Gerald Murnane

Invisible Yet Enduring Lilacs

‘Someone has written that all art aspires to the condition of music. My experience is that all art, including all music, aspires to the condition of horse-racing.’

This collection of essays leads the reader into the searching and wildly fertile imagination of Gerald Murnane, one of the masters of contemporary Australian writing, author of the classics Border Districts and Tamarisk Row, and winner of the Patrick White Literary Award.

He writes of himself: as a boy making racehorses of his marbles, an obsession shared with Jack Kerouac; as a writer, working his first ten years in secret; as a reader, trying to understand the mystery of the right sentence by way of Virginia Woolf and Robert Frost; as a teacher, exploring the endless ways in which words can express the contours of our thoughts. From these vantage points Murnane sees the worlds of significance that lie within, or just beyond, the everyday details of Australian life. Carrying the reader with him across the valleys, plains and grasslands of his mind, this singular author creates an immersive landscape in which every word has its own space, shape and weight.



EBook: £6.99

More Info

Print status: Available
Format: B-Format Paperback
Publication date: 5 March 2020
ISBN: 9781911508663
Ebook ISBN: 9781911508670
Availability: UK & C (excl Canada) and Europe.
Number of pages: 208


Ben Lerner
New Yorker

‘Murnane’s sentences are little dialectics of boredom and beauty, flatness and depth. They combine a matter-of-factness, often approaching coldness, with an intricate lyricism.’

J.M. Coetzee
New York Review of Books

‘[For Murnane,] access to the other world – a world distinct from and in many ways better than our own – is gained neither by good works nor by grace but by giving the self up to fiction.’

The New York Times

‘Strange and wonderful and nearly impossible to describe.’

J.M. Coetzee

‘As a writer, Murnane is [thus] a radical idealist.’ J.M. Coetzee