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y separately published work icon A Single Tree : Voices from the Bush anthology   poetry   essay   correspondence   short story  
Issue Details: First known date: 2016... 2016 A Single Tree : Voices from the Bush
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'A Single Tree assembles the raw material underpinning Don Watson’s award-winning The Bush. These diverse and haunting voices span the four centuries since Europeans first set eyes on the continent. Each of these varied contributors – settlers, explorers, anthropologists, naturalists, stockmen, surveyors, itinerants, artists and writers– represents a particular place and time. Men in awe of the landscape or cursing it; aspiring to subdue and exploit it or finding themselves defeated by it. Women reflecting on the land’s harshness and beauty, on the strangeness of their lives, their pleasures and miseries, the character and behaviour of the men. Europeans writing about indigenous Australians, sometimes with intelligent sympathy and curiosity but often with contempt, and often describing acts of startling brutality.

This collection comprises diary extracts, memoirs, journals, letters, histories, poems and fiction, and follows the same loose themes of The Bush. The science of the landscape and climate, and the way we have perceived them. Our deep and sentimental connection to the land, and our equally deep ignorance and abuse of it. The heroic myths and legends. The enchantments. The bush as a formative and defining element in Australian culture, self-image and character. The flora and fauna, the waterways, the colours. The heroic, self-defining stories, the bizarre and terrible, and the ones lost in the deep silences.

There are accounts of journeys, of work and recreation, of religious observance, of creation and destruction. Stories of uncanny events, peculiar and fantastic characters, deep ironies, and of land unlimited. And musings on what might be the future of the bush: as a unique environment, a food bowl, a mine, a wellspring of national identity . . .

From Dampier and Tasman to Tim Flannery and assorted contemporary farmers, environmentalists and grey nomads, these pieces represent a vast array of experiences, perspectives and knowledge. A Single Tree is an essential companion to its brilliant predecessor.

Notes

  • Dedication: To the memory of Manning Clarke with whose Documents we began

  • Epigraph: 

    The more one sees of Aboriginal Life the stronger the

    impression that its mode, its ethos, and its principles

    are variations on a single theme - continuity,

    constancy, balance, symmetry, regularity, system,

    or some such quality as these words convey

    W.E.H. Stanner, 'The Dreaming', 1953

  • But this our native or adopted land has no past, no

    story. No poet speaks to us. Do we need a poet to

    interpret Natures teachings, we must look into our

    own hearts, if perchance we find a poet there. 

    Marcus Clarke, Preface to Gordon's Poems, 1876

  • As the day increased, Stan Parker emerged and, after 

    going here and there, simply looking at what was his, 

    began to tear the bush apart.

    Patrick White, The Tree of Man, 1955

Contents

* Contents derived from the Melbourne, Victoria,:Penguin Random House Australia , 2016 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
James Amour, James Armour , extract autobiography (p. 7-10)
Arthur Ashwin, Arthur C. Ashwin , extract autobiography (p. 10-16)
Thea Astley, Thea Astley , extract novel (p. 16-19)
Murray Bail, Murray Bail , extract novel (p. 19-20)
John Bailey, John Bailey , extract biography (p. 21-23)
Sidney J. Baker, Sidney J. Baker , extract criticism (p. 23-25)
Joseph Banks, Joseph Banks , extract diary

An extract from the 'Journals of James Cook's First Pacific Voyage'

(p. 25-26)
Barbara Baynton, Barbara Baynton , extract short story (p. 28-29)
Charles Bean 1910, C. E. W. Bean , extract diary (p. 29-32)
Charles Bean 1911, C. E. W. Bean , extract prose (p. 32-34)
Fox in a Tree Stumpi"I gripped the branch", Judith Beveridge , single work poetry (p. 35-36)
Death Is Forgotten in Victory, Tony Birch , extract criticism

Extract from 'Death is Forgotten in Victory': Colonial landscapes and Narratives of Emptiness' in Jane lydon and Tracy Ireland (eds), Object lessons: archaeology and heritage in Australia, Australian Scholarly Publishing, Melbourne, 2005

(p. 37-40)
Herbert S. Bloxsome, Herbert S. Bloxsome , extract autobiography

from Journal, State Library of Queensland, OM77-12 Box 8954

(p. 40-41)
Where the Dead Men Liei"Out on the wastes of the Never Never-", Barcroft Boake , single work poetry (p. 42-43)
James Boyce, James Boyce , extract criticism

Extraced from Van Dieman's Land : A History, Black Inc., Melbourne 2008

(p. 44-45)
Martin Boyd, Martin Boyd , extract novel (p. 45-46)
E.J. Brady, E. J. Brady , extract biography (p. 46-47)
George Brown, George A. Brown , extract

Extract from How a Continent Created a Nation, Libby Robin, UNSW Press, Sydney, 2007

(p. 48-49)
Mary Bundock, Mary Bundock , extract biography (p. 49-50)
Caleb Burchett, Caleb Burchett , extract essay (p. 51-52)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Works about this Work

Watson's Panopoly Angelo Loukakis , 2017 single work essay review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , January-February no. 388 2017; (p. 13)

'In The Bush (2014), Don Watson explored notions of what that most variegated of terms, ‘the bush’, meant to earlier generations, including his own family. In A Single Tree, he presents extracts from writings of all kinds for what he calls ‘a fragmentary history of humans in the Australian bush’. He takes as given the diverse applications of the word ‘bush’ over time and chooses pieces that give expression to a multiplicity of feelings, words, and thoughts around aspects of Australian place.'

(Introduction)

The Time We All Went Bush Geoffrey Blainey , 2016 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 26-27 November 2016; (p. 22)

— Review of A Single Tree : Voices from the Bush 2016 anthology poetry essay correspondence short story
The Time We All Went Bush Geoffrey Blainey , 2016 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 26-27 November 2016; (p. 22)

— Review of A Single Tree : Voices from the Bush 2016 anthology poetry essay correspondence short story
Watson's Panopoly Angelo Loukakis , 2017 single work essay review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , January-February no. 388 2017; (p. 13)

'In The Bush (2014), Don Watson explored notions of what that most variegated of terms, ‘the bush’, meant to earlier generations, including his own family. In A Single Tree, he presents extracts from writings of all kinds for what he calls ‘a fragmentary history of humans in the Australian bush’. He takes as given the diverse applications of the word ‘bush’ over time and chooses pieces that give expression to a multiplicity of feelings, words, and thoughts around aspects of Australian place.'

(Introduction)

Last amended 19 Sep 2017 13:54:39
Subjects:
  • Bush,
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