Gemmy Fairley Remembering Babylon Analysis

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In an interview with Lee Spinks, when asked about the germ or point of origin…of the figure of Gemmy Fairley in Remembering Babylon, whose arresting mixture of monstrous strangeness and unwelcome likeness to his white compatriots has such tragic consequences for him and others?
Malouf says:-
The story of somebody who went off and lived amongst the Aborigines and loses the language is quite a common story in Australia because it happened many, many times. The story in Queensland which is a very strange story is of a man called Gemmy Morel and he in fact is the person that it is based on, except that Gemmy Morel was, I think, about twenty when he was lost with the Aborigines and he did not entirely lose language. He, in fact, had been educated at grammar school in England. That really didn’t suit me, so I chose other
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He breaks away, climbs a rope, tumbles into a box, and falls dead asleep’. (RB p. 138-39) Then ultimately he is thrown overboard, while ill, off the coast of Queensland, Australia –
Then, one day, too ill to care what happened to him and with no knowledge of what part of the world he was in...they put him overboard; he moved out of the shadow of the ship that tilted and creaked abobe him, out of its coolness, away from the faces at the rails. (RB p.140)
He was then 13 years old only. Gemmy was rescued and taken in by a group of Australian natives who found him on the beach.
…when they found him he had been half-child, half-seacalf, his hair swarming with spirits in the shape of tiny phosphorescent crabs, his mouth stopped with coral; how, ash-pale and ghostly in his little white shirt, that long ago had rotted like a caul, he had risen up in the firelight and danced, and changed before their eyes from a sea-creature into a skinny human child. (RB
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