I've kept this blog, on and off, since 2006. In 2015 I used it to chart daily encounters, images, thoughts and feelings about volcanic basalt/bluestone in Melbourne and Victoria, especially in the first part of the year. I plan to write a book provisionally titled Bluestone: An Emotional History, about human uses of and feelings for bluestone. But I am also working on quite a few other projects and a big grant application, especially now I am on research leave. I'm working mostly from home, then, for six months, and will need online sociability for company!

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

My Year with Bluestone: murder by bluestone

I'm blasting through the first draft of this first chapter. I've set myself a target of 2000 words per week while I get it started, but have a bunch of other activities lined up for the weekend, as well as a meeting at work at 9.00 tomorrow on my one day I'm often able to work at home and get more writing done. So this evening I have put 1000 words into the file, though some are longish quotes that I'm sure will have to be culled.

I need to get the right mix of overviews about the prison system with the affective emotional discourse that is my chief concern. It's easy to find gothic descriptive language to describe Pentridge architecture, for example. But harder to make sense of dark ironic facts, such as the murder at Williamstown of John Price, the Inspector-General of Prisons, formerly governor at Norfolk Island, and enjoying a grim reputation for cruelty. He had gone to Williamstown to discipline some prisoners on the point of riot, but made the mistake of turning his back on them. He was pelted first with clods of earth, and then with the stones the prisoners were breaking up: bluestones of course...  One of them hit him in the back, and he was taken away unconscious and died the next day of his injuries.

Bluestone is often described as soft in our laneways; but its sharp heavy edges would be brutal.


flipsockgrrl said...

Speaking of emotional. . . have a listen to Michael Cathcart describing the bluestone cobbles in the Meat Market building (North Melb), in the first few minutes of today's Books and Arts program on RN. It's just a brief mention, but the relish in his voice is almost palpable.

Stephanie Trigg said...

Thanks! Just transcribing here so I don't lose it. Interview about "A Drone Opera" by Matthew Sleeth performed at the old Melbourne meat market.

"Last night I went to the most mmmmmagical event. ... It was a kind of dark, medieval, religious experience and yet all the elements belong to the twenty-first century."


We're in this extraordinary building. ... [the old Melbourne meat market] [Like covent garden...]

"with its great vaulted ceiling and a cobble stone floor.. Big heavy dark brooding bluestones that have been worn by time, by the carcasses of animals being dragged across them for years."


carcases dragged