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y separately published work icon A Season on Earth single work   novel  
Issue Details: First known date: 2019... 2019 A Season on Earth
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'What he had been searching for was not the perfect religious order but the perfect landscape…From that moment on he was a poet in search of his ideal landscape.

'Lost to the world for more than four decades, A Season on Earth is the essential link between two acknowledged masterpieces by Gerald Murnane: the lyrical account of boyhood in his debut novel, Tamarisk Row, and the revolutionary prose of The Plains.

'A Season on Earth is Murnane’s second novel as it was intended to be, bringing together all of its four sections—the first two of which were published as A Lifetime on Clouds in 1976 and the last two of which have never been in print.

'A hilarious tale of a lustful teenager in 1950s Melbourne, A Lifetime on Clouds has been considered an outlier in Murnane’s fiction. That is because, as Murnane writes in his foreword, it is ‘only half a book and Adrian Sherd only half a character’.

'Here, at last, is sixteen-year-old Adrian’s journey in full, from fantasies about orgies with American film stars and idealised visions of suburban marital bliss to his struggles as a Catholic novice, and finally a burgeoning sense of the boundless imaginative possibilities to be found in literature and landscapes.

'Adrian Sherd is one of the great comic creations in Australian writing, and A Season on Earth is a revelatory portrait of the artist as a young man.'  (Publication summary)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Melbourne, Victoria,: Text Publishing , 2019 .
      image of person or book cover 5870641189396051525.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 512p.
      Note/s:
      • Published 5 February 2019

      ISBN: 9781925773347

Works about this Work

Just Another Pipe Dream Edmund Gordon , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: The Times Literary Supplement , 2 August 2019; (p. 21)

— Review of A Season on Earth Gerald Murnane , 2019 single work novel
The Boy Pulled through at Last James Ley , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 9 March 2019; (p. 20)

— Review of A Season on Earth Gerald Murnane , 2019 single work novel

'Gerald Murnane’s old/new novel puts him in the company of James Joyce, writes James Ley'  (Introduction)

Tracking Time Geordie Williamson , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: The Monthly , March no. 153 2019; (p. 62-64)

— Review of A Season on Earth Gerald Murnane , 2019 single work novel

'“Creating" wrote Albert Camus, “is living doubly.” He was thinking about Proust when he wrote those words - the Frenchman’s assiduous assembling of the living details of his world. The carpets, the flowers, the wallpaper patterns, the dresses, the table settings, the jewellery and walking sticks, the teacakes and bed blankets: the sheer clutter of stuff in space and time. His imagination was like some nightmare from which Marie Kondo wakes screaming.' (Introduction)

Back to Earth : The Original Version of Gerald Murnane's Second Novel Paul Giles , 2019 single work essay
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , April no. 410 2019; (p. 36-37)

'A Season on Earth is the original version of Gerald Murnane’s second published novel, A Lifetime on Clouds, which appeared in 1976. The story behind this book’s publication is now well known, thanks to interviews Murnane has given and the author’s ‘foreword’ to this edition, where he relates how he reluctantly cut his manuscript in half to fit with Heinemann editor Edward Kynaston’s view of it as ‘a comic masterpiece’. Kynaston was probably trying to exploit the publicity surrounding Philip Roth’s Portnoy’s Complaint, which had become a cause célèbre in Australia after being initially banned in 1970 but then published after its acquittal in an obscenity trial. The ‘sin of self-abuse’ is also central to Murnane’s novel. Towards the end of A Lifetime on Clouds, rewritten by the author especially for that earlier version, central protagonist Adrian Sherd imagines Melbourne to be ‘the Masturbation capital of the world’, but then comes to realise ‘the same problem occurred in every civilized country on earth’.' (Introduction)

A Season on Earth by Gerald Murnane Review – 'Lost' Novel Holds the Key to Author's Success Paul Karp , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: The Guardian Australia , 7 March 2019;

— Review of A Season on Earth Gerald Murnane , 2019 single work novel

'Unabridged and twice as long, the updated version of Murnane’s 1976 novel lacks the subtlety of his later works.' 

A Season on Earth by Gerald Murnane Review – 'Lost' Novel Holds the Key to Author's Success Paul Karp , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: The Guardian Australia , 7 March 2019;

— Review of A Season on Earth Gerald Murnane , 2019 single work novel

'Unabridged and twice as long, the updated version of Murnane’s 1976 novel lacks the subtlety of his later works.' 

Tracking Time Geordie Williamson , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: The Monthly , March no. 153 2019; (p. 62-64)

— Review of A Season on Earth Gerald Murnane , 2019 single work novel

'“Creating" wrote Albert Camus, “is living doubly.” He was thinking about Proust when he wrote those words - the Frenchman’s assiduous assembling of the living details of his world. The carpets, the flowers, the wallpaper patterns, the dresses, the table settings, the jewellery and walking sticks, the teacakes and bed blankets: the sheer clutter of stuff in space and time. His imagination was like some nightmare from which Marie Kondo wakes screaming.' (Introduction)

The Boy Pulled through at Last James Ley , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 9 March 2019; (p. 20)

— Review of A Season on Earth Gerald Murnane , 2019 single work novel

'Gerald Murnane’s old/new novel puts him in the company of James Joyce, writes James Ley'  (Introduction)

Just Another Pipe Dream Edmund Gordon , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: The Times Literary Supplement , 2 August 2019; (p. 21)

— Review of A Season on Earth Gerald Murnane , 2019 single work novel
Back to Earth : The Original Version of Gerald Murnane's Second Novel Paul Giles , 2019 single work essay
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , April no. 410 2019; (p. 36-37)

'A Season on Earth is the original version of Gerald Murnane’s second published novel, A Lifetime on Clouds, which appeared in 1976. The story behind this book’s publication is now well known, thanks to interviews Murnane has given and the author’s ‘foreword’ to this edition, where he relates how he reluctantly cut his manuscript in half to fit with Heinemann editor Edward Kynaston’s view of it as ‘a comic masterpiece’. Kynaston was probably trying to exploit the publicity surrounding Philip Roth’s Portnoy’s Complaint, which had become a cause célèbre in Australia after being initially banned in 1970 but then published after its acquittal in an obscenity trial. The ‘sin of self-abuse’ is also central to Murnane’s novel. Towards the end of A Lifetime on Clouds, rewritten by the author especially for that earlier version, central protagonist Adrian Sherd imagines Melbourne to be ‘the Masturbation capital of the world’, but then comes to realise ‘the same problem occurred in every civilized country on earth’.' (Introduction)

Last amended 13 May 2020 08:00:25
Settings:
  • Melbourne, Victoria,
  • 1950s
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