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Issue Details: First known date: 2019... 2019 Reading Corporeality in Patrick White’s Fiction : An Abject Dictatorship of the Flesh
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'In Reading Corporeality in Patrick White's Fiction: An Abject Dictatorship of the Flesh, Bridget Grogan combines theoretical explication, textual comparison, and close reading to argue that corporeality is central to Patrick White's fiction, shaping the characterization, style, narrative trajectories, and implicit philosophy of his novels and short stories. Critics have often identified a radical disgust at play in White's writing, claiming that it arises from a defining dualism that posits the 'purity' of the disembodied 'spirit' in relation to the 'pollution' of the material world. Grogan argues convincingly, however, that White's fiction is far more complex in its approach to the body. Modeling ways in which Kristevan theory may be applied to modern fiction, her close attention to White's recurring interest in physicality and abjection draws attention to his complex questioning of metaphysics and subjectivity, thereby providing a fresh and compelling reading of this important world author.'

Notes

  • Contents:

    1. Abjection, compassion, and White's recuperation of affective corporeality

    2. Mind/​body dualism : history, modernity, criticism

    3. Pulsating prose

    4. The body imprisoned : social control and corporeal subversion

    5. Ladies and gentleman? the corporeal subversion of identity in the Aunt's Story and the Twyborn Affair

    6. White's somatic spirituality

    7. Abject corporeality and somatic spirituality : Voss and the Eye of the Storm

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Leiden,
      c
      Netherlands,
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Brill ,
      2019 .
      image of person or book cover 2488067508998956210.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: viii, 278p.p.
      Note/s:
      • Published 25 March 2019.
      ISBN: 9789004365681, 9004365680, 9789004365698

Works about this Work

Review of Reading Corporeality in Patrick White's Fiction : An Abject Dictatorship of the Flesh, by Bridget Grogan Jasmin Kelaita , 2020 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Literary Studies , 19 December vol. 34 no. 2 2020;

— Review of Reading Corporeality in Patrick White’s Fiction : An Abject Dictatorship of the Flesh Bridget Grogan , 2019 multi chapter work criticism

'The distinctive repetition of embodied characters and material environments in Patrick White’s prose has always busied Australian literature scholars. Bridget Grogan’s new work on the author’s obsession with corporeality delves deep into the discomforting realm of the body and its bleeding, burning and pulsing pressures. Indeed, Grogan invites us, as she argues White himself does, to ‘“kiss the corpse,” to accept the body’ and with it the dissolute qualities of human subjectivity White examines so closely in his narratives (16).' (Introduction)

Bridget Grogan. Reading Corporeality in Patrick White’s Fiction: An Abject Dictatorship of the Flesh. Jonathan Dunk , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: Commonwealth : Essays and Studies , Autumn vol. 42 no. 1 2019;

— Review of Reading Corporeality in Patrick White’s Fiction : An Abject Dictatorship of the Flesh Bridget Grogan , 2019 multi chapter work criticism

'Bridget Grogan’s monograph Reading Corporeality in Patrick White’s Fiction articulates a welcome challenge to a number of the assumptions of White studies. Her compelling primary thesis is that White doesn’t endorse a dualistic paradigm between spiritual transcendence and corporeal abjection, but rather stages it as an immanent critique of rationalist modernity. This argument draws on the concept of what Grogan calls the “somatic spirituality” which critically diverges from the Platonic and Pauline view of the flesh as the prison of the soul. This is salutary in a number of ways; critics have long recognized the importance of physical abjection in White’s novels, but often in unhelpful and contradictory ways.' (Introduction)

Review of Reading Corporeality in Patrick White's Fiction : An Abject Dictatorship of the Flesh, by Bridget Grogan Jasmin Kelaita , 2020 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Literary Studies , 19 December vol. 34 no. 2 2020;

— Review of Reading Corporeality in Patrick White’s Fiction : An Abject Dictatorship of the Flesh Bridget Grogan , 2019 multi chapter work criticism

'The distinctive repetition of embodied characters and material environments in Patrick White’s prose has always busied Australian literature scholars. Bridget Grogan’s new work on the author’s obsession with corporeality delves deep into the discomforting realm of the body and its bleeding, burning and pulsing pressures. Indeed, Grogan invites us, as she argues White himself does, to ‘“kiss the corpse,” to accept the body’ and with it the dissolute qualities of human subjectivity White examines so closely in his narratives (16).' (Introduction)

Bridget Grogan. Reading Corporeality in Patrick White’s Fiction: An Abject Dictatorship of the Flesh. Jonathan Dunk , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: Commonwealth : Essays and Studies , Autumn vol. 42 no. 1 2019;

— Review of Reading Corporeality in Patrick White’s Fiction : An Abject Dictatorship of the Flesh Bridget Grogan , 2019 multi chapter work criticism

'Bridget Grogan’s monograph Reading Corporeality in Patrick White’s Fiction articulates a welcome challenge to a number of the assumptions of White studies. Her compelling primary thesis is that White doesn’t endorse a dualistic paradigm between spiritual transcendence and corporeal abjection, but rather stages it as an immanent critique of rationalist modernity. This argument draws on the concept of what Grogan calls the “somatic spirituality” which critically diverges from the Platonic and Pauline view of the flesh as the prison of the soul. This is salutary in a number of ways; critics have long recognized the importance of physical abjection in White’s novels, but often in unhelpful and contradictory ways.' (Introduction)

Last amended 13 Jun 2019 13:29:11
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