Landscape within landscape: The intertwining of the visible and the invisible in Gerald Murnane and Henry James

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)

Abstract

At the 2017 “Another World in This One” symposium – held at Gerald Murnane’s beloved Goroke Golf Club – I could not pass up the opportunity of asking this Australian writer about Henry James, especially as his book A Million Windows (2014) pays homage to the preface of The Portrait of a Lady.1 I was keen to know what Murnane thought about such an influential Victorian novelist. To my surprise, he said that James’ novels “have no landscape”. This comment, presumably meant as a criticism, seemed logical at the time, uttered as it was in the rural context where Murnane was most at home. My immediate response was to agree, since Murnane’s writing contemplates sweeping vistas that contrast sharply with James’ crowded metropolitan spheres. But the more I thought about this comment the more I came to the conclusion that James’ novels do have landscape – just not the kind of terrain that Murnane prefers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGerald Murnane: Another world in this one
Subtitle of host publicationSydney studies in Australian literature
EditorsAnthony Uhlmann
Place of PublicationSydney
PublisherSydney University Press
Chapter8
Pages103-118
Number of pages15
VolumeSydney Studies in Australian Literature
ISBN (Print)9781743326404
Publication statusPublished - 02 Mar 2020

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    Gibson, S. (2020). Landscape within landscape: The intertwining of the visible and the invisible in Gerald Murnane and Henry James. In A. Uhlmann (Ed.), Gerald Murnane: Another world in this one: Sydney studies in Australian literature (Vol. Sydney Studies in Australian Literature, pp. 103-118). Sydney University Press.