A History of Books

A History of Books The major work of fiction in this collection A History of Books explores the relationship between reading and writing in twenty nine sections each of which begins with the memory of a book that ha

  • Title: A History of Books
  • Author: Gerald Murnane
  • ISBN: 9781920882853
  • Page: 139
  • Format: Paperback
  • The major work of fiction in this collection, A History of Books , explores the relationship between reading and writing in twenty nine sections, each of which begins with the memory of a book that has left an image in the writer s mind The memory of the books themselves might have faded, but the images remain in their clarity and import scenes of discord and madness,The major work of fiction in this collection, A History of Books , explores the relationship between reading and writing in twenty nine sections, each of which begins with the memory of a book that has left an image in the writer s mind The memory of the books themselves might have faded, but the images remain in their clarity and import scenes of discord and madness, a stern faced man, a young woman on a swing, a glass of beer and rays of sunlight, mountain and woodland and horizon images which together embody the anxieties and aspirations of a writing life, and its indebtedness to what has been written and read A History of Books is accompanied by three shorter works, As It Were a Letter , The Boy s Name was David and Last Letter to a Niece , in which a writer searches for an ideal world, an ideal sentence, and an ideal reader.

    One thought on “A History of Books”

    1. msarki.tumblr/post/5798363Written in the third person, the author, supposedly being the subject of this fiction, composed this title-story text in a style quite similar to Gerald Murnane's last book published titled Barley Patch, and it appears to me as surprisingly irritating I should go ahead and figure for most people to read except for those of us much as I am, and that being, a very huge fan.  Though rarely do I recognize an author or a book being mentioned as image-memories I do enjoy the [...]

    2. I've put off reviewing this for too long, and now my thoughts are all disorganized. But suffice to say, my gut instinct was: not as good as Barley Patch, not as good as A Million Windows, still better than most things. The title piece ends with more or less a restatement of the claim in Barley Patch. Our narrator describes a book by Halldor Laxness, and the feeling he had reading the end of it. The narrator continues: "the man preparing to write the short passage mentioned had wanted to write a [...]

    3. Is there anyone like Murnane? A History of Books is a series of short reminiscences of books read, yet there is perhaps more Murnane here than his subjects. It deals the way in which we make the books we read, by remembering, long after we have finished them, certain aspects over others. In time we build fractious, sparse and highly subjective appreciations of the books we come to appreciate. Much as I'm loathe to support anything Imre Salusinsky propounds AHOB does further support his claim tha [...]

    4. ‘If you have not read him, you should do so. He is a staggering original…’So says Peter Craven in his review at The Age/SMH. The judges for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award concurred, and have shortlisted A History of Books for the 2012 prize. This makes the task of choosing a winner doubly difficult because the shortlist is a strong one this year, and while in my opinion Murnane’s book is the stand-out contender, it raises the contemporary question of ‘accessibility’. A book [...]

    5. Impossible to rate. Like comparing a kumquat to a pile of apples Highly unconventional style which takes a lot of concentration to decipher at sentence level, yet leaves crystal clear images and sensations behind. This is the first if Murnane's works I've read. I might have been more motivated to do the work necessary if I was interested in his biography or in working out how he writes. I'm not yet. I might come back o this after I've read The plains.

    6. Gerard Murnane - or at least the version of Gerard Murnane in this book - can barely remember a word of most of the books he's read, and neither can I. That's enough to make me love this, but it's also brilliant, which helps. I don't even understand how you get to be like this. I've only read the first story, saving the other three shorter stories for later.

    7. Three statements 1. This book gave me a headache 2. Breathtakingly pretentious 3. Worst book I've ever read

    8. This was originally posted at my blog ifnotread.wordpress/"I knew I was asking for trouble by reading it because I had read The Plains and understood it very little. The Plains needs a rereading before I can put my thoughts down about it.For me, Murnane is a fascinating and enigmatic writer but I also get frustrated. Murnane would be crudely put into the ‘literary fiction’ category but I’m not fussed by categories. I only use them to steer me away from horror and romance…The collection c [...]

    9. Memory is an issue with me and so any texts that deal with memory issues are always of more interest to me than others and so from the very beginning of this book I found myself empathising with the narrator—not to be confused with the author although they could well be twins—and his inability to remember very much about any of the books he’s read throughout his life. When I first joined I decided to go through the books in my cupboard, the old ones I’ve been carting around for decades, [...]

    10. A challenging read, as always with Gerald. I liked the concept of the images and what they represented, or didn't as the case may be. Not as mighty a novel as The Plains, the daddy of them all.

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