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Gerald Murnane Gerald Murnane i(A573 works by)
Born: Established: 1939 Coburg, Brunswick - Coburg area, Melbourne - North, Melbourne, Victoria, ;
Gender: Male
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Works By

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1 5 y separately published work icon Green Shadows and Other Poems Gerald Murnane , Artarmon : Giramondo Publishing , 2019 15442184 2019 selected work poetry

'Gerald Murnane turns to poetry at the end of his literary career, writing frank, disarming poems that traverse the rich span of his life.  

'I esteem / above all poems or passages of prose / those that put a lump in my throat. — Gerald Murnane, ‘The Darkling Thrush’

'Gerald Murnane, now in his eightieth year, began his writing career as a poet. After many years as a writer of fiction, he only returned to poetry a few years ago when he moved to Goroke, in the Western Districts of Victoria, after the death of his wife. The forty-five poems collected here are in a strikingly different mode to his fiction — without framing or digressions, and with very few images, they speak openly to the reader of the author’s memories, beliefs and experiences. They are for this reason an important addition to his internationally recognised body of fiction, most recently Border Districts and Collected Short Fiction, published by Giramondo.

'The poems include tributes to his mother and father and to his family, and to places that have played a formative role in his life, like Gippsland, Bendigo, Warrnambool, the Western Districts, and of course Goroke. Especially moving are his poems dedicated to authors who have influenced him — Lesbia Harford and Thomas Hardy, William Carlos Williams, Henry Handel Richardson, Marcel Proust, and with particular force, the eighteenth-century poet John Clare, who gives the collection its title, revered ‘not only for his writings / but for his losing his reason when / he was forced from the district he had wanted as his for life.’'  (Publication summary)

1 6 y separately published work icon A Season on Earth Gerald Murnane , Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2019 14979001 2019 single work novel

'What he had been searching for was not the perfect religious order but the perfect landscape…From that moment on he was a poet in search of his ideal landscape.

'Lost to the world for more than four decades, A Season on Earth is the essential link between two acknowledged masterpieces by Gerald Murnane: the lyrical account of boyhood in his debut novel, Tamarisk Row, and the revolutionary prose of The Plains.

'A Season on Earth is Murnane’s second novel as it was intended to be, bringing together all of its four sections—the first two of which were published as A Lifetime on Clouds in 1976 and the last two of which have never been in print.

'A hilarious tale of a lustful teenager in 1950s Melbourne, A Lifetime on Clouds has been considered an outlier in Murnane’s fiction. That is because, as Murnane writes in his foreword, it is ‘only half a book and Adrian Sherd only half a character’.

'Here, at last, is sixteen-year-old Adrian’s journey in full, from fantasies about orgies with American film stars and idealised visions of suburban marital bliss to his struggles as a Catholic novice, and finally a burgeoning sense of the boundless imaginative possibilities to be found in literature and landscapes.

'Adrian Sherd is one of the great comic creations in Australian writing, and A Season on Earth is a revelatory portrait of the artist as a young man.'  (Publication summary)

1 3 y separately published work icon Collected Short Fiction Stream System : The Collected Short Fiction of Gerald Murnane Gerald Murnane , Artarmon : Giramondo Publishing , 2018 13182651 2018 selected work poetry

'This volume brings together Gerald Murnane’s shorter works of fiction, most of which have been out of print for the past twenty five years. They include such masterpieces as ‘When the Mice Failed to Arrive’, ‘Stream System’, ‘First Love’, ‘Emerald Blue’, and ‘The Interior of Gaaldine’, a story which holds the key to the long break in Murnane’s career, and points the way towards his later works, from Barley Patch to Border Districts. Much is made of Murnane’s distinctive and elaborate style as a writer, but there is no one to match him in his sensitive portraits of family members – parents, uncles and aunts, and particularly children – and in his probing of situations which contain anxiety and embarrassment, shame or delight.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

1 The Still-Breathing Author Gerald Murnane , 2018 single work essay
— Appears in: Sydney Review of Books , February 2018; Gerald Murnane : Another World in This One 2020; (p. 165-180)

'I’ve prepared and delivered this sort of address once before.  That was in September 2001, at a conference similar to this in Newcastle, New South Wales.  At that time, no book of mine had been published during the previous six years; nor had I written or planned during those years anything that might have gone towards any sort of book.  During those six years, the time that I might otherwise have given to writing for publication I had used for adding to my archives.  None of the matters mentioned in the previous two sentences was mentioned in my address to the scholars at Newcastle.' (Introduction)

2 15 y separately published work icon Border Districts Gerald Murnane , Artarmon : Giramondo Publishing , 2017 11570334 2017 single work novel

'Conceived as Gerald Murnane’s last work of fiction, Border Districts was written after the author moved from Melbourne to a small town on the western edge of the Wimmera plains, near the border with South Australia. The narrator of this fiction has made a similar move, from a capital city to a remote town in the border country, where he intends to spend the last years of his life. It is a time for exploring the enduring elements of his experience, as these exist in his mind, images whose persistence is assured, but whose significance needs to be rediscovered. Readers of Murnane’s earlier work will recognise some of these images: the dark-haired young woman at a window; the ancestral house set in grasslands; coloured glass, marbles, goldfish, the outfits of jockeys. Murnane’s images often draw their power from the light that falls upon them from a distant or mysterious source. But he also considers the possibility that the mind casts its own light, imbuing the images in the observer’s mind with the colours of his soul.

'As Murnane’s narrator declares, ‘the mind is a place best viewed from borderlands’. In this work, Border Districts also refers to the border country between life and death; and there is another meaning, in the narrator’s discovery of others who might share his world, even though they enter it from a different direction, across the border districts which separate, or unite, two human beings.' (Publication summary)

1 On Winning the Melbourne Prize, 11 November 2009 Gerald Murnane , 2017 single work short story
— Appears in: Freeman's : The Best New Writing on Home 2017; (p. 297-298)
1 Lauded and Reviled but a Fully Grown Classic Gerald Murnane , 2016 single work review
— Appears in: The Australian , 27-28 August 2016; (p. 18)
This is Murnane's introduction to a new edition of Landscape with Landscape published by Giramondo, 2016.
1 1 In Praise of the Long Sentence : Looking for Meaning between Commas and Clauses Gerald Murnane , 2016 single work autobiography
— Appears in: Meanjin , Autumn vol. 75 no. 1 2016; (p. 56-65)

Gerald Murnane shares this thoughts on the writer's world.

1 12 y separately published work icon Something for the Pain : A Memoir of the Turf Gerald Murnane , Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2015 8702842 2015 single work autobiography

'I never met anyone whose interest in racing matched my own. Both on and off the course, so to speak, I've enjoyed the company of many a racing acquaintance...I've read books, or parts of books, by persons who might have come close to being true racing friends of mine if ever we had met. For most of my long life, however, my enjoyment of racing has been a solitary thing: something I could never wholly explain to anyone else.

'As a boy, Gerald Murnane became obsessed with horse racing. He had never ridden a horse, nor seen a race. Yet he was fascinated by photos of horse races in the Sporting Globe, and by the incantation of horses' names in radio broadcasts of races. Murnane discovered in these races more than he could find in religion or philosophy: they were the gateway to a world of imagination.

'Gerald Murnane is like no other writer, and Something for the Pain is like no other Murnane book. In this unique and spellbinding memoir, he tells the story of his life through the lens of horse racing. It is candid, droll and moving—a treat for lovers of literature and of the turf. ' (Publication summary)

1 14 y separately published work icon A Million Windows Gerald Murnane , Artarmon : Giramondo Publishing , 2014 7193307 2014 single work novel

'This new work of fiction by one of Australia’s most highly regarded authors focuses on the importance of trust, and the possibility of betrayal, in storytelling as in life. It tests the relationship established between author and reader, and on occasions of intimacy, between child and parent, boyfriend and girlfriend, husband and wife. Murnane’s fiction is woven from images, and the feelings associated with them, and the images that flit through A Million Windows like butterflies – the reflections of the setting sun like spots of golden oil, the houses of two or perhaps three storeys, the procession of dark-haired females, the clearing in the forest, the colours indigo and silver-grey, the death of a young woman who had leaped into a well – build to an emotional crescendo that is all the more powerful for the intricacy of their patterning.' (Publication summary)

1 A History of Books Gerald Murnane , 2012 single work short story
— Appears in: A History of Books 2012; (p. 1-123)
'A History of Books', a 'work of fiction', 'explores the relationship between reading and writing in twenty-nine sections, each of which begins with the memory of a book that left an image in the writer's mind'. (Back cover)
1 15 y separately published work icon A History of Books Gerald Murnane , Artarmon : Giramondo Publishing , 2012 Z1852640 2012 selected work short story

'This new work by Gerald Murnane is a fictionalised autobiography told in thirty sections, each of which begins with the memory of a book that has left an image on the writer's mind. The titles aren't given but the reader follows the clues, recalling in the process a parade of authors, the great, the popular, and the now-forgotten. The images themselves, with their scenes of marital discord, violence and madness, or their illuminated landscapes that point to the consolations of a world beyond fiction, give new intensity to Murnane's habitual concern with the anxieties and aspirations of the writing life, in the absence of religious belief.

'A History of Books is accompanied by three shorter pieces of fiction which play on these themes, featuring the writer at different ages, as a young boy, a teacher, and an old recluse.' (From the publisher's website.)

1 Forword Gerald Murnane , 2012 single work essay
— Appears in: Meanjin Anthology 2012; (p. ix)

'This piece of writing might well be called 'Return of Meanjin'' or Meanjin strikes back'. Exactly fifty years have passed since I first struggled to compose something fit for Meanjin, and here 1 am. going at the task again and finding it hardly less trouble. Moreover. nearly twenty years have passed since I decided not to renew my subscription to Meanjin. I had taken early retirement from my position as a teacher of fiction writing in a university. During my sixteen years as a teacher, I had subscribed to Meanjin and every other Australian magazine publishing fiction. I needed to advise the best of my students where they might send the best of their writing. Sometimes my advice proved sound—not a few of my students achieved what I had never achieved and had an unsolicited contribution published in Meanjin. In the early 1990s, however, I not only gave up teaching fiction—I gave up writing and reading the stuff for the time being and followed other interests. Three years ago, I even left Melbourne. where I had lived continuously for sixty years. Of course, I had not forgotten Meanjin but here, in a stone cottage near Little Desert, and with no computer or mobile phone, I would have supposed that Meanjin had forgotten me. Not at all. Near me on the floor is a pile of back copies sent to me yesterday by the editor after I had been persuaded to do this piece of writing. I spent most of today looking  through them, surprised at how interested I was after all these years and pondering the question, why has Meanjin flourished for so long? (Introduction)

1 How Quiet the Waves of Grass Gerald Murnane , 2009 extract novel (Barley Patch)
— Appears in: The Australian Literary Review , September vol. 4 no. 8 2009; (p. 18-19)
2 19 y separately published work icon Barley Patch Gerald Murnane , Artarmon : Giramondo Publishing , 2009 Z1594803 2009 single work novel (taught in 2 units) 'Barley Patch ... is a meditation on fiction and Murnane's own dedication to writing, and an examination of the relation between memory, image and lived experience. It is funny, self-deprecating, personal, as well as thoughtful and reflective, and enchanting in its clarity, detail and evocations of Australian life and landscape.' (from the publisher's website)
1 1 Save Us from Text Maniacs Gerald Murnane , 2008 single work essay
— Appears in: The Australian Literary Review , March vol. 3 no. 2 2008; (p. 14-16)
'Gerald Murnane has a dream: a world where books are more important than critics or literary theories or the authors who wrote them.' (Editor's abstract)
1 From Barley Patch Gerald Murnane , 2007 extract novel (Barley Patch)
— Appears in: Review of Contemporary Fiction , Fall vol. 27 no. 3 2007; (p. 86-72)
1 Parimutuel Appeal Gerald Murnane , 2007 single work correspondence
— Appears in: The Australian Literary Review , November vol. 2 no. 10 2007; (p. 27)
1 A Detrimental Education Gerald Murnane , 2007 single work column
— Appears in: The Age , 30 June 2007; (p. 20-21)
1 1 On the Road to Bendigo Gerald Murnane , 2005 single work autobiography
— Appears in: Invisible Yet Enduring Lilacs : Essays 2005; (p. 9-24)