studies in travel writing

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Taylor, Hollis, Post Impressions: A Travel Book for Tragic Intellectuals (Portland, OR: Twisted Fiddle, 2007).

The fence is the ultimate symbol for division, exploitation, and our compulsive view of life's experience in terms of duality. It's either them or us.

An American woman [Hollis Taylor] and an Australian man [Jon Rose] set out to explore and perform on the giant musical instruments covering the continent of Australia: fences. In pursuit of their instruments, including the Rabbit-Proof Fence and the 3300-mile-long Dingo Fence, the duo survive several boggings, a fly plague, a flea infestation, deadly snakes and crocodiles, heatstroke, floods, storms, bush fires, and their own ignorance.

They travel 25,000 miles, engaging with a flying priest, an auctioneer, an Aboriginal gumleaf virtuoso, the first piano in Central Australia, a singing dingo, fence runners, and other colorful bush personalities.

More than a travelogue, by turns bent and philosophical, their account provides an alternative reading of the music praxis resulting from Australia's recent colonial history: the collision of two cultures identified by their disparate perceptions and knowledge of country. Also included are a bonus DVD of 40 outback fence performances, 88 color photos, and fence music and birdsong transcriptions.

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