AustLit logo
NLA image of person
Hal Porter Hal Porter i(A15174 works by) (a.k.a. Harold Porter)
Born: Established: 16 Feb 1911 Melbourne, Victoria, ; Died: Ceased: 29 Sep 1984 Thornbury, Preston - Northcote area, Melbourne - North, Melbourne, Victoria,
Gender: Male
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.

BiographyHistory

Hal Porter was educated at schools in Bairnsdale, Victoria. He pursued a variety of occupations, primarily journalism, teaching and librarianship, before becoming a full-time writer in the 1960s. His first stories were published in school magazines, and, after writing steadily during the 1920s and 1930s, he arranged for the private publication of fourteen stories in 1942. Unable to participate in World War II because of a severe traffic accident two days before the war began, Porter taught in private schools - including the Hutchins School in Hobart 1946-1947 - and continued writing. In 1949 he worked as a teacher with the Occupation Forces in Japan, providing an experience that would inform his later fiction.

Porter's most admired work is the three volume autobiography that explores his life up to the 1970s. His satirical stance placed him in opposition to the social realists of the 1930s and 1940s, perhaps explaining the cool reception his fiction received. Some critics saw his aggressive conservatism as a veil for his confused sexuality, and revelations in the 1990s threatened to detract from his literary achievement. Nevertheless, Porter's prose and poetry continues to be admired for its controlled use of effects that attempt to capture the complex nature of experience. Colin Roderick discerns in his work the influence of George Moore, Katherine Mansfield, Theophile Gautier, and Baudelaire, among others.

In a repeat of his earlier traffic accident, Porter was hit by a car in July 1983. After fourteen months in a coma, he died in 1984.

Most Referenced Works

Last amended 9 Jul 2014 15:54:37
Other mentions of "" in AustLit:
    X