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.
|Title of host publication||Gerald Murnane: Another world in this one|
|Subtitle of host publication||Sydney studies in Australian literature|
|Place of Publication||Sydney|
|Publisher||Sydney University Press|
|Number of pages||15|
|Volume||Sydney Studies in Australian Literature|
|Publication status||Published - 02 Mar 2020|
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.