Epigraph: ==An individual avant-gardist is his own lawmaker and
executioner. He desires no agreement from anyone.
He doesn’t give a shit about the nodding heads. He
approves of himself and he completes himself.2
—Zhang Jiayan, Low Poetry in China (7)
White sees the world in very much the same terms as Milan Kundera, who
has observed that any view that does not allow for shit is mere kitsch, and that
the existence of shit is incompatible with the kind of belief in God and goodness
found in orthodox Christianity of the kind embraced by such of White’s
characters as the Reverend Timothy Calderon. If God is not in the shit, or in
Stan Parker’s much cited gob of spittle, then He is nowhere. But if we can see
God immanent in the world, including its shit, spittle and semen, then He
also transcends the limitations of His creation and our perceptions of it.
—John McLaren, Writing in Hope and Fear: Literature
as Politics in Postwar Australia (176)