AustLit logo
Issue Details: First known date: 2014... 2014 The Decorative Voice of Hidden, Secret Flesh: Corporeal Dynamics in Patrick White’s Fiction
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

'With reference to Roland Barthes’s and Julia Kristeva’s observations on the bodily origins of language, this article argues that physicality is an important aspect, both thematically and stylistically, of the fiction of Australian Nobel prizewinner, Patrick White. Kristeva’s theory of the “symbolic” and “semiotic” aspects of signification, developed in her book Revolution in Poetic Language (1984), informs the argument that White’s writing emphasises a dualism of rationality and physicality at work within language and literature. Taking Kristeva’s observation that the “semiotic” or bodily aspect of language – evident in asymbolic poetic effects such as rhythm and rhyme – is comparable to music, the article explores White’s interest in music as expressed within his fiction. It argues, accordingly, that White’s frequent descriptions of music function as metatextual elements within his writing that draw attention to the materiality of language, the poetic dimension of his prose, and his association of representation with corporeality. Finally, in a reading of the short story “Five-Twenty”, from the collection The Cockatoos ([1974]1979), White’s interest in corporeal markings – which emphasise signification as bodily and corporeality as a language – is explored.' (Publication summary)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Last amended 1 Jul 2014 08:32:36
1-19 The Decorative Voice of Hidden, Secret Flesh: Corporeal Dynamics in Patrick White’s Fictionsmall AustLit logo Journal of Literary Studies
    Powered by Trove