AustLit logo
Issue Details: First known date: 2014... 2014 Patrick White and Australia : Perspective of an Outsider
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.

AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Reflecting, however briefly, on the state of the world in this year of Patrick White's birth centenary (2012), his view that, "we live in black times," rings more true than ever. There is not a single country unaffected by neoliberal economic globalisation and imperialism. Some regions of the world seem to live in a state of perpetual war. If technological advancements and economic mobility have enabled greater international and global interactions, they have also intensified parochial nationalisms and gross inequities between nations and between people within a single nation. Immigration is a contentious issue, the gap between the rich and the poor continues to widen, governments arc openly influenced by corporations, there is increasing gloom about rising costs, unemployment, and lack of housing and healthcare even in the more prosperous nations of the western world.' (Introduction)


  • Epigraph: Unfortunately we live in black times with less and less that may be called good, and I suppose I must reflect the blackness of those times. I tried to write a book about saints, but saints are few and far between. If I were a saint myself I could pmject my saintliness, perhaps, endlessly in what I write. But I am a sensual and irritable human being. Certainly the longer I live, the less I see to like in the human beings of whom I am one. (Qtd. in Man 1991, 453)

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. 125-140
Last amended 7 Jun 2017 12:09:04
125-140 Patrick White and Australia : Perspective of an Outsidersmall AustLit logo