Blue Lake: Finding Dudley Flats and the West Melbourne Swamp. By David Sornig

2019 Judges’ Special Prize, Victorian Community History Awards.

In Blue Lake, David Sornig examines how the 8km-square zone to the west of Central Melbourne became the city’s blind spot. Once a fertile wetland with a large blue saltwater lagoon, it passed through various incarnations: from boneyards and rubbish tips; through the Depression-era Dudley Flats shanty town; to the modern-day docks. Through it all, one thing that has persisted is its uncanny, limnal quality. In masterful prose, Sornig exposes cracks in the colonial mythological of the ordered vision of progressive, urban Melbourne – a place where identities, both personal and public, have never quite been resolved. In doing so, he encourages readers to look harder at the places they live in – at the streets they walk, the buildings they enter, the empty spaces they pass – and to see them in intricate layers of time and history that have been hidden from view.

The publication is a layered history that shifts through time and provides a compelling and original exploration of Mebourne’s fringe. It masterfully draws upon the biographical, featuring three of Dudley Flats’ fringe-dwelling inhabitants; Elsie Williams, Jack Peacock and Lauder Rogge.

Sornig weaves social history, geographic meandering and the personal with concepts of belonging, identity, race and class into the Blue Lake narrative. The outcome is a thoughtful and beautifully written interpretation that brings new understanding to an often neglected corner of Melbourne.

ISBN:  9781925322743

 

Published by Scribe Publications

$35.00

8 in stock

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Description

2019 Judges’ Special Prize, Victorian Community History Awards.

In Blue Lake, David Sornig examines how the 8km-square zone to the west of Central Melbourne became the city’s blind spot. Once a fertile wetland with a large blue saltwater lagoon, it passed through various incarnations: from boneyards and rubbish tips; through the Depression-era Dudley Flats shanty town; to the modern-day docks. Through it all, one thing that has persisted is its uncanny, limnal quality. In masterful prose, Sornig exposes cracks in the colonial mythological of the ordered vision of progressive, urban Melbourne – a place where identities, both personal and public, have never quite been resolved. In doing so, he encourages readers to look harder at the places they live in – at the streets they walk, the buildings they enter, the empty spaces they pass – and to see them in intricate layers of time and history that have been hidden from view.

The publication is a layered history that shifts through time and provides a compelling and original exploration of Mebourne’s fringe. It masterfully draws upon the biographical, featuring three of Dudley Flats’ fringe-dwelling inhabitants; Elsie Williams, Jack Peacock and Lauder Rogge.

Sornig weaves social history, geographic meandering and the personal with concepts of belonging, identity, race and class into the Blue Lake narrative. The outcome is a thoughtful and beautifully written interpretation that brings new understanding to an often neglected corner of Melbourne.

ISBN:  9781925322743

 

Published by Scribe Publications

Additional information

Weight .530 kg
Dimensions 23.5 × 15.5 × 3 cm

Book Reviews Reviews

There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Blue Lake: Finding Dudley Flats and the West Melbourne Swamp. By David Sornig”

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