Magazine article New Internationalist

[Body/landscape Journals]

Magazine article New Internationalist

[Body/landscape Journals]

Article excerpt

In 1984 Margaret Somerville joined the Pine Gap Women's Peace Camp in the Australian Outback. Together with other urban white women and Aboriginal women, she demonstrated against the military bases dotted across Australia. The book she has produced to document her experiences is an extraordinary hybrid. Taking a deep breath, I could describe it as part autobiography, part feminist polemic, part journal, part poetic interpretation and part philosophical exploration of the textual possibilities of language. It challenges assumptions about linear narrative and makes absolutely no concession to the casual or uncommitted reader.

There is no reason why this tangential, fragmentary approach should not work; John Berger, among others, has used it to great effect. However, I feel that it would have been much better if Margaret Somerville had been able to abandon her 'academic' persona in writing this book. …

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