The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #1808   Message #1929033
Posted By: Bob Bolton
07-Jan-07 - 07:55 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Outside Track (Henry Lawson)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Outside Track - Henry Lawson
G'day Freda,

Somewhere ... deep in the muddy depths of the Mudcat ... I remember telling (Charley Noble- ?) that the farewell is from the poet / writer / artist mob at Sydney's rather bohemian Bulletin magazine (then "The Bushman's Bible") to various of their number as they take ship and go off to "Home" ... England ... to gain a reputation - as they can't gain any creditabilty if they stay in Australia.

Lawson wrote this just before he set of with his wife (also by ship) to Western Australia, hoping for a change of fortune. Oddly enough, they were snookered by a new gold rush to the western fields ... taking up all suitable accommodation, raising prices, moving commerce and opportunities in publishing away from Perth. They stood the loss, made their way back to Sydney ... then sailed to England themselves.

Fortunately, in a big new, international world, talented artist, poets, writers, cinematographers and actors can succeed, these days, on the strength of their work in their own environment, not some artificial 'Mecca'. Back then, we really knew what was meant by "The Tyranny of Distance" - living as far from Europe (and America) as anyone could conceive of in a world where ships were the ultimate in travel.

In this instance, Lawson uses "The Outside Track" to mean the working world beyond colonial Australia - contrasted to the (?) "home track", the familiar and accepting world of Australia.