Not Inane Murnane

Ruth and I are snowed in.  We were in the path of the great Northwestern snow dump.  I have had time to watch old movies and read.  Snow is in the forecast for tomorrow and next weekend.  The book I chose to dive into instead of having cabin fever is one I bought in Australia, “The Collected Short Fiction” of Gerald Murnane.  According to many sources, Murnane is the best living fiction writer the world has never heard of.  The august New York Times called him “…one of the  greatest living English language writers,” when he was rumored to win the Nobel Prize for literature.   He didn’t win because this particular Nobel prize was cancelled in 2018.  Murnane is frequently up for this award.

Gerald Murnane has written 13 books, has a cult following, and is said to be deeply eccentric.  His books are always part fiction and part autobiography.  The flow of his language seems ordinary, some would say dull, as he deals with disturbing topics like loneliness and marital failure.   Readers either tend to love or hate his writing.  He does seem to repeat himself a lot, but I haven’t read enough yet to join either side.

Gerald Murnane lives in Goroke, Victoria, Australia, a rural town of 623 people.  He’s secretary of the local golf club and has never left Australia.  He has not travelled much  but seems to know Melbourne and that part of his country very well.   I decided to write about him when he was speculating about Romania in the short story “There Were Some Places”.   He said about Romania, “For the best of my own insights had been obtained from places I never expect to visit.”   I found that curious and began thinking  about the places I have almost visited, like Romania, but have not yet been to and may never see.  This list is growing.  I have almost been to Brazil, Greenland, Bhutan, etc.  If reading about a place is as good as going there, I’ve been to all three.  Hmmmmmmmmm.

Hank

About roadsrus

Since the beginning, I've had to avoid writing about the downside of travel in order to sell more than 100 articles. Just because something negative happened doesn't mean your trip was ruined. But tell that to publishers who are into 5-star cruise and tropical beach fantasies. I want to tell what happened on my way to the beach, and it may not have been all that pleasant. My number one rule of the road is...today's disaster is tomorrow's great story. My travel experiences have appeared in about twenty magazines and newspapers. I've been in all 50 states more than once and more than 50 countries. Ruth and I love to travel internationally--Japan, Canada, China, Argentina, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, etc. Within the next 2 years we will have visited all of the European countries. But our favorite destination is Australia. Ruth and I have been there 9 times. I've written a book about Australia's Outback, ALONE NEAR ALICE, which is available through both Amazon & Barnes & Noble. My first fictional work, MOVING FORWARD, GETTING NOWHERE, has recently been posted on Amazon. It's a contemporary, hopefully funny re-telling of The Odyssey. View all posts by roadsrus

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