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By Tim Winton
Tim Winton is Australia’s best-loved novelist. His new work,Breath, is a unprecedented evocation of an early life spent resisting complacency, trying out one’s limits opposed to nature, discovering like-minded souls, and learning simply how a long way one breath will take you. It’s a narrative of extremes—extreme activities and severe emotions.
On the wild, lonely coast of Western Australia, thrillseeking and infrequently adolescent boys fall into the enigmatic thrall of veteran big-wave surfer Sando. jointly they shape a wierd yet elite trio. The grown guy initiates the lads right into a type of Spartan ethos, a routine of chance and problem, the place they attempt themselves in typhoon swells on distant and shark-infested reefs, pushing one another to the perimeters of persistence, braveness, and sanity. yet the place is all this heading? Why is their mentor’s previous such forbidden territory? And what can clarify his American wife’s atypical habit? Venturing past all limits—in relationships, in actual problem, and in sexual behavior—there is some extent the place oblivion is the single end result. filled with Winton’s lyrical genius for conveying actual sensation, Breath is a wealthy and atmospheric coming-of-age story from certainly one of global literature’s most interesting storytellers.
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Extra resources for Breath
The scientist responsible for the operation, Dr. Neill, consistently denigrates and dismisses the unconscious, characterizing it as a "sump" and as "marshland" to be reclaimed by the conscious mind. He states that "The further we hold back the unconscious, the better" (146). The events of the story, however, suggest that the unconscious is primary and essential to our identity, that its power exceeds that of the conscious mind, and that all that serves to separate or to sunder us from the unconscious is pernicious.
The role of serpent is supplied by the character of Strangman, who like Hardoon in The Wind from Nowhere is an embodiment of ego-mind at its most unprincipled and most vicious. It is his demonic power which must be overcome before the return to paradise can be accomplished. Strangman and his crew constitute a cult of death, cruelty, and greed, in every way antithetical to the quest for the archaeopsychic sun and all that it represents. They even attempt to reverse the process of metamorphosis at a material level, draining the lagoon and reclaiming the drowned city.
The unconscious is, in the chess metaphor of the story, enthroned in the psyche as "the black king" (165). Another aspect of the conflict between the rational intelligence of the ego and the sur-rational intelligence of the unconscious is set forth in "The Thousand Dreams of Stellavista,"27 in which the "bioplastic" and "psychotropic" house purchased by Howard and Fay Talbot may be seen as a metaphor for the psyche, with the original inhabitants of the house, Gloria Tremayne and Miles Vanden Starr, seen to represent aspects of the psyche, the unconscious and the rational ego-mind, respectively.