The Pages

The Pages Murray Bail s first novel since Eucalyptus is a beguiling meditation on friendship and love on men and women on landscape and the difficulties of thought itself What are THE PAGES On a family sheep

Murray Bail s first novel since Eucalyptus is a beguiling meditation on friendship and love, on men and women, on landscape and the difficulties of thought itself.What are THE PAGES On a family sheep station in the interior of Australia, a brother and sister work the property while their reclusive brother Wesley Antill, spends years toiling away in one of the sheds, writinMurray Bail s first novel since Eucalyptus is a beguiling meditation on friendship and love, on men and women, on landscape and the difficulties of thought itself.What are THE PAGES On a family sheep station in the interior of Australia, a brother and sister work the property while their reclusive brother Wesley Antill, spends years toiling away in one of the sheds, writing a philosophy Now he has died Erica, a philosopher, is sent from Sydney to appraise his work Accompanying her is Sophie who needs a distraction from a string of failed relationships Her field is psychoanalysis These two women, each with a different view of the world, meet a situation they have not experienced before with surprising results.

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  • ✓ The Pages || ☆ PDF Read by ¼ Murray Bail
    Murray Bail
  • thumbnail Title: ✓ The Pages || ☆ PDF Read by ¼ Murray Bail
    Posted by:Murray Bail
    Published :2018-03-15T07:38:00+00:00

One thought on “The Pages

  1. Shannon (Giraffe Days)

    Murray Bail's 1998 book, Eucalyptus, is one of my most beloved books. It resonates so strongly with me that I'm always disappointed when other readers don't like it like I do - even though I can understand it, especially if they're not Australian and have never been there. It's a mix of Bail's distinctive writing style and the story itself: it either works for you or it doesn't.The same is very much true of The Pages, a simple, short novel about two women, psychologists from Sydney, who travel s [...]

  2. Jim Elkins

    An increasingly prominent Australian writer. The problem with this book is a problem it shares with many others: it just isn't ambitious enough. It's about a psychoanalyst and a philosopher, both women, who go into the Centre to look at the papers of a self-styled philosopher who had lived on a sheep ranch. The theme has potential as a dialogue among women friends (this is the best-developed part), as a meditation on nation and landscape, as a philosophic contrast between psychoanalysis and lite [...]

  3. Ruth Bonetti

    As I loved Eucalyptus by Murray Bail, I expected to do the same with The Pages. And there was every reason I should; I grew up on an Australian sheep station and am writing about an eccentric philosopher author of a similar era (late 1800's). I resonate with the landscape, smell of lanolin and sense of alien incongruity felt by the main character. So I was surprised to find this book less engrossing, although there were felicitous images and phrases.

  4. Carolyn Mck

    I found this an elusive text about philosophy, the inner and the outer life, friendship and obsession. The language is reflective, recursive, ambiguous, poetic. Much of the settings are reminiscent of Eucalyptus, a wonderful Bail novel, but this didn’t have the same impact on me. It would probably repay re-reading but with so many good books to tempt me, I doubt I will.

  5. Pat

    I recently saw the film Another Year by Mike Leigh and I was intrigued by the way he blended comedy and tragedy so that I wasn't always certain which was which. Murray Bail does something similar in this book which often took me by surprise. Sometimes I wondered if I was meant to understand what I was reading, or if it wasn't just a bit of an elbow nudge. The story is about what happens when two women friends, Erica, a philosopher and Sophie, a psychoanalyst, venture from the City into the wilds [...]

  6. Debbie Robson

    What a mixed bag of a book this was and it could have been so much more! I’ve given the book three stars instead of two mainly because of the way the relationship is portrayed between Erica and the sister and brother on the sheep station. Bail has really captured the awkward, initial sizing up and working out of another’s personality - what makes them who they are. What I really had trouble with was the chapters on psychology and philosophy and the social commentary on Sydney as a city (whic [...]

  7. Brendan

    I'm sorry but this book just didn't cut it. OK, so Bail's prose is enigmatic and slippery, but the premise here is contrived at best: an academic is sent to a remote farm to read the writings of a little known hermit philosopher who has passed away. What follows unsurprisingly is a thinly veiled philosophical indulgence with some equally thin characters. Look, I did quite enjoy his earlier Canowindra book, even allowing for the unexpected Clare Quilty-like appearance of the suitor. But The Pages [...]

  8. Alison

    I have a beautiful hardcover edition (not the same as the one pictured here) with roughcut page edges and a eucalyptus bark coloured cover that made the experienceof reading it all the more pleasurable. Not knowing much about philosophy, I found the fine nuances difficult to understand, but it didn't really matter. Just being taken on a journey through Australian countryside through the slow, measured rhythm of Bail's prose was worth it.

  9. Ben Babcock

    So I've done it again. I don't know why I do this. Sometimes literary fiction appeals to me, but most of the time it comes off as bland or just unremarkable. Nothing about The Pages indicated to me that it would be any different, and I was predictably unimpressed with it. But I can't very well write a review that says, "More of the same." I feel an obligation to provide a full explanation of my displeasure, especially because, at the time I'm writing this, the other two poor reviews of this book [...]

  10. Justin Evans

    Another review complains that this book isn't ambitious enough, despite being about the entire history of Western philosophy. That is a gross misreading: the book is about the very important differences between the third person perspective, here understood as essentially philosophical and analytical, and the first person perspective, assumed to be revealed by psychoanalysis. Other reviews complaint that the book isn't like Eucalyptus, which just makes me not want to read Eucalyptus, because it [...]

  11. Lynette

    I loved "Eucalyptus", and on the strength of that decided to read this. Bail has a unique way of describing people, landscapes and situations - and I frequently stopped reading just to savour the unusual description. I found "The Pages" a little slower to read than usual as the narrative itself is very slow, but very reflective of the actual events taking place and the thinking behind it all. Still, it is quite compelling and I enjoyed the underlying philosophical meanderings.

  12. Alex Handyside

    Started well. Interesting characters. Good story line. And I liked the way the chapters flipped between the two main characters: the researcher (in the present), and the author/subject (all in the past).But then about 80% through, when a side-story grew, the main story began to lose its way. The ending was really quite a let down.

  13. Friederike Knabe

    At the time of his death, Wesley Antill, son of a wealthy sheep farmer and self-declared philosopher, had left his rambling thoughts in big heaps of scattered, handwritten notes all over his shed-study. His siblings, Lindsey and Roger, having looked after the farm while intellectual Wesley pondered life and philosophy, are tasked with publishing his work. To assess the value and validity of Wesley's notes as having the makings of a "philosophy" Erica Hazlehurst, herself an established philosophe [...]

  14. Tim

    This was my first Murray Bail novel - an author who has been on my "must get around to" list for some time.I really liked the writing - Bail seems to have a deep appreciation for language and is either very careful or brilliantly intuitive in how he uses it.It can be very hard to produce deep and perceptive descriptions (especially of people) and still write in a way that is easy and enjoyable to read. I think this is especially true when writing for a modern audience - novelists from earlier ge [...]

  15. Steve

    The Pages shares with much of Bail's other fiction (Homesickness in particular) an abstract quality that is both unsettling and compelling. As tangible as settings and characters become, there's a constant awareness of them as text, not flesh, and of the novel as workspace for ideas rather than a flat reproduction of life. I can see that being off-putting to readers, but I really enjoyed it here as in Bail's other books. In many ways, settings were more developed than characters, raising some pr [...]

  16. Lyndon

    "Philosophy is the modelling of imperfect materials" (from the last few pages). I think that just about sums up this novel for me. Be it a text, an idea, a relationship or a wool shed; how these 'materials' are shaped and formed through the wandering perspective of the son of the sheep farmer into a very imperfect kind of wisdom is barely able to keep itself above water (or interest). Bail seeks to transpose the self-exiled thinker (cf. Wittgenstein and Heidegger) onto the search for meaning. As [...]

  17. RH Walters

    More astringent and opinionated than his other work, but still good sketching of the contrasts between people and evocative of the way landscapes shape them."Erica smiled. If anyone should be running away it was her. Through the window she saw a tall pale-gray eucalypt surrounded by a darker cluster of pines, elms, cedars. It pronounced a solitary, take-it-or-leave-it way of being. The simple strength of the tree: stand it alongside the lack of statement, on her part. For a moment - before looki [...]

  18. Calzean

    The writing of Bail is like an Olympic speed skater - his words glide easily but there is a pain to get through to "win".The Pages is about a female philosopher, who goes to the West of NSW to look at the papers of a self-styled philosopher who had lived on a sheep ranch but has never been published nor undertaken any formal education. She takes a female friend (a psychoanalyst) for company. At the farm is the brother and sister of the would-be philosopher.The highlights of the book are the dial [...]

  19. David Hamilton

    Story about two friends, Erica Hazelhurst, a philosopher, and Sophie Perloff, a psychologist, who travel to the outback of Australia to visit the ancestral home of another philosopher, Wesley Antill, to determine whether his writings were valuable and could be published. The book is about ½ reviewing Wesley’s life and travels and the incident that resulted in the death of a woman he loved, which is probably what really pushed him into a life of seclusion, not his stated desire to be a philoso [...]

  20. Courtney Johnston

    To my total embarrassment, I only remembered I read this over Christmas when I stumbled over this Hermione Lee review.I got it out of the library at the same time as Tim Winton's 'Breath', and I think I was so blown away by that book that I totally forget 'The Pages'.Like Lee, I found Bail's writing, and evocation of Australianess, beautiful and effortless. But like her, I could never decide whether I was meant to take the philosopher at the centre of the story seriously. I think this uncertaine [...]

  21. Pawel

    “…At the very word “philosophy” people in Sydney run away in droves, reach for revolver; the look down at their shoes, they smile indulgently, they go blank…”“…From being the most unphilosophical city in the world, Sydney has become the most psychological city in the world…”One asked me how is it to live in OZ land? It is first of all very easy – I answered. People here do not see it and at the same time are more than afraid to leave this comfort zone. It leads to boredom a [...]

  22. Ally

    I have given this 2 stars however I liked reading it and think that I could have enjoyed it more if I had allowed myself to think about it more. I think that perhaps I was in the wrong headspace to read it. I liked how the book followed two stories. I didn't like the last few pages which is probably why I have given the harsh score.

  23. Michael Burge

    I am always suspicious of a book's merits when I find recently published editions in charity shops, and this was no exception. I got a near new copy of it for $2.00 and I can see why its first owner abandoned it. Great ideas and characters that stumble over themselves to deliver a clear plot.

  24. Kirsten

    Had to get this as such a great cover and loved Eucalyptus, but actually found it a bit of a chore to get through, and not nearly as magical. Thought would be about creation of philosophy, but was more about the friendship between t2o women.

  25. Sharron

    I liked it though it's not in a class with with his stellar earlier work, "Eucalyptus". Further, unless you have a passion for Australia, it probably won't appeal to you. that said, I'm glad I read it as he evokes memories of Australia and its people.

  26. Jan Schindler

    liked this a lot, good discussion of role philosophy plays or doesn't in daily life, life of mind vs. life of duty(?)action/concreteness(?), different world views. i wish he would have said more about Wesley's death but other than that enjoyable.

  27. Sunny

    A wonderfully thoughtful novel about thinking and emotional risks we are, or are not, willing to take when choosing life directions. May be too slow for some, but the careful and intimate insight into these characters is worth taking ones time to read.

  28. Mike

    Loved "Eucalyptus". This is a more mundane book. Concerns two women who visit a rural NSW farm to look at the archives of an obscure Australian philosopher. Yes sounds dry doesn't it. I liked the flashbacks to the philosophers early life in Sydney and Europe. The rest I found uninspiring.

  29. Robert Wechsler

    Well written, sentence by sentence, but neither the story nor the characters nor the ideas seemed right. I just stopped wanting to turn the pages.

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