David Jones, artist and poet (1895-1974) begins his PREFACE TO THE ANATHEMATA :

'I have made a heap of all that I could find.' (1) So wrote Nennius, or whoever composed the introductory matter to Historia Brittonum. He speaks of an 'inward wound' which was caused by the fear that certain things dear to him 'should be like smoke dissipated'. Further, he says, 'not trusting my own learning, which is none at all, but partly from writings and monuments of the ancient inhabitants of Britain, partly from the annals of the Romans and the chronicles of the sacred fathers, Isidore, Hieronymous, Prosper, Eusebius and from the histories of the Scots and Saxons although our enemies . . . I have lispingly put together this . . . about past transactions, that [this material] might not be trodden under foot'. (2)

(1) The actual words are coacervavi omne quod inveni, and occur in Prologue 2 to the Historia.
(2) Quoted from the translation of Prologue 1. See The Works of Gildas and Nennius, J.A.Giles, London 1841.

31 July 2014

Judging a cover by its cover : continued

Stop the presses, everyone! Gerald's on the radio.

What a pleasure it was this morning to listen to Gerald Murnane's every thoughtful word.

Last month we posted some review links (here) when his latest book A Million Windows was published. We also made mention at that time about the book's covers. Covers, plural. So it was of interest to hear Gerald comment about the cover at the start of this morning's interview.

.  .  .  .

Michael Cathcart : Some music there by Brian Eno, which seems a nice way to set the scene for our  next discussion. 

The reviewers think the world of the Australian writer Gerald Murnane. One calls him a genius, a writer widely considered to be the next Australian winner of the Nobel.  Peter Craven, who is one of our best literary critics, says 'No living Australian writer has higher claims to permanence  or a richer sense of distinction'. And a bloke called Blair Mahoney, who's a reviewer on Goodreads, just says that 'Gerald Murnane's a treasure'.

He's 75. He's here with his eleventh book. It's called A Million Windows, which comes from a line by the American writer Henry James : 'The house of fiction has in short not one window, but a million'.

Well, it's a strange and dreamlike book about a writer who is constantly reflecting on the act of story telling even as he tells us a story. 

Gerald, good morning. Welcome to the show.

Gerald Murnane : Thank you, Michael.

Michael Cathcart : Nice to have you here. Congratulations. It's a lovely book. It's actually a lovely book to handle. Did you feel that when it arrived? It just had this lovely weight to it.

Gerald Murnane : Everybody praises the cover. I had a different cover in mind, but that doesn't matter.

Michael Cathcart : Publishers are like that. They say, mate... the cover is our call, I know.

to listen to the full interview click here
'Books and Arts Daily', ABC.RN
31 July 2014

 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
  someone looks at something ...