Sunday, 30 April 2006

At Bronte Cemetery

Saw these figures on a tomb in the cemetery at Bronte beach in Sydney last weekend. Aren't they odd. The inscription didn't clear anything up for me.

And that is all the blogging I can manage this weekend. It's a shame; I like writing here, and right now, none of the other things I'm meant to be doing are all that inviting. I hope I have more leisure next week.


Ben.H said...

Before everyone else asks: what was the inscription?

Ron said...

You beat me to it, ben.h!

Ron said...

By the way, I just noticed in the lower depths of your sidebar that you mention David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas.

How are you going/did you go with it? I put the book away after 50 pages or so; I just couldn't connect with it. I think it's one of those books that you really have to be in the mood to read. I do try to finish every book I start but I'm beginning to believe that life is too short, and there are too many books for me still to read, to stick to this idea.

Ron said...

Another by the way: do you mean Waverley Cemetery in this post?

Waverley Council have published three interesting books on famous/infamous residents of the cemetery:

Waverley Cemetery Who's Who: Pen and Paper (writers)

Waverley Cemetery Who's Who: Encore (theatre) and

Waverley Cemetery Who's Who: Law and Disorder

Lucy Tartan said...

The inscription in question is only the names of the departed, written on the red granite headstone in the background. I only scanned it quickly but they all seemed to be adults, so I am at a loss to understand the three children, not to mention why they're standing round a little table or supervised (?) by a headless Beau Brummel torso.

I do mean Waverley Cemetery. That was my first visit and I forgot its name.

Cloud Atlas, Ron? I haven't gotten very far with it yet. Last week I read a post about David Mitchell on a US blog I like called Light Reading which made me think perhaps I might not enjoy the book. Jenny D mentioned a famous piece of literary criticism by Isaih Berlin called "The Fox and the Hedgehog" - one of those 'two types of novelists' type arguments - the fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing - and she said she thought Mitchell was a fox novelist.

All that aside I haven't read much of it because I haven't had the time.

It's a sad thing to leave a novel unfinished, but better than persevering with a rubbish one.

Anonymous said...

I. Want. To. Know.

I am now haunted.

- barista

Ben.H said...

Wait a second: you're saying that Beau Brummel there is MEANT to be headless?

Also, that pebble on the table makes the kids look like they're setting up a shell game con.

Lucy Tartan said...

I really couldn't say, Ben. Maybe the headless chappie is Jeremy Bentham.

elaine said...

Though quite flawed, I enjoyed Cloud Atlas. I loathed the central character in a couple of sections which always makes a novel more challenging to read (for me).

R H said...

I've walked through there but never seen that thing. The head looks like it's been broken off. What were the dates, did you get them?

Anil P said...

Until this picture, I didn't know that a headless figure could conjure up life like this one does . . . so surreal.

Lucy Tartan said...

I didn't get the dates, RH. If I'm ever back there I'll make a rubbing of the inscription with a lead pencil and some thin paper.

Anonymous said...

Sydney ordinarians, go forth and find out!

I am begging you..

- barista

Ben.H said...

Thank you for making the Jeremy Bentham joke; it would have been too crass coming from me.

Ron said...

I have written to the manager of the cemetery but don't hold your breath on getting a solution that way.

I think a visit by someone in Sydney (please? anyone?) will be necessary. I am sure Ms Lucy will be able to provide expert instructions on the exact location of the memorial. :-) ;-) :-)

elsewhere said...

I think you should host a competition for people to write a Grimm fairy tale to go with the photo.

R H said...

"Norman Bates, the manager, seemed nice, if a little odd..."

Ron said...

Thanks, RH, now I'm having evil thoughts about the monument! Is that a head on the table between the children? And those children remind me of a horror flick (whose name escapes at the moment) from years ago in which all the village children had scary eyes and did bad deeds.

R H said...

Ron I didn't see it, but I think the movie was called Village of The Damned, or something like that.
I got the Robert Bloch Psycho quote from the back cover blurb on one of Miss Laura's "Random books from my library."
They're quite a mix: eclectic.

(And so is she)

Ron said...

Yes, that's it, RH. Thank you.

R H said...

You're welcome, always.

Susoz said...

I was wondering eaxctly where that was - I visit the cemetery quite often (I have some distant relatives buried there, but that's not why I visit). I've never seen this. So which part was it in Laura?
(I especially like the memorial to Bobby Sands and other hunger strikers at Waverley.)

Lucy Tartan said...

I remembered you posted about the big waves at Bronte, Susoz, so I had a feeling you might visit the area sometimes.

I don't know if I can tell you exactly where this grave is. Looking at this map, the section marked 17 seems right. It would be just about where the number is, ie in the middle. You can see it from the path along the lower edge.

This whole mystery is a good example of why you should always take semi-decent notes - I could easily have snapped a picture of the names on the headstone and used it to find out more. But I didn't.

Ron said...

I can't believe it: I just recieved an email from the manager of Waverley Cemetery.

"I haven't had a chance to get down to look at the location to get the number, I am generally familiar with that memorial and from memory I believe the man the memorial commemorates was involved in orphanages/children's homes/education and teaching, hence the addition of the children standing at a table in the form of a book, looking upwards to where the bust should be located.

The monument was vandalised in the 1980's and again in the late 1990's, the bust is now missing its head.
The bust was found some distance from the memorial when we stepped up maintenance in this area in 2001.
We have returned the bust to its location, however it is supposed to be on top of the granite dye and inscription tablet.

Let us know if you need any more information and we can always do a record search for you - basic cost is $14."

Ron said...

I know, I know: I before e but not after a c!

Waverley Cemetery said...

Google is a useful tool isnt it??

If you had of asked us back at the top of the comments list you could have saved some web 'space'. :-)

Waverley Cemetery
St Thomas Street
Bronte NSw 2024