Gerald Murnane 2017. Border Districts. Artamon: Giramondo Publishing Company. 164 pp.

An admirer has compared Gerald Murnane with Beckett but surely he is far more like Proust than anything else I have read, but even more introspective, withdrawn. Could mistakenly be thought of as neurotic but too genuine and accomplished to be dismissed so easily. Assured language but riven with minutiae and recursion which ascends from device to distraction to annoyance. It is moot whether the author ventures far (as he intends), or barely at all (as he pretends). Certainly he aspires to always be in a border district, however it mostly seems to be a border between not a lot and not much else.

Gerald Murnane variously encapsulates himself:

In the unimaginable circumstance that I were writing a work of fiction … (p. 15)

Alone at my desk, however, and especially while writing a report such as this, I become what many would describe as an eccentric or a misfit. (p. 147)

And especially:

… I have learned to trust the promptings of my mind, which urges me sometimes to study in all seriousness matters that another person might dismiss as unworthy, trivial, childish. (p. 19)

This is Murnane’s most recent book. And, he has said, his last. In time I will try another.