I’ve made a few changes to the Google Map attached to this blog. The map attempts to plot
real and fictional places mentioned in Furphy’s novels. This has been helped by several new databases that have emerged since I first started the map in late 2010.But I’ve got a long way to go.
I made my first searches with the National Library’s digital map collection which contains a number of maps that locate nineteenth century boundaries and station names:
- Map of Riverina and the northern and northwestern pastoral districts New South Wales(1879)
- De Gruchy & Co.’s new squatting map of Riverina district of N.S.W. (1877)
- NSW Stock Routes (1888)
- NSW Parish and Historical Maps
- Bonzle Digital Atlas of Australia
Combined with the satellite images provided by Google Maps, a geographical view of Furphy’s world is starting to emerge. Over time (in my re-readings of Furphy’s work), I’ll continue to plot new places on the map and add as much information as I can in order to provide comprehensive contextual information.
After completing the first TEI-encoded transcription of the 1898 typescript at the end of 2011, it is not lost on me that there are a lot of similarities between such transcriptions and the mapping of places in the world. Just as a map is a representation of a particular place, created by a human being with all sorts of motives, barriers and prejudices, a transcription of a document (eg manuscript, typescript, serialisation, book) has similar influences.
More broadly, a scholarly edition provides a map of documents and the human interventions that affect those documents. Our knowledge and needs continue to change, requiring new representations (and new editions) to assist our understanding of works from the past. Mapping Joseph Furphy’s Such is Life will grow with the electronic edition of the typescript and its textual descendants, providing useful notes to understand the conception, composition, revision, publication and reception of Furphy’s works. All of these things are inexorably connected to material and temporal phenomena that can be reimagined in documentary traces that have been preserved for close scrutiny.
There is too much information for this independent researcher to collate and record and there is not enough time to gather contemporary images of the region for visual context. Please contact me if you have any images or information that you’d like to share and record for future readers of Furphy, his works and his world.