Beauty and substance

I play all sorts of games to defer finishing the last page when I love a book. I like to prolong the experience of reading for as long as I can to savour luxurious words, to slip into another writer’s gaze and to marvel at their ideas. Reading Quicksilver has been such an experience.
Book Info
Nicolas Rothwell
Text Publishing

I’ve read Nicolas Rothwell's Quicksilver twice, both times captivated by its substance and beauty. It is the aesthetic Rothwell shapes blending existentialism concerns about the great emptiness, the writing of the landscape and its relationship to the spiritual I found so engaging.

Rothwell's territory includes European writers such as Tolstoy and Gorky, the absence of grand narratives, northern hemisphere landscapes as well as contact with Aboriginal people and their understanding of the sacred. 

Quicksilver is an important book because it meditates on the need non-Indigenous Australians have in interpreting and connecting with their sense of place as outsiders to find their own sense of belonging in this land. Especially, when they describe the country they see. Quicksilver articulates the outsider’s quest for meaning.

The writing is exquisite, blending anecdote and recollection with material written by explorers, travel writers and ecological writers. These six essays read like a conversation under a night sky. There is a considered tone that describes a personal journey from one place of understanding to another place.  Rothwell explains how this took time to find the language to describe what was experienced and what is gleaned in a way that felt true and authentic. 


Michelle Karen