Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Brannavan in Landfall


Murdoch's favourite quote from the six-page review of Brannavan Gnanalingam's You Should Have Come Here When You Were Not Here from Landfall 227 - available now:

"The Paris you were hoping for, it suggests, exists, the experience you wanted is possible, or it was before you arrived, or it will be after you leave—but the very fact of your presence renders it impossible. As soon as the experience of a city has to be filtered through the consciousness of an outsider, it is necessarily inauthentic. You, the foreigner, are the cause of your own disappointment. You should have come here when you were not here."

Given that the review is six pages long, I doubt we're in breach of the copyright act by also including Brannavan's favourite quote:


"the experience of reading You Should Have Come Here When You Were Not Here – the very title of which can be read as an expression of admonishment – is of listening to one's own internal critical voice, that involuntary commentary we all hear, sometimes louder, more insistent than others. We know that the voice we are reading is Veronica's but the effect of all of those 'yous' is inevitably visceral. Yes, it is Veronica who makes bad decisions, who isolates herself, who searches vainly in her naivety for an ideal that does not and cannot exist. But, at the same time, SHE doesn't do that. YOU do."