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Issue Details: First known date: 2019... 2019 Back to Earth : The Original Version of Gerald Murnane's Second Novel
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'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)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Australian Book Review ABR no. 410 April 2019 15979827 2019 periodical issue

    'A capacity audience gathered at fortyfivedownstairs on March 18 for the announcement of the fifteenth Peter Porter Poetry Prize, one of the country’s leading awards for a new poem. 

    'First, there were readings of poems by Peter Porter. Peter Rose read Behrouz Boochani’s poem ‘Flight from Manus’, which has made such an impression on readers since its publication in the March issue. This seemed germane in the light of the appalling events in Christchurch three days earlier – another example of the consequences of the intolerance, xenophobia, and rancorous polemics that have stranded Mr Boochani and many others on Manus Island and Nauru.' (Advances, introduction)

    pg. 36-37
Last amended 3 Apr 2019 10:44:21
36-37 Back to Earth : The Original Version of Gerald Murnane's Second Novelsmall AustLit logo Australian Book Review
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