Heading South: An Embodied Literary History of the Cape to Cape Track and the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Region of South-west Australia

Author(s): 

John Charles Ryan

Journal of the European Association for Studies of Australia (JEASA), Vol.8 No.1, 2017.

 

John Charles Ryan

 

Heading South: An Embodied Literary History of the Cape to Cape Track and the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Region of South-west Australia

 

Abstract: Based on the author's end-to-end walk of the Cape to Cape Track (C2C), this article presents a literary history of the Leeuwin-Naturaliste region traversed by the trail. The C2C is a continuous, 135-kilometre coastal pedestrian path from Cape Naturaliste to Cape Leeuwin south of Perth in the south-west corner of Western Australia. A relatively short route by long-distance trekking standards, the C2C reverberates with literary narratives, incidents and encounters. In 1831, explorers John Dewar and Andrew Smith walked northbound from Augusta to the Swan River, approximately following the modern-day orientation of the track. Known for tempestuous weather, Cape Leeuwin-the southern terminus of the C2C, near Augusta, where the Indian and Southern Oceans converge-was the model for "Lewin's Land" referenced in Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels (1726) and later alluded to in D.H. Lawrence and Mollie Skinner's The Boy in the Bush (1924). Drawing from theories of emplacement (de Certeau; Edensor; Gros; Ingold; Ingold and Vergunst; Merleau-Ponty; Michael; Solnit), this article describes walking as a medium for understanding the imbrications between bodies, landscapes, journeys, histories and stories.

 

Keywords: Leeuwin-Naturaliste Region; Western Australia; Cape to Cape Track; bushwalking; literary history

 

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Copyright © John Charles Ryan 2017. This text may be archived and redistributed both in electronic form and in hard copy, provided that the author and journal are properly cited and no fee is charged.

 

 

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