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Quicksilver by Nicholas Rothwell

Cover image of Quicksilver

Quicksilver by Nicholas Rothwell (Text Publishing) 

Judges' Comments 

A lizard on a rock. Tolstoy and Tarkovsky. Culture and identity. In this lyrical and meditative collection of essays, Nicolas Rothwell traverses ancient and modern, sacred and mysterious, quotidian and epic to discover the meaning of belonging, culture and identity refracted through country with a cast of characters and swag of ideas as wide and diverse as the land itself.

A meandering, far-ranging songline that encompasses nations, artforms and aeons, Quicksilver dances across Central Europe, European settlement and exploration and much more, featuring the likes of DH Lawrence, Kabbalistic mystics, Western Desert artists and others — always returning to the ancient country and cultures that too many Australians are still ignorant of: our own. Rigorously, evocatively, eloquently, Rothwell continually returns to the question of the nature of the sacred, and what might constitute the centre — or if there even is one. A resonant exploration of the soul as much as history and country, Quicksilver is enlightening and inspiring.