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Patrick White : The Quest of the Artist single work   criticism  
Issue Details: First known date: 2014... 2014 Patrick White : The Quest of the Artist
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‘One of the epigraphs to The Vivisector is a quotation from the English painter Ben Nicholson. It expresses a major theme in White's fiction for it expresses the idea that both the artist and the mystic arc searching for "the understanding and realisation of infinity." Several of White's characters attempt to reach or reveal the Infinite in their lived lives or artistic creations. Even in his first published short story, "The Twitching Colonel", there are suggestions of a yearning for a self beyond the conscious self. The Colonel longs to transcend the ephemeral: "I shall strip myself of the onion-folds of prejudice, till standing naked though conscious I sec myself complete or else be consumed like the Hindu conjurer who is translated into space." (TC. 602-609) Theodora Goodman in The Aunt's Story reaches a heightened awareness where "light and silence ate into the hard, resisting barriers of reason, hinting at some ultimate moment of clear vision" (VIV. 290). Stan Parker's lifetime search in The Tree of Man ends with a vision "that One, and no other figure, is the answer to all sums." (TM. 497) Voss believes that in this "disturbing country" ... it is possible more easily to discard the inessential and to attempt the infinite." (V. 38) ’ (Introduction)

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    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. 110-124
Last amended 7 Jun 2017 12:08:26
110-124 Patrick White : The Quest of the Artistsmall AustLit logo
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