natural that having found the rhythm of one complex landscape he would move on to another The Blue Plateau finds Tredinnick as anthropologist explorer ecologist poet and novelist Having previously worked in publishing he knew his work would be difficult to categorise and market “I kept getting responses from publishers such as Random and Penguin ‘We love your writing but we don’t think we can sell 5000 copies on a first print run’” Seven or eight publishing houses said no before University of ueensland Press said yes but not before a publisher in the US where nature writing as a genre has cache signed the book up It’s a story of the Kedumba and Kanimbla valleys and surrounds and their people – including for a time Tredinnick who was based in Katoomba – told less in a linear narrative than with a poet’s sensibility of rhythm To locate that groove or join the “choir of the country” Tredinnick had to eschew the Dorothea Mackellar clichés and dig deep to draw on metaphor and myth When the author goes horse riding to follow the trail of a riding party that came to grief years earlier for instance he likens the Cox’s River to a red belly black snake “moving with sly grace through the plateau through everything the country remembers” The river he postulates is the plateau’s “reptilian mind” where the area’s “instincts dwell – its grief its deep but uneasy serenity its gift for violence its self possession” The work can be read as an elegy for the earth as man heats the planet but Tredinnick is careful not to allow eco politics to subsume his art In the most direct reference he writes global warming might be seen as “the nature of nature – if it weren’t for the fact you’d lived your very own life the oil you’d burned the coal they’d dug for you had reconfigured every season into a mongrel kind of summer” Tredinnick’s readings on Carl Jung’s dream analyses also suffuse the work There is a recurring them of a falling boy perhaps a metaphor for loss – the author turned 40 when he began the memoir in earnest and obliuely refers to his Maree losing their unborn child – that reinforces the book’s themes of erosion and the idea nothing is ever finished Tredinnick writes the plateau “practices and uietly preaches non attachment” and “eternal impermanence” reflecting his reading of US writer and environmentalist Peter Matthiessen’s National Book Award winning The Snow Leopard the story of Matthiessen’s journey towards Zen Buddhism in the Tibetan plateau of the Himalayas Did the Blue Mountains awaken anything spiritual? “I think I went through a spiritual evolution there” Tredinnick says “The whole book is about erosion most of me isn’t here any most of the place isn’t here any nothing is fixed and there’s consolation in grief “It was an awakening but in ideas that took me back to what I knew when I was born somehow but had not dwelled on because one grows up narrowly in a sense” He finds a “natural affinity” for Zen Buddhism though he’s not a practising Buddhist Tredinnick was raised Protestant – his grandfather was a Methodist minister – and his wife attends the local Catholic church “I think I’m religious but not conventionally” he says “I can still sing some hymns from my childhood and I respect them as art but I find so little that feeds me from the practice of most religious practice particularly Christian “I engage in a lot of what other people would call spiritual conversation but I like it to be very grounded I don’t have much truck for very long with anything that sounds ethereal That’s why landscapes are really my gods I think” The book has many tragic human stories a woman drowns one man is felled by falling rock another by a smoking tree while children get lost; one famously ringing 000 emergency three times and getting no help Is Tredinnick telling us the landscape is indifferent to humans? “Yes it’s about indifference I think – aesthetically that’s what the sublime is too; deathly beautiful” He would be doing the Blue Mountains a disservice to write it as merely pretty given “nature would kill us as soon as house us” Tredinnick acknowledges the indigenous Gundungurra people’s landscape and dreaming in the Blue Mountains and while he writes “all white belonging in Australia must feel subjunctive” his view on cross cultural reconciliation is optimistic “There’s no such thing as a non indigenous person” he argues “I’ve heard a number of non indigenous people say you can become indigenous to somewhere if you acknowledge your deeper humanity and your long human history and your kinship beyond your own family or caste or culture” Declaring that only Aboriginal people can feel attached or belong to the land is “another way of not reconciling” he says “It’s another way of saying white and black can’t get there It’s a stopping short We need to get beyond that” Aboriginal people can teach others about the relationship between person and place says the author who has found Australia’s first people to be welcoming of people with an open mind yet “the business of coming into country and belonging is a process each person must do for him or herself” The Blue Plateau A Landscape Memoir by Mark Tredinnick is published by University of ueensland Press 2695

  2. Elizabeth Elizabeth says:

    I took a writing class with this author some years ago I saw this title on the shelf at the Five Dock Library and thought I'd give it a go There are parts with really lovely language; some writing which is best read slowly Overall I uite enjoyed it Sometimes I lost track of the narrative but I didn't really care I'll be leaving for a year's travel overseas soon it's nice to have read such loving descriptive writing about the Blue Mountains before I go

  3. Kend Kend says:

    All this to say I find myself surprised and impressed with The Blue Plateau Its full title acknowledges that it is An Australian Pastoral which is true but only part of the story A pastoral is traditionally speaking some form of artistry written sung or visually depicted that presents an idealized landscape and an even idealized relationship between the landscape and the people occupying that landscape The ancient Greeks Alexander Pope Edmund Spenser John Milton and the painter Thomas Cole are all rather famous pastoralists and between the lot of them they've generated some rather famous poems songs epics books and paintings Tredinnick's pastoral is nothing like these traditional pastorals The Blue Plateau has moments of real beauty and lyric storytelling of calm walks in the sclerophyll woods and of solilouies on the ways the land shapes the people who inhabit it Tredinnick does not however paint a word picture of the Garden of Eden The Blue Plateau is after all about the Blue Mountains of the Sydney Basin which are not as you might have gathered real mountains in the sense of being pushed up by subterranean tectonic forces but are in fact the deeply eroded remnants of what was once a continuous sandstone plateau The Blues are a hard place to live with thin soils and a tinderbox sort of vegetation; to live in the comparatively lush valleys is still a tenuous thing The people who grew up there are either tough like Jim Commons or Les Maxwell or unhappy like May Maxwell or in touch with a deep artistic sensibility like Henryk Topolnicki and Mark Tredinnick himself or dead These are the people and the stories that make up The Blue Plateau and they make for a complicated and interesting canvas I say The Blue Plateau is nothing like a traditional pastoral but the truth of the matter is that it is like a painting than a book It is impressionistic told in discrete chunks of self reflection and historical research and creative reconstruction These discrete chunks snowball together to create a larger story or at least a larger impression of life on the plateau over the last two centuries At times Tredinnick than blurs the lines between nonfiction and fiction These moves are for the most part handled so gracefully that I hardly notice; on one page I'll be deeply invested in learning about the Cliff Mallee Ash Eucalyptus cunninghamii and on the next I'll be carried away by the same floodwaters that took Oonagh Kennedy in 1967 There are times when Tredinnick doesn't manage to keep all the balls in the air and when his impressionistic style breaks down but I am willing to forgive these moments The Blue Plateau is enjoyable and it is vivid It is an exercise in memory and in memorial and I found myself remembering my own encounters with the plateau as I read

  4. Susan Eubank Susan Eubank says:

    Jim spurs his horse and draws up to my shoulder I'm riding the bay stockhorse I point at the creek and I ask Jim What would you call that? Little rain falls here in the winter nor further west nor anywhere from the east coast to the western plains This winter has been drier than most and the creek bed below is about as empty as you'd expect Jim looks at me from under his hat which is the same color and wears the same kinds of ancient stains as the cliff beyond the creek Jim looks at me hard as we trot That'd be a dry creek bed Got any other names for it? Few other names I suppose depending on how much water's running in 'er says Jim Like creek or maybe even flood I have a friend in the States I say who's putting together an encyclopedia of geographic terms In different places over there they'd have a bunch of different words for a creek like this arroyo draw wash gulch that sort of thing Anyway my friend Barry was asking me the other day when we were talking on the phone what we'd call a creek bed dry of water like the Todd River in Alice Springs I told him I thought we'd probably just call it a dry creek bed down here but I thought I'd check Righto says Jim Well you can tell 'im you got that one right But make sure you say we only call 'em dry when there's no water in 'em p 107 108Here are the uestions we discussed at theReading the Western Landscape Book Club at the Los Angeles County Arboretum Botanic GardenWhy entwine the people and the land?By framing his story with these people is he romanticizing the land?How does landscape shape the characters?Tell some passages where geology has shaped the character of the book

  5. Nimmi Ragavan Nimmi Ragavan says:

    I havent finished this book yet but intend to buy the kindle version so it can travel with me I didnt expect this What I found was a sensibility towards landscape and the land that reminds me of aboriginal legends Somewhere in Mark Tredinnick's works I read about the first people and the second people I think Mark has bridged the gap between the two It also brought home to me in a very real way that the dispossesion of the first people happened on a dimension completely foreign even non existant to the second people It would be interesting see what is mythic to us what connects us to meaning and then see how we would feel to have it removed from our lives Then again maybe we no longer have that dimension available to us If so poor fellow my country indeed

  6. Anthony Eaton Anthony Eaton says:

    I loved this in the end although I'll admit that it took me a little while to warm to it Described in subtitle as a 'Landscape Memoir' 'The Blue Plateau' is Tredinnick's account of the years he spent living in Katoomba in the Blue Mountains east of Sydney Australia It's than a simple memoir though Tredinnick in rich vibrant language takes the reader back through history and memory to the very essence of the place and in the process explores much of the essence of his own psyche through his relationship with both the land and its historyThis is a book well worth reading

  7. Blue Mountains Library Blue Mountains Library says:

    a beautiful examination of the history of the Blue Mountains geologically and some of the lives that have lived here I’ve never been so interested to read about landscape but it really captivated me especially reading it on the train between Katoomba and Lithgow and feeling I was literally inside the story AD

  8. Anna D Anna D says:

    Beautiful The subject is home and the writing is so gentle and preciseI read this on the train travelling through the valleys it felt like waking up and falling in love

  9. Rachel Rachel says:

    This was a beautiful book to read It took my a section or two to embrace completely but once I fell in tune with the style it was magical A lyrical memoir of place

  10. Michael Burge Michael Burge says:

    A beguiling premise which as a long time Blue Mountains resident I leapt at but the poetic barriers to understanding the plot of this book saw me struggle through it I loved the way it framed certain moments in the history and geology of the landscape these choices were superb but a book must be readable and I found this a very hard slog indeed

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The Blue Plateau❮Reading❯ ➿ The Blue Plateau Author Mark Tredinnick – Located in the Blue Mountains southwest of Sydney the Blue Plateau is a contrary collection of canyons and creeks cow paddocks and eucalyptus forests the first people and ranchers This book reveals Located in the Blue Mountains southwest of Sydney The Blue Plateau is a contrary collection of canyons and creeks cow paddocks and eucalyptus forests the first people and ranchers This book reveals the plateau through its inhabitants the Gundungurra people who were there first and still remain; the Maxwell family who tried but failed to tame the land; the affable impoverished often drunken ranchers and firefighters; and the author himself a poet trying to insinuate his citified self The Blue PDF/EPUB ² into a rugged landscape defined by drought fire and scarcity Like the works of Peter Mathiessen Barry Lopez and William Least Heat Moon The Blue Plateau is a deep examination of place that transcends genre incorporating poetry people’s history ecology mythology and memoir to reveal how humanity and nature intertwine to create a home Elegiac and intimately composed this vivid portrait of a rugged wilds expands readers’ sense of the place they call home.

About the Author: Mark Tredinnick

Mark Tredinnick born is a celebrated Australian poet essayist and teacher Winner of the Montreal International Poetry Prize in and the Cardiff International Poetry Competition in He is the author of thirteen books including four volumes of poetry Bluewren Cantos Fire Diary The Lyrebird The Road South; The Blue Plateau; The Little Red Writing Book and Writing Well the Es.