Setting mystery novels in Tasmania was an instinctive choice for me. Now I would like to interrogate this further. That’s what this blog is for.
Tasmania — remote, exquisite, sublime, dangerous.
“Tasmania is … like outer space on earth and invoked by those at the ‘centre’ to stand for all that is far-flung, strange and unverifiable.
Tasmania is in myth and in history a secret place, a rarely visited place.” Nicholas Shakespeare, In Tasmania, p7 *
At one level, it’s pretty easy to see the affinity between a murder mystery and a wild landscape. Tasmania has dark and brooding landforms, immense oceans, endless skies and cliffs plunging into the sea.
It can feel lonely, isolated, and a long way from anywhere, which makes it the perfect backdrop for a detective novel or a psychological thriller.
There are some abstract ideas that lie behind Tasmania’s suitability as a mystery setting: the sublime, the uncanny, the gothic, the liminal, the noir, absence.
I’ll put introductions to these on the early posts, and from there on I’ll be posting thoughts and comments and ideas about Tasmania as they arise.
Thank you to these people for the images.
“Crater lake and walking track” by Doug Beckers on Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/dougbeckers/8682196248/
“Cape Hauy” by Jcaverso – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=49123161