and controversial bestseller. This is Chatwin’s first chat
The Aboriginals had an earthbound philosophy. The earth gave life to a man; gave him his food, language and intelligence; and the earth took him back when he died. A man’s ‘own country,’ even an empty stretch of spinifex, was itself a sacred icon that must remain unscarred. ?
“Unscarred, you mean, by roads or mines or railways?”
“To wound the earth,” he answered earnestly, “is to wound yourself, and if others wound the earth, they are wounding you. The land should be left untouched: as it was in the Dreamtime when the Ancestors sang the world into existence.”?
“Rilke,” I said, “had a similar intuition. He also said song was existence.”
“I know,” said Arkady, resting his chin on his hands.
“Third Sonnet to Orpheus.”