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y separately published work icon Flaws in the Glass : A Self-Portrait single work   autobiography  
Issue Details: First known date: 1981... 1981 Flaws in the Glass : A Self-Portrait
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'A self-portrait that is as brilliant original as White's fiction and drama.

'In this remarkable self-portrait Patrick White explains how on the very rare occasions when he re-reads a passage from one of his books, he recognises very little of the self he knows. This 'unknown' is the man interviewers and visiting students expect to find, but 'unable to produce him', he prefers to remain private, or as private as anyone who has been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature can ever be. In this book is the self Patrick White does recognise, the one he sees reflected in the glass.'

Source: Publisher's blurb (Vintage ed.).

Notes

  • Dedication: To Manoly again.
  • Citing a letter between White and Hu Wen-chung (19 Nov 1986), Hubber and Smith list a Russian edition, but no trace of the book has been found.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Jonathan Cape ,
      1981 .
      image of person or book cover 1443569825631729491.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 260p.
      Description: illus., ports
      ISBN: 022402924X
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Viking ,
      1982 .
      image of person or book cover 5421541331377482445.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 260p.
      ISBN: 0670317594
    • Harmondsworth, Middlesex,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Ringwood, Ringwood - Croydon - Kilsyth area, Melbourne - East, Melbourne, Victoria,: Penguin ,
      1983 .
      image of person or book cover 5353925422993314453.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 260p.
      Note/s:
      • Reprinted four times by 1992.
      ISBN: 0140062939
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Vintage UK ,
      1998 .
      image of person or book cover 7724669622239417751.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 272p.p.
      ISBN: 9780099752318, 009975231X
Alternative title: Defauts dans le miroir: un autoportrait
Language: French
    • Paris,
      c
      France,
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Gallimard ,
      1985 .
      image of person or book cover 3983915568824803065.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 326p.

Other Formats

  • Also braille and sound recording.

Works about this Work

On Reading and Re-reading Patrick White John Barnes , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Cambridge Quarterly , September vol. 43 no. 3 2014; (p. 212-230)
'Few writers have received as much attention and have been so little understood as Patrick White, the only Australian to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. Critics have found his novels demanding and puzzling, and have been divided over the nature of his achievement. This essay points to the failure of critics to recognise the extent of the influence of Flaubert as well as that of the English modernists on White, and discusses the kind of attentiveness that his writing demands of the reader.' (Publication abstract)
Geoffrey Dutton : Little Adelaide and New York Nowhere Nicholas Jose , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: Adelaide : A Literary City 2014; (p. 183-198)
Flaws in the Glass : Why Australia Did Not Become a Republic … After Patrick White Stephen Alomes , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: Patrick White Centenary : The Legacy of a Prodigal Son 2014; (p. 470-485)
'Stephen Alomes proffers, with considerable empathy, even passion, an astute analysis of why an Australian republic could not be achieved through the last public referendum held on this issue. He goes to considerable lengths to show his awareness of the implications for Australian sovereignty; concerns which he notes were shared by White.' (Introduction, xiii)
Looking at Patrick White Looking : Portraits in Paint and on Film Greg Battye , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: Patrick White Centenary : The Legacy of a Prodigal Son 2014; (p. 164-180)
‘In a lecture on portraiture given at Australia's National Portrait Gallery and broadcast on ABC Radio National (Maleuvre 20l0b), Didier Maleuvre offered the view that photography "cannot yield a portrait" and that "late 20th century portraiture enlisted photography in part to undermine the human face, to depersonalise it." In terms of both art history and mediated representation, Maleuvre knows whereof he speaks: he is Professor of French and Comparative Literature at the University of California Santa Barbara, and affiliated with the University's Centre for Film, Television and New Media — in which capacity we can presume that he is not broadly hostile to photography in general. He is the author of several major books and numerous journal articles on art and art history, including The Religion of Reality: Inquiry into the Self Art, and Transcendence (2006), which "deals with the two forces in modern culture that command the centrality and force of religion: the self, on the one hand, and art, on the other." (Maleuvre 2006, I) That book is underscored throughout by Maleuvre's concern that "scientific rationalisation has purged the world of mystery and ... flushed the very idea of the mysterious from knowledge and understanding." (Maleuvre 2006, 2) In respect of art at least, it seems that he would like to put some of that mystery back’ (Introduction)
Inscribing Landscapes in Patrick White’s Novels Jessica White , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: Patrick White Centenary : The Legacy of a Prodigal Son 2014; (p. 141-152)
‘I grew up on a property in northwest New South Wales, which was once owned by Ivy Voss of Hughenden. Ivy married Frederick George White, who was Patrick White's uncle and my great-grandfather. While Patrick was at school, he sometimes stayed with Ivy and George at Mittabah in the NSW Southern Highlands. He didn't like Ivy much, as David Marr writes: "The boy thought she was a monster. Her maiden name was Voss, and he kept the name in mind, waiting for thirty years to revenge himself' (1992, 59) with, the novel Voss. ’ (Introduction)
[Review] Flaws in the Glass Rose Marie Beston , 1981 single work review
— Appears in: Kunapipi , vol. 3 no. 2 1981; (p. 151-153)

— Review of Flaws in the Glass : A Self-Portrait Patrick White , 1981 single work autobiography
A Fresh Appraisal Dorothy Green , 1981 single work review
— Appears in: The National Times , 8-14 November 1981; (p. 54-57)

— Review of Flaws in the Glass : A Self-Portrait Patrick White , 1981 single work autobiography
Autobiographers' Freak Show Hal Porter , 1981 single work review
— Appears in: The Age , 24 October 1981; (p. 23) Creme de la Phlegm : Unforgettable Australian Reviews 2006; (p. 171-174)

— Review of Flaws in the Glass : A Self-Portrait Patrick White , 1981 single work autobiography
Candid Self-Appraisal by Patrick White Joan Flanagan , 1981 single work review
— Appears in: The Age , 2 July 1981; (p. 8)

— Review of Flaws in the Glass : A Self-Portrait Patrick White , 1981 single work autobiography
Portrait of the Artist as Manic Depressive Maurice Dunlevy , 1981 single work review
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 24 October 1981; (p. 12)

— Review of Flaws in the Glass : A Self-Portrait Patrick White , 1981 single work autobiography
Communicative Clashes in Australian Culture and Autobiography Susan Tridgell , 2006 single work criticism
— Appears in: Auto/Biography , December vol. 14 no. 4 2006; (p. 285-301)
'Some life-writing critics have pointed to a paradox in Australian autobiography: that of memoir writers paying tribute to their subjects in ways which those subjects would not understand or agree with. In this article, I focus on one facet of this paradox, looking at how various styles of communication are represented in autobiographies. What happens when a highly articulate autobiographer attempts to represent the communicative style of a subject who does not share or value the autobiographer's discursive style? This article surveys a variety of strategies which autobiographers have used, some of which are open to the possibility of valuing a minimalist style of communication, while others condemn it as inarticulate and inexpressive. These varying attitudes connect to a broader cultural debate in Australia. In this debate, an older rural style of communication, which values minimal verbal communication and emotional inexpressivity, is pitted against a more recent urban-based style of communication, which values emotional expressivity and expansive commentary. Intriguingly, this rural speech style (seemingly the antithesis of the autobiographer's art) is represented and valued as an art form by some Australian autobiographers.' -- Publication abstract.
Narratives of Resistant Marginality : Patrick White and Firdaus Kanga Niladri R. Chatterjee , 2007 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Literature : Identity, Representation and Belonging 2007; (p. 60-65)
Teaching Contemporary Australian Autobiography Richard Freadman , 2007 single work criticism
— Appears in: Teaching Life Writing Texts 2007; (p. 208-213)
Flaws in the Glass Martin Gray , 1991 single work criticism
— Appears in: Patrick White : Life and Writings : Five Essays 1991; (p. 78-89)
'Flaws in the Glass' : Patrick White's Selves Annalisa Pes , 2008 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Protean Forms of Life Writing : Auto/Biography in English, 1680-2000 2008; (p. 75-90)

'Flaws in the Glass, by Australian Nobel laureate Patrick White, ostensibly an autobiography, is offered to the reading public as a self-portrait. In my paper I do not intend to go deep into the matter of technical distinctions between different forms of autobiography, but a few remarks need to be made on the subtitle of this autobiographical narrative accompanying its metaphorical title as a tell-tale definition of the author holding up the mirror to himself and to the teacher.' (p. 75)

Last amended 11 Jun 2020 14:13:35
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