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Issue Details: First known date: 2014... 2014 Patrick White, “Belltrees” and the ‘Station Complex’ : Some Reflections
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'In this centenary year of Patrick White’s birth I have found myself reflecting on his relationship to Australian history and in so doing reflecting also on the nature of history itself. History changes with the changing nature of the societies that produce ideas about the past. What is important about Patrick White is that, while seeking to reflect Australia’s social, intellectual and cultural life back on itself as a novelist and playwright, he was deeply engaged with issues in Australian history, as they existed at that time. In this regard, he understood the difficulty of coming to terms with the most unsavoury aspects of our past and advised Australians:

The flow of history is what we have to face and adapt ourselves to. The adjustments we may have to make may be pretty agonising. But they will have to be made (Brennan and Flynn 1989: 85).


Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Patrick White Centenary : The Legacy of a Prodigal Son Cynthia Van Den Driesen (editor), Bill Ashcroft (editor), Newcastle upon Tyne : Cambridge Scholars Press , 2014 7902410 2014 anthology criticism

    'This volume marks the birth centenary of a giant amongst contemporary writers: the Australian Nobel prize-winning novelist, Patrick White (1912–1990). It proffers an invaluable insight into the current state of White studies through commentaries drawn from an international galaxy of eminent critics, as well as from newer talents. The book proves that interest in White’s work continues to grow and diversify.

    'Every essay offers a new insight: some are re-evaluations by seasoned critics who revise earlier positions significantly; others admit new light onto what has seemed like well-trodden terrain or focus on works perhaps undervalued in the past—his poetry, an early short story or novel—which are now subjected to fresh attention. His posthumous work has also won attention from prominent critics. New comparisons with other international writers have been drawn in terms of subject matter, themes and philosophy.

    'The expansion of critical attention into fields like photography and film opens new possibilities for enhancing further appreciation of his work. White’s interest in public issues such as the treatment of Australia’s Indigenous peoples, human rights and Australian nationalism is refracted through the inclusion of relevant commentaries from notable contributors.

    'For the first time in Australian literary history, Indigenous scholars have participated in a celebration of the work of a white Australian writer. All of this highlights a new direction in White studies – the appreciation of his stature as a public intellectual. The book demonstrates that White’s legacy has limitless possibilities for further growth.' (Publisher's abstract)

    Newcastle upon Tyne : Cambridge Scholars Press , 2014
    pg. 429-442
Last amended 17 Feb 2017 13:41:37
429-442 Patrick White, “Belltrees” and the ‘Station Complex’ : Some Reflectionssmall AustLit logo
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