Did you know that Sydney has a dedicated Writers Walk?
It displays a series of over forty-five plaques containing a snatch of an author’s thoughts about the Australian land and its people together with a brief bio of the writer.
Despite having visited the site of the Walk (it sweeps around Circular Quay from the Opera House to beyond the Museum of Contemporary Art) at least – oh – maybe two or three times a year for the past twenty-five years and despite having, in all likelihood, walked by several of the plaques on each occasion, it’s completely passed me by. And I suspect nearly everyone who’s visited Sydney has walked this walk, but most of us have never seen it.
Truth be told, my pedantic writer’s streak is a little uncomfortable with the missing apostrophe in the large bronze tablet announcing Writers Walk because you couldn’t possibly interpret it to mean that ‘writers walk’. They don’t. They’re much too busy scribbling away in their attic, all alone, hunched over a manuscript.
But despite my misgivings about a monument that’s dedicated to writers and yet contains a punctuation error, once the site was drawn to my attention, a visit was essential.
#44 Meander along Sydney Writers Walk
If I were to post an image of every one of these neglected bronze gems, it would overwhelm this blog entry, so allow me to present a small sample of the witty, the poignant, the prescient or the just plain irreverent comments made by so many great writers who have visited our country or were born here.
Just for fun, I’ve added a modern Australian visual match.
…though he forgot to mention the obsession with food,too
…tho’ it seems that ‘the whole people’s’ representatives aren’t trying too hard to work it out .
3. Ethel Turner
Hey, who’d wear a bike helmet when there’s no-one around?
…still knocks you endways
5. Charles Darwin
…reflections of the old and the new grandeur
6. Rudyard Kipling
We’ll do wonderful things…some day
7. Barry Humphries
…feels like home to me
So now you’re possibly asking, ‘How have I missed noticing the Writers Walk?’
Well, here’s a clue:
If writers had ball skills instead of verbal skills, would more people notice what’s underfoot?
The plaques are all in-laid – in the footpath. And shooing away hordes of oblivious tourists to get the perfect photograph of each plaque wasn’t easy!
So now you know where it is, I hope this has given you a tantalising taste of what’s on show at the Sydney Writers Walk.
I’m wondering THREE things….did the pastry cook dab the map of Orstralaya on his pie? Or did the venerable author of this blog (OR her sister?) add the artistic touch.
Regarding “Writers Walk” – I suppose if it refers to one writer the apostrophe should be before the ‘s’, but if it refers to all writers then the apostrophe should come after the ‘s’….BUT what if it is just a walk and it includes the bios of several writers…..so that it is just a walkway with writers (plural) not a walk that belongs to writers!???
Anyway it was very entertaining and rather sad that walkers walk all over the writers all the time without giving them a moment’s thought (isn’t it funny to think moments can be possessive?)
The ‘map of Orstralaya’ was in fact added to the yummy Yackandandah Gum Tree Pie by yours truly (who had to make a reverse template of a map of Oz for that purpose!)
The missing apostrophe is an interesting dilemma. I appreciate your point and agonised for some time over it, but after checking how the Sydney Writers’ Festival, Adelaide Writers’ Week and even Poets’ Corner at Westminster Abbey treat their apostrophes, have decided, on balance, that I’d like it to be there.