I find it difficult to accept the review’s closing argument …

Comment on Looking for love and meaning on the road by Russell Guy.

I find it difficult to accept the review’s closing argument that “it’s all about him” – the protagonist, Dizzy Roundabout in my novel Dry Crossing, when Nina, the woman referred to is introduced as having seduced him.
The promiscuity of the 60s and 70s on which Dizzy reflects had as much to do with female complicity as male.
While not attempting to distance male behaviour, the same can be said to be true today, cougars and mainstream pornography notwithstanding.
It took women like Linda Lovelace to reject these values as much as Dizzy comes to the same realisation.
The comment that he rejects Karin’s declaration of “fun” appears not to have noticed that such behaviour is revealed with tragic consequences during the earlier scenes in her relationship as a friend of Nina’s, which Dizzy, though existentially tempted, rejects for the same reasons in the scene referred to towards the end.
His subsequent reflection in what the review refers to as “gruesome” is mistakenly attributed and there is no inference to lust in the following thought about Dante’s observation which is also existential, although the two are part of his character flaws – the dark side liberated by the modern novel – and for which he assumes responsibility.
These complexities inform Dizzy’s character as a “thoughtful man” who acknowledges his exploitative past and tries to redeem it. Karin’s drunkenness in the scene referred to above is underscored as part of the corrupting sex, drugs and r’n’roll lifestyle at the heart of the novel.
The “disturbing undertow” is a feminist argument where feminism has failed and presented as part of Dizzy’s revelation, which curiously is acknowledged as insight in earlier chapters of the review.
Whilst I accept that the narrative could have been better sustained, the character of Dizzy Roundabout, though still somewhat existential in his humanity is restored by his association with the elderly Christian missionary and exemplified in his journey of faith.
In 1916, Maxim Gorky wrote: “I believe that Jewish wisdom is more all-human and universal than any other and this is not only because of its immemorial age, not only because it is the firstborn, but also because of the powerful humaneness that saturates it, because of its high estimate of man.”
This sentiment is embraced by Hector, the indigenous pastor in Dry Crossing and finds comparison in Blind Moses, the subject of Peter Latz’ recent book about the Arrernte evangelist of Hermannsburg, culminating in Dizzy’s crossing of the Barkly which leads to his hope of realising these mature values through the committed relationship of a marriage.
Such commitment is foreshadowed early in the novel’s complex, yet thoroughly contemporary themes most of which the review acknowledges and which I have attempted to explore, if not resolve, in this novel.

Recent Comments by Russell Guy

Town still upset with Stuart statue, say researchers
I’ve not come across the term “creative arts therapist” before, but as a writer, it suggests that artists and in this case, the sculptor need therapy in order to heal, not just ourselves, but the culture within which we live.
I’ve heard of cultural amnesia, but not cultural healing, although, perhaps, this is what the Reconciliation movement has been attempting and, I guess, those in the aftermath of war, once the dust clears and what’s left is assayed.
This seems to be a definition of what is meant here.
Ironically, an “appreciation of arid landscape” noted by the analysts, came about because of the Stuart Highway and without the statue which has the “town upset”, this exhibition may not have happened.
In this paradox, difference is celebrated, but given that all difference is equal, some people don’t appear to mind. Perhaps, they have cultural amnesia or some other malaise.

Hermannsburg historic precinct gets cash injection
With thanks to the pioneering Lutheran Missionaries whose venture of faith during the 1880s was a hard slog and is well-recorded.
Their Christian concern for the Arrernte underpins our tourist industry at a time when such religious freedom as allowed their Mission Station to implement employment and educational training programs are not considered significant by a large portion of our population, including the majority of politicians.

Emirates jetliner dumps fuel on Central Australia
I believe the Galaxy is short field take off / landing as opposed to the Airbus / Boeing Emirates type which may make the comparison inequitable.
Just saying and stand correcting, but the Alice is well known as an emergency field for long-haul flights, so weight is an issue. Since the port of departure is some hours north, fuel load could still have been critical.

Outback Way to get more bitumen
There goes the neighbourhood.

NT-SA agreement hardly historic
Paul Keating, in his 1992 Redfern Speech, framed by speechwriter Don Watson, author of the somewhat dryly punitive opus, The Bush, also claimed a historic mandate, announcing success for Reconciliation “within the next decade.”
It’s in the nature of politics to claim credit for doing something, mostly spending tax revenue and living in hope that it won’t run out.
In my opinion, the “historic” issue is just a beat up or a sop.
Pass me another piece of Bicenttennial birthday cake, please.

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