What Lies Between: Talk on Gerald Murnane's Fiction

Press/Media: Press / Media

Description

In The Plains Murnane’s strong pictographic imagination takes us to a nether world of ideas and sensations that are generated through undulating word patterns and speculations. Every word matters like a topographical mark in contributing to the novel’s overall design. There is an egalitarianism to his vision of flat plains whose horizons are every-expanding. A spirit of exploration is also evoked through a narrator-character whose journey to the interior of Australia is a personal voyage toward the self. But unlike the physical world of plains and grasslands, the interior realm of the self is difficult to navigate. The true plains cannot be captured in photographs or maps: the conceits of representation are just too limiting. However, the gap between the map and the territory, the physical world and its representation, is perhaps resolved by the idea that our skins are territories unto themselves that record our ageing and memories. The question is: would we recognize the canvas of our own skin if it was somehow detached from our bodies and rolled out like a map? This is perhaps a question of perspective. Being too close means we cannot see. The true plains are invisible landscapes of the mind: worlds in this one.In The Plains Murnane’s strong pictographic imagination takes us to a nether world of ideas and sensations that are generated through undulating word patterns and speculations. Every word matters like a topographical mark in contributing to the novel’s overall design. There is an egalitarianism to his vision of flat plains whose horizons are every-expanding. A spirit of exploration is also evoked through a narrator-character whose journey to the interior of Australia is a personal voyage toward the self. But unlike the physical world of plains and grasslands, the interior realm of the self is difficult to navigate. The true plains cannot be captured in photographs or maps: the conceits of representation are just too limiting. However, the gap between the map and the territory, the physical world and its representation, is perhaps resolved by the idea that our skins are territories unto themselves that record our ageing and memories. The question is: would we recognize the canvas of our own skin if it was somehow detached from our bodies and rolled out like a map? This is perhaps a question of perspective. Being too close means we cannot see. The true plains are invisible landscapes of the mind: worlds in this one.

Period07 Dec 2017

Media contributions

1

Media contributions

  • TitleANOTHER WORLD IN THIS ONE: GERALD MURNANE’S FICTION A one day workshop, ‘Another World in This One: Gerald Murnane’s Fiction’, took place in the small Victorian town of Goroke on December 7, 2017 as part of the ‘Dialogues’ theme of the project.
    Degree of recognitionNational
    Media name/outletWriting and Society Research Centre at Western Sydney and The University of Adelaide
    Media typeWeb
    Duration/Length/Size20 minutes
    CountryAustralia
    Date07/12/17
    DescriptionGuest Presentation Filmed as part of Western Sydney's 'Writing and Society' Research Centre Project
    Producer/AuthorWriting and Society Research Centre at Western Sydney University and The University of Adelaide
    URLwww.formsofworldliterature.com/another-world-one-gerald-murnanes-fiction/
    PersonsSuzie Gibson

Workshop

TitleANOTHER WORLD IN THIS ONE: GERALD MURNANE’S FICTION
LocationGoroke NSW, Goroke, New South Wales, Australia
Period07 Dec 2017 → 07 Dec 2017
Linkwww.formsofworldliterature.com/another-world-one-gerald-murnanes-fiction/

Keywords

  • Other worlds, Gerald Murnane, The Plains