AustLit logo
image of person or book cover 5009628124004902766.jpg
Image courtesy of publisher's website.
y separately published work icon Fredy Neptune single work   novel  
  • Author:agent Les Murray http://www.poetrylibrary.edu.au/poets/murray-les
Issue Details: First known date: 1998... 1998 Fredy Neptune
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.

Latest Issues

AbstractHistoryArchive Description

When German-Australian sailor Friedrich 'Fredy' Boettcher is shanghied aboard a German Navy battleship at the outbreak of World War I, the sight of frenzied mobs burning Armenian women to death in Turkey causes him, through moral shock, to lose his sense of touch. This mysterious disability, which he knows he must hide, is both protection and curse during much of his life, as he orbits the high horror and low humor of a catastrophic age. Told in blue-collar English that regains freshness by eschewing the mind-set of literary language, Fredy's picaresque life - as, perhaps, the only Nordic Superman ever - is deep-dyed in layers of irony and attains a mind-inverting resolution. (Libraries Australia)

Exhibitions

18005797
18005672

Notes

  • A novel in verse form.
  • Dedication: To the glory of God

Affiliation Notes

  • Writing Disability in Australia:

    Type of disability Unspecified mental illness, likely autism.
    Type of character Secondary.
    Point of view First person.

Contents

* Contents derived from the Zurich,
c
Switzerland,
c
Western Europe, Europe,
:
Ammann , 2004 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
Wie Fred und ich Fredy Neptune schrieben How Fred and I Wrote Fredy Neptune, Les Murray , Thomas Eichhorn (translator) single work autobiography (p. 505-512)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Potts Point, Kings Cross area, Inner Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales,: Duffy and Snellgrove , 1998 .
      image of person or book cover 5009628124004902766.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 265p.
      ISBN: 1875989307 (pbk)
    • Manchester,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Carcanet ,
      1998 .
      image of person or book cover 1987823827794530177.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 255p.
      ISBN: 1857543378
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Farrar Straus and Giroux ,
      1999 .
      image of person or book cover 2874314714383061075.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Alternative title: Fredy Neptune : a novel in verse
      Extent: 255p.
      ISBN: 0374158541 (alk. paper)
    • Melbourne, Victoria,: Black Inc. , 2007 .
      image of person or book cover 1794348966730250758.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 276p.
      ISBN: 9781863954020 (pbk.), 1863954023 (pbk.)
Language: Dutch
    • Amsterdam,
      c
      Netherlands,
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Meulenhoff ,
      2001 .
      image of person or book cover 1357469641030136116.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 263p.
      ISBN: 9029059915

Other Formats

  • Also sound recording.

Works about this Work

'If You're Different Are You the Same? : The Nazi Genocide of Disabled People and Les Murray's Fredy Neptune Amanda Tink , 2020 single work criticism
— Appears in: Genocide Perspectives VI : The Process and Personal Cost of Genocide 2020; (p. 69-86)

'Murray explicitly centred his thesis on the roots of genocide in his second verse novel Fredy Neptune, which he wrote between 1993 and 1997. The book is the first person narrative of Fredy Boettcher, beginning in 1914 when he is 19-years-old, and covering the next 35 years of his life. Fredy is an autistic Australian man with German parents, who acquires a physical impairment when he is 20 as a result of witnessing mass murder during the Armenian Genocide. The novel also features a significant minor character called Hans, an intellec-tually impaired young man whom Fredy kidnaps in 1933 from Germany and brings back to Australia, so that Hans will not be forcibly sterilised by the Nazis. This paper identifies and explores the arguments advocated in Fredy Neptune with respect to the genocide of disabled people.' (p.72)

Narrative Histories and Postcolonial Perspectives in Les Murray's Fredy Neptune Katharine Burkitt , 2016 single work criticism
— Appears in: Literary Form as Postcolonial Critique : Epic Proportions 2016; (p. 33-68)
The Killer of Modern Times : Les Murray’s 'Fredy Neptune' Roberta Cimarosti , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: Textus : English Studies in Italy , May-August vol. 27 no. 2 2014; (p. 67-90)

This essay explores the reasons why Les Murray's five-book novel in verse Fredy Neptune may be considered a masterpiece of crime fiction for undermining the norms that traditionally codify that genre. The norms regulating especially the detective-story are here seen as epitomising the narcissistic principles that have predominantly shaped mainstream Western art and ideology since the dawn of modern times and strongly impacted upon the course of European history both within national and colonial territories. It is, in short, this entire Western episteme that Murray's novel questions through its 'misuse' of crime fiction, as its German-Australian protagonist gets involved in the two World Wars and becomes a German or a British spy depending on the war-line he happens to find himself. This essay first lays bare the critical framework through which I have looked at Murray's novel; then it points out the way it interweaves with Shakespeare's second Henriad but especially with Woolf's fiction opening a dialogue with these crucial texts of early and late modernity; to then conclude by trying to see what formal connections Fredy Neptune may finally have with the genre of crime fiction. [Author's abstract]

Poetic and Rhetorical Figurations of Touch in Les Murray's Fredy Neptune Marie-Luise Egbert , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: Anglistentag 2013 Konstanz : Proceedings 2014; (p. 291-299)
The Unnaturalness of Narrative Poetry Brian McHale , 2013 single work criticism
— Appears in: A Poetics of Unnatural Narrative 2013; (p. 199-222)

Brian McHale investigates the unnaturalness or artificiality of narrative poetry. More specifically, he analyses William Shakespeare’s Venus and Adonis as well as Les Murray’s Fredy Neptune to show that artificial segmentation functionalizes and semanticizes nonsemantic patterns, such as rhyme, that are irrelevant and even inaudible in unsegmented prose. Furthermore, artificial segmentation occasionally coincides with narrative segmentation, enhancing and amplifying it. Sometimes, instead, it cuts across segmentation, setting up counterrhythms, syncopating and counterpointing narrative shifts. In any case, by introducing a series of minuscule gaps and interruptions, artificial segmentation jars us out of our automatic (or “natural”) attitude toward such a narrative. For McHale, artificial segmentation counters the template of natural narrative with a competing unnatural one.' (Authors introduction)

Aber das Leben ist zu gross Joachim Sartorius , 2004 single work review
— Appears in: Die Welt , 3 April 2004;

— Review of Fredy Neptune Les Murray , 1998 single work novel
Irrfahrt in wahnsinnigen Zeitlauften Jurgen Brocan , 2004 single work review
— Appears in: Neue Zurcher Zeitung , 23 March 2004;

— Review of Fredy Neptune Les Murray , 1998 single work novel
Specht erkundet Busch Frank Schafer , 2004 single work review
— Appears in: Die Tageszeitung , 25 March 2004;

— Review of Fredy Neptune Les Murray , 1998 single work novel
Robes, Tat, Rig, and Scunge Adam Kirsch , 2000 single work review
— Appears in: The New Republic , 12 June 2000; (p. 52-54)

— Review of Fredy Neptune Les Murray , 1998 single work novel ; New Selected Poems Les Murray , 1998 selected work poetry
Tall Tales and True in Chapter and Verse Peter Goldsworthy , 2007 single work review
— Appears in: The Australian Literary Review , May vol. 2 no. 4 2007; (p. 12-13, 27)

— Review of El Dorado Dorothy Porter , 2007 single work novel ; Lawrie and Shirley, The Final Cadenza : A Movie in Verse Geoff Page , 2006 single work novel ; Fredy Neptune Les Murray , 1998 single work novel
'Australian poets are leading a revival of the ancient art of the verse novel, a genre as user-friendly as movies that deserves a wider readership.' (Editor's abstract)
Fredy Neptune Goes to War Ian J. Bickerton , 2002 single work criticism
— Appears in: Journal of Australian Studies , no. 73 2002; (p. 67-77; notes 232)
Transmuting the Black Dog : The Mob and the Body in the Poetry of Les Murray Gary Clark , 2002 single work criticism
— Appears in: Antipodes , June vol. 16 no. 1 2002; (p. 19-24)
'Split Belonging' in Les Murray's Novel in Verse, Fredy Neptune Judith Ryan , 2004 single work criticism
— Appears in: Imagining Australia : Literature and Culture in the New New World 2004; (p. 332-352)
Narrative Poetry: Ancient to Modern John Sheppard , 2004 single work criticism
— Appears in: Five Bells , Spring vol. 11 no. 4 2004; (p. 10-14)
Sheppard considers the demise of narrative poetry among modern poets. However, he is gladdened by some outstanding proponents of the form, notably Les Murray and Dorothy Porter.
Narrative Poetry Rosemary Huisman , 2004 single work criticism
— Appears in: Five Bells , Spring vol. 11 no. 4 2004; (p. 15-18)

Awards

2005 winner International Awards Preis der Leipziger Buchmesse Translation For Thomas Eichhorn's German translation.
2004 winner International Awards Premio Mondello (Italy) Foreign Author Received for the 2004 English/Italian edition by the Italian publisher Giano
1999 winner Queensland Premier's Literary Awards Best Fiction Book
Last amended 1 May 2019 11:55:08
Settings:
  • c
    Australia,
    c
  • Europe,
  • Africa,
  • South America, Americas,
  • c
    United States of America (USA),
    c
    Americas,
  • c
    Japan,
    c
    East Asia, South and East Asia, Asia,
  • 1910s
  • 1920s
  • 1930s
  • 1940s
Newspapers:
    Powered by Trove
    X