David Carlin, RMIT University Gregory Day’s essay collection Words are Eagles is carefully subtitled: “Selected Writings on the Nature and Language of Place”. The word “nature” has crept in there perhaps to give a nod to the reader to expect… Continue Reading →
The Archipelago of Souls is a novel set on two islands. The experiences on one become an antidote for the dark experiences of the other. The exposed place is King Island, in Bass Strait, where Australian soldier Wesley Cress comes to live after World War II. Wesley grew up in the Western Districts of Victoria, joined the Australian army from Manly in NSW and ended up fighting a solo war on Crete after he managed to get left behind by his unit and thus became its only survivor. On Crete, the second island in the novel, Cress fought an idiosyncratic war both with himself and with a largely unseen enemy. Day’s account of Cress’ grinding struggle on Crete is remarkable in every way. It is based on exhaustive research into the combat on Crete, a less familiar chapter than some other battles, a theatre in which geography played no small part.