Healing, Catharsis and Reconciliation: Water as Metaphor in Ghost River

by Adelle Sefton-Rowston

This article explores the possibility of intercultural catharsis through literature, metaphorical connections and representations of place in Tony Birch’s Ghost River (2015). Water, rain and essentially the river, symbolise the building of a nation and the repair of Indigenous and non-Indigenous race relations. Aristotle’s theory of catharsis is deconstructed and built upon using Indigenous philosophies and intercultural dialogue to explore ideas about relationship building as a spiritual journey connected to the textual directions of the landscape.