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The Road to Botany BayAn Exploration of Landscape and History$
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Paul Carter

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780816669974

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816669974.001.0001

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An Airy Barrier

An Airy Barrier

(p.34) 2 An Airy Barrier
The Road to Botany Bay

Paul Carter

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter illustrates a characteristic strategy of empirical history that suppresses historical accounts of Botany Bay—a strategy that a history of space is bound to resist. Here Botany Bay is a cause that surfaces only as an effect. In the event it inspires, that of possession, the place itself disappears, ceasing to be an object of historical desire. This phenomenon is characteristic of a history that it is linear, that its causes are wholly spent in their immediate effects. No causes are left over to remain a presence in future activity. Thus, Botany Bay is emptied of a future once the First Fleet renders it past. Similarly, Cook is rendered invisible by his own motive power.

Keywords:   Australia, Australian history, Botany Bay, spatial history, place names, empirical history

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