AustLit logo


The Prodigal Son single work   prose  
Issue Details: First known date: 1958... 1958 The Prodigal Son
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.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Australian Letters vol. 1 no. 3 April 1958 Z599479 1958 periodical issue 1958 pg. 37-40
  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon The Writer in the Modern World : An Anthology of Twentieth Century Prose Harry Payne Heseltine (editor), Stanley Tick (editor), Melbourne : Cheshire , 1962 Z334901 1962 anthology short story prose biography Melbourne : Cheshire , 1962 pg. 115-118
  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon The Vital Decade : Ten Years of Australian Art and Letters Geoffrey Dutton (editor), Max Harris (editor), Melbourne : Sun Books Australian Letters , 1968 Z402644 1968 anthology criticism poetry short story prose Melbourne : Sun Books Australian Letters , 1968 pg. 156-158
  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Patrick White Speaks Patrick White , Sydney : Primavera Press , 1989 Z325369 1989 selected work autobiography correspondence prose Sydney : Primavera Press , 1989 pg. 13-17
  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Critical Essays on Patrick White Peter Wolfe (editor), Boston : G. K. Hall & Co , 1990 Z36187 1990 anthology criticism prose extract biography interview review Boston : G. K. Hall & Co , 1990 pg. 21-24
  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Patrick White : Selected Writings Patrick White , Alan Lawson (editor), St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 1994 Z481263 1994 selected work short story drama poetry prose correspondence extract autobiography St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 1994 pg. 268-271
  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon The Arnold Anthology of Post-Colonial Literatures in English John Thieme (editor), London : Arnold , 1996 Z818232 1996 selected work extract poetry short story London : Arnold , 1996 pg. 196-199
  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon The Oxford Book of Australian Essays Imre Salusinszky (editor), Melbourne : Oxford University Press , 1997 Z380749 1997 anthology prose short story biography criticism humour satire

    'This collection contains 61 essays, including Helen Garners "The Fate of the First Stone", Robert Dessaix's "Nice Work If You Can Get it" and pieces by Charmian Clift, Germaine Greer, Clive James, David Malouf, Les Murray and Patrick White.'(Publication summary)

    Melbourne : Oxford University Press , 1997
    pg. 125-128
  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature Nicholas Jose (editor), Kerryn Goldsworthy (editor), Anita Heiss (editor), David McCooey (editor), Peter Minter (editor), Nicole Moore (editor), Elizabeth Webby (editor), Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2009 Z1590615 2009 anthology correspondence diary drama essay extract poetry prose short story (taught in 23 units)

    'Some of the best, most significant writing produced in Australia over more than two centuries is gathered in this landmark anthology. Covering all genres - from fiction, poetry and drama to diaries, letters, essays and speeches - the anthology maps the development of one of the great literatures in English in all its energy and variety.

    'The writing reflects the diverse experiences of Australians in their encounter with their extraordinary environment and with themselves. This is literature of struggle, conflict and creative survival. It is literature of lives lived at the extremes, of frontiers between cultures, of new dimensions of experience, where imagination expands.

    'This rich, informative and entertaining collection charts the formation of an Australian voice that draws inventively on Indigenous words, migrant speech and slang, with a cheeky, subversive humour always to the fore. For the first time, Aboriginal writings are interleaved with other English-language writings throughout - from Bennelong's 1796 letter to the contemporary flowering of Indigenous fiction and poetry - setting up an exchange that reveals Australian history in stark new ways.

    'From vivid settler accounts to haunting gothic tales, from raw protest to feisty urban satire and playful literary experiment, from passionate love poetry to moving memoir, the Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature reflects the creative eloquence of a society.

    'Chosen by a team of expert editors, who have provided illuminating essays about their selections, and with more than 500 works from over 300 authors, it is an authoritative survey and a rich world of reading to be enjoyed.' (Publisher's blurb)

    Allen and Unwin have a YouTube channel with a number of useful videos on the Anthology.

    Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2009
    pg. 557-560

Works about this Work

Patrick White, Composer Manqué : The Centrality of Music in White's Artistic Aspiration John Carmody , 2015 single work criticism
— Appears in: Antipodes , June vol. 29 no. 1 2015; (p. 153-161)
'Australian writer Patrick White was burdened with the reputation of a misanthrope. This was, perhaps, self-inflicted but it allowed many to disregard the sensitivity and insights of his writing. It is nevertheless surprising that most critics and readers seem unaware of his deep engagement with music. Certainly, few (if any) literary critics appear to recognize the significance of music in his output. Here, Carmody contends that not only was music profoundly important to White as a human being, but that it fundamentally drove his work. Without a recognition of this crucial importance of music, it is impossible to understand adequately White's aesthetic aspiration.' (Publication abstract)
Patrick White and James K. Baxter : Public Intellectuals Mark Williams , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: Patrick White Centenary : The Legacy of a Prodigal Son 2014; (p. 354-367)
'I start with the difficulties encountered in Australia and New Zealand from the 1960s as both countries sought to reconfigure national identities derived from common sources in Victorian imperial racial attitudes, attitudes which were often incorporated into, rather than expelled from, cultural nationalism. To a large extent this process of national ‘rebranding’ has been conducted at state level as a managerial response to an urgent need to modernise settler economies, attract skills and capital, and differentiate contemporary national imageries from colonial ones. In both countries this elite-driven managerialism has been in conflict with the populist politics of settler recidivism. Yet in both also, ethically charged advocacy of a more just national order, is often led by artists and intellectuals but with significant support in the majority white populations, has been crucial in articulating the terms of change and broadening its appeal.' (Source : )
Patrick White : The Quest of the Artist Satendra Nandan , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: Patrick White Centenary : The Legacy of a Prodigal Son 2014; (p. 110-124)
‘One of the epigraphs to The Vivisector is a quotation from the English painter Ben Nicholson. It expresses a major theme in White's fiction for it expresses the idea that both the artist and the mystic arc searching for "the understanding and realisation of infinity." Several of White's characters attempt to reach or reveal the Infinite in their lived lives or artistic creations. Even in his first published short story, "The Twitching Colonel", there are suggestions of a yearning for a self beyond the conscious self. The Colonel longs to transcend the ephemeral: "I shall strip myself of the onion-folds of prejudice, till standing naked though conscious I sec myself complete or else be consumed like the Hindu conjurer who is translated into space." (TC. 602-609) Theodora Goodman in The Aunt's Story reaches a heightened awareness where "light and silence ate into the hard, resisting barriers of reason, hinting at some ultimate moment of clear vision" (VIV. 290). Stan Parker's lifetime search in The Tree of Man ends with a vision "that One, and no other figure, is the answer to all sums." (TM. 497) Voss believes that in this "disturbing country" ... it is possible more easily to discard the inessential and to attempt the infinite." (V. 38) ’ (Introduction)
The Myth of Patrick White’s Anti-Suburbanism Nathanael O'Reilly , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: Patrick White Centenary : The Legacy of a Prodigal Son 2014; (p. 98-109)
‘Any detailed examination of suburbia in the Australian novel must address the work of White, who published two novels in the 1960s that arc widely considered classic examples of anti-suburbanism in Australian literature: Riders in the Chariot (1961) and The Solid Mandala (1966). This essay is based broadly on my research for my recent book regarding Patrick White's engagement with suburbia: Exploring Suburbia: The Suburbs in the Contemporary Australian Novel (2012). However, where the book focuses on The Solid Mandala, in this chapter, the focus is solely on Riders in the Chariot. The invitation to present this segment at the Conference enabled me to test my research directly on an international group of specialists in White studies through this discussion. (The book itself was also launched in India, at the Centenary conference in I lydcrabad in November 2012). ’ (Introduction)
Stretching Out in All Directions : Patrick White and the Great Australian Emptiness Brigid Rooney , 2013 single work criticism
— Appears in: Telling Stories : Australian Life and Literature 1935–2012 2013; (p. 209-219)
y separately published work icon The God-Shaped Hole : Responding to the Good News in Australia Veronica Brady , Adelaide : ATF Press , 2008 Z1533434 2008 selected work criticism This book brings together a selection of Veronica Brady's critical addresses arguing that there are novels and poems that bear witness to the mystery of 'God' or an 'Other' who speaks through others.
Imagining the Real : Patrick White's Literary-Political Career Brigid Rooney , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Literary Activists : Australian Writer-Intellectuals and Public Life 2009; (p. 29-56)
'Verbal Sludge' : Mud and Malleability in the Novels of Patrick White James Clements , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Antipodes , December vol. 23 no. 2 2009; (p. 138)
Perceiving Europe and Australia and Constructing an Imagined Australian Identity in The Aunts’ Story by Patrick White. Elena Ungari , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Imagined Australia : Reflections around the Reciprocal Construction of Identity between Australia and Europe 2009; (p. 353-366)
'This paper examines Patrick White's novel The Aunt's Story and the way in which it fictionally shows mutual scrutiny and perception between Australia and Europe. Central to the elaboration of this study is the notion of fictional viewpoint, which Leech and Short (1986, p 174) define as 'the slanting of the fictional world towards reality, as apprehended by a particular participant, or set of participants, in the fiction'. Notions of distance of viewpoint from an 'outside' or 'inside' perspective and the way in which they affect construction and perception of places are also instrumental in this analysis.' (353)
‘A Heart That Could be Strong and True’ : Kenneth Cook’s Wake in Fright as Queer Interior Monique Rooney , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , Special Issue vol. 11 no. 1 2011; (p. 1-15)
'In ' "A heart that could be strong and true": Kenneth Cook's Wake in Fright as queer interior' Monique Rooney presents a compelling reading of the complicated relations between self and other, interior and exterior, in the iconic, troubling text of Wake in Fright. Her discussion focuses on the play of aurality and lyricism in the novel's account of outsider relations, and proposes a reading that draws on Michael Snediker's 'emphasis on a potentially joyful Freud' in classic accounts of queer melancholy in order to attend to what she determines is a 'critique of processes of masculinist dis-identification' in the novel. This important discussion works to reanimate critical consideration not only of a significant and neglected text, but also of broader debates around the reach and nature of metropolitan subjectivities in post- WWII literature in Australia.' (Source: Introduction : Archive Madness, p. 3)
Last amended 25 Aug 2017 09:08:37