Lost and found : a literary cultural history of the Blue Mountains

by Karen Patricia Attard

Institution: University of Western Sydney
Department: School of Humanities
Degree: PhD
Year: 2003
Keywords: Blue Mountains (NSW); cultural history; literary history; folklore-Blue Mountains; stories
Record ID: 1061682
Full text PDF: http://handle.uws.edu.au:8081/1959.7/568


This thesis is a cultural tour of the Blue Mountains, New South Wales, Australia. It is concerned with the way in which Europeans employed stories to claim land and, conversely, their fears that the land would claim them.The stories considered are taken from literature and folk legend. The concept of liminality is important to the work because the mountains are a threshold, a demarcation between the city and the bush. Allied with the notion of liminality in the mountains is that of the uncanny (as defined by Freud). The work is divided into four sections. The first section, A POCKET GUIDE, introduces the terrain to be traversed. Section 2, FOUND, centres around the notion of foundation. Section 3, PASSAGE, links LOST and FOUND. LOST is the converse of FOUND. It explores our fears that the land will consume us.This fear is often expressed in the notion that the bush, beneath a surface beauty, has a dark and dangerous aspect and that it will swallow up the unwary. This idea is evident in the notion of possession - that a certain place can take hold of a person and induce a prescribed response from them - and of haunting, in which a spirit is tied to a specific location. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)