A Season on Earth

by Gerald Murnane
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Publisher: The Text Publishing Company

Publication Date: February 05, 2019

ISBN: 9781925774160

Binding: Kobo eBook

Availability: eBook

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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.

‘Gerald Murnane seems to be winning the wider regard his devotees have always known he deserved…A Season on Earth is more like other novels, or more like a novel, than the fictions to come, but Murnane is already determined to make his own forms…[It is] not simply an idiosyncratic take on the Australian Catholic upbringing, but a portrait of an artist as a young man, in which one false vocation has to die so that a true vocation can take its place.’ Age

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