Gerald Murnane is the author of numerous works of fiction, including The Plains (1982), Barley Patch (2009) and A Million Windows (2014).
All essays featuring Gerald Murnane
Last Letter to a Reader
by Gerald Murnane
Published November 2021
In the Room with Gerald Murnane
There’s nothing superior about a critic who does not know their material, and there’s no excuse for professional readers whose memories for fiction are faulty, but I’d hoped my usual need to plaster over lapses in attention would be less laborious in the company of readers who’d come together to celebrate the work of a writer whose implied author freely admits a failure to ‘follow plots and comprehend the motives of characters’ in the novels he’d read, a trait he once again asserts in the early pages of Border Districts, and one which endeared the author to me for all eternity when I first came across it in Barley Patch, where the narrator justifies his own haphazard textual memory by explaining that ‘a person who claims to remember having read one or another book is seldom able to quote from memory even one sentence from the text.
Gerald Murnane: An Idiot in the Greek Sense
‘The question will arise: did I live this imaginative life because I didn’t find my real life satisfactory? That’s a question that I can’t answer, that no one else can answer. You can’t answer these questions definitively. In some respects I was immensely satisfied by my real life, and yet, by the evidence of my writing, I wasn’t. Some people have terrible lives. I didn’t have a life like that, yet, on the evidence of my writing, my life wasn’t enough for me, and I had to have this other life. There’s no answer to these questions. It’s just a wonderful part of the mystery of being human.’ Gerald Murnane speaks with Shannon Burns
Fiction as Alchemy: An extract from an interview with Gerald Murnane
I understand that there is a time in the history of the visual arts when what we call scholars or critics wrote much about the composition of a painting. Not just the subject matter alone, but the way that the painting, the details or items in the painting, were arranged or composed… what I’ve just been talking about in relation to A Million Windows could be called the composition, and I get tremendous satisfaction from discovering what the composition will be, and then satisfaction afterwards in just standing back and admiring the composition.
A Million Windows
by Gerald Murnane
Published June, 2014
Remote Viewing: A Million Windows by Gerald Murnane
As the narrator of A Million Windows repeatedly reaffirms, the most important compositional principle in Murnane’s work is a genuine and thoroughgoing respect for the space of fiction as something radically different from everyday reality.
Signs for the Soul
The reading Coetzee offers of Gerald Murnane is interesting in a number of ways: it not only tells us things that Coetzee sees in Murnane, it tells us that Coetzee considers Murnane’s work to be important, and worthy of wider attention. It also tells us that Coetzee sees things in Murnane that concern him, in every sense of the word concern.