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Issue Details: First known date: 2010... 2010 The Presence of the Sacred in Patrick White
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'It was once said by W.B. Yeats that artists arc the antennae of society, and Australian writers have been alert to a dimension of the sacred that seems to lie beyond the edge of the nation's secular consciousness. Conventional religious observance has never occupied a prominent place in Australia's national culture. But the striking feature of Australian art and writing is the extent to which it has produced a sense of the sacred that seemed denied in cultural life. A radical transformation of the sacred began to occur in that art and writing in the nineteenth century, a transformation originating squarely in the colonial encounter with a new and threatening land, best described by the terms, exile, displacement, unheindichkeit — an encounter steeped in awe and uncertainty, question and discovery. Australian artists and writers found a language with which to consider the incomprehensible vastness of Australian space. This was the language of the sublime. It was not the vertical sublime of mountains and gorges, storms and tempests, of the European Romantics, but a 'Horizonal Sublime' focused on the vastness, the openness, the distance of Australia, the psychic line of its endless horizon.' Although most noticeable in painting, it also characterized the attempt by nineteenth-century writers to produce an aesthetic that could fully apprehend the way in which Space had overwhelmed History in the Australian imagination.' (Introduction)

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  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Remembering Patrick White : Contemporary Critical Essays Elizabeth McMahon (editor), Brigitta Olubas (editor), Amsterdam New York (City) : Rodopi , 2010 Z1691441 2010 selected work criticism Remembering Patrick White presents the first major study of the full range of White’s work in over twenty-five years, and aims to bring this important author up to date for new generations of readers and scholars. Patrick White is a writer of moods and perspectives and the essays collected here range in their focus over his public presentations, his formal challenges, his spiritual leanings and dramatic gestures. They examine the breadth and significance of White’s intellectual contribution and consider the ongoing legacy of his thought and his art within national and international frames. As a collection, they focus our attention on what Patrick White means at the juncture of the present, reading his work through contemporary critical perspectives that further underscore the dynamism and substance of his writing. (Publisher's blurb) Amsterdam New York (City) : Rodopi , 2010 pg. 95-108
Last amended 23 Jul 2019 09:29:39
95-108 The Presence of the Sacred in Patrick Whitesmall AustLit logo