1 Recent examples of this deference might include the solicited opinions of the literary community upon Murrayıs recent T.S. Eliot prize: a lone dissenting voice that "wished to remain anonymous." In his own review of the Redneck volume ( Australian Book Review #186 November 1996) note the pains taken by Don Anderson as prelude to his reservations that half the poems are really "vile": that is, a reprise of his previous praise for the poet, and the acknowledging of Murray's protean and larger than life status. A "poet as supremely confident as Murray" could not need [Anderson's] "humble services"; and "I am convinced that I triply qualify for inclusion in Murray's demonology ... as academic, critic and liberal intellectual".
In a version of this article published in Heat magazine I wrongly suggest John Tranter as another unwilling to state openly his views of Murray's work. In fact Tranter has made them clear through a number of reviews and also through publication of, for example, John Redmond's review of Redneck in the internet magazine, Jacket.
2 Murray suggests the book will be central to interpretations of his work. I would think this could only be harmfully so, that Redneck's simplifications will be employed as a key to the rest of the oeuvre. On the other hand a nice controversy along the lines of "Was he really such a bastard?" might be productive of academic scribbling for some time.
3 This is not an argument against metaphor as such, but Murray's often invite puzzlement rather than acceptance, revelation or insight and, like cards, seem 'played', as if the fact of their equations was the clinching argument for their proof.
4 But here and elewhere this 'simplicity of diction' is I think affecting but affected. It mimes the situation's qualities of tentativeness, of unspokenness. It also registers Murray's immensely sentimental charity towards himself.