Being-in-Landscape: A Heideggerian Reading of Landscape in Gerald Murnane’s Inland

Julian Murphy

Abstract


This essay conducts a Heideggerian reading of landscape in Gerald Murnane’s most challenging novel, Inland (1988). More specifically, Heidegger’s notion of Being-in-the-world is used to illuminate the way Murnane’s characters understand their place in the landscape around them. It is contended that when the characters of Inland engage with the landscape around them they are enjoined to reflect on their position on the plane of Being, and that such ontological reflection ultimately leads to an appreciation of their Being-in-the-world. This contention is supported in the essay with a close reading of one particular passage from Inland in which a character has a powerful experience of the wind passing over the landscape. In conducting a Heideggerian reading of Inland, this essay departs from the existing secondary literature on the novel. Most notably, this essay offers an alternative ontological framework to those of Harald Fawkner and Imre Salusinszky, who respectively propose phenomenological and solipsistic interpretations of landscape in Inland.

Keywords


landscape; Martin Heidegger; Gerald Murnane; Inland

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