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Having said that I'm equally tempted by The Vivisector and Riders in the Chariot.
Perhaps I can convince my book group to read Voss as well. That could be more difficult - I couldn't get them to read Golding's The Spire for his anniversary.
Even in Australia it has become popular, among certain media figures, to say that White is unreadable. All I can say to that is: they haven't tried Finnegans's Wake!
Lois (avaland) suggested I change the group picture because White looks like a "cranky old bastard". I told Lois that he actually was a cranky old bastard. In his later years known around Sydney for being outspoken about political matters. In those years he always wore that cap and had a walking stick and that's why I chose the picture. He was wearing that cap the one time I saw him in the flesh. (!!!)
An anecdote about White's crankiness. I've forgotten his exact words so forgive me. Someone I know was invited to dinner at the great man's house in Sydney - he was very excited. When he arrived he was introduced as "(Name), who has that radio programme." White said, "You're a fool" and didn't speak to him again. That was Patrick White.
I'm here in spirit. Will dig around for the White books, if Dukedom doesn't find them first.
"Dear Father Xmas.
Will yoy* please bring me
a pistol, a mouth organ
a butterfly net
History of Australia
a little mouse what runs
across the room
I hope you do not
think that I am too greedy
but I want the
*As spelled by 6 year-old White
Duplicating from The Novels thread:
I've just read in the paper this morning that The Hanging Garden, which was found after White's death and kept by his agent for several years, will be published in April 2012. The newspaper says that the novel has been "transcribed" so I don't know if that includes additional writing or what.
I went to four bookshops before I found one. White is popular in Melbourne right now.
Kim, have you started it?
Looking forward to everyone's thoughts on The Aunts Story}
In my penguin book's version of The Aunt's story which was published in 1963 there was a postcard dated 24 August 1953. The picture on the front is a view of Cockington Village, Torquay, England. The correspondence is fairly dull just a couple of lines about the weather, which was "really good".
'Threnody for Patrick White', a poem by Barry Humphries
''In a Federation bungalow beside Centennial Park,
With its joggers in the daytime, perves and muggers after dark,
Lived a famous author hostesses pretend that they have read,
A querulous curmudgeon with a tea-cosy on his head''
Pity that no reprint of Happy Valley is on the cards for the anniversary as this is his first novel and deserves wider distribution (regardless of whether PW considered it inferior). Plus $2,500+ is too much to pay for this very rare book (I think it only every came out in a single first edition?).
Jult finished the The Burnt Ones (short stories) and considering making a trip to see the 50th anniversary of the production of his play The Ham Funeral in Adelaide next month.
Riders in the Chariot is next having read Twyborn Affair, The Solid Mandala, The Tree of Man and The Eye of the Storm over the past 6 months.
My favourite for many years now has been The Vivisector.
Thank you for setting up this group... much appreciated and happy reading folks!
Happy reading to you too!
I don't think I want to read it. Anyone else??
>47 Cariola: According to White's biographer, Happy Valley was never re-issued in Australia was because of the author's concern that he may have been sued for for libel. Some of the characters in Happy Valley were identifiable with living people he knew. After he won the Nobel prize, he gave permission for it to be reprinted in France and Italy. David Marr's biography is very entertaining if you have an opportunity to read it. Marr is a fine writer.
although the reviewer does go on to say that:
'Readers who want to explore the difficult, uneven terrain of White’s novels should...begin with the masterpieces of his mid-career, The Vivisector and The Eye of the Storm. These are thunderingly powerful, full of emotional depth and grandeur, epigrammatic and ironic, with brilliant scrutiny of human character and motives. Their intermittent bursts of livid misanthropy come like an asthmatic’s rasping spasms.'
Oh, to be a professional reviewer!
The Eye of the Storm : A Novel
on sale May 8th (Picador)
ABC Canberra 666 did a live broadcast from the NLA where they interviewed Kate Fitzpatrick, WIlliam Yang and looked at some of his recipes (which they cooked and shared in the foyer) and a cake (a la amanda) too! It should be available on the ABC website... also last night there was the wonderful Into The Music which did an hour called 'Patrick White's Ear' his favourite music interspersed with read excerpts from the novels and commentary/reminiscences from Barry Jones and others... was a fabulous way to spend a monday night... (again, the transcript should be available on line)...
Thanks for the info on the NLA interview. Shall seek it out.
Simon During is the author of the 1996 title - I was drawn by your criticism so have ordered it via an interlibrary loan to have a quick look at.
Eye of the Storm is being screened on ABC TV this evening (Sunday 3 June) at 8.30pm.
I have just found the volume of White's letters as part of a 2 volume set which includes Marr's biography
Would anybody like the duplicate copy of the biography by Marr?
Instead of a swap, I would really appreciate your opinion on a good general reference for the history of the orchestra.
"Happy Valley (White's first novel) is out on or about the 25th through Text Publishing (in Australia) if you need a new reading challenge! First time in 70 years."
Paul, I think I will buy that one.
I did enjoy the section I have already read. The character development and the sense of place in the early chapters is excellent.
If like me you can't get to Sydney before it closes you can at least access the nicely produced exhibition guide on the State Library website.
I purchased my copy on 25th Aug after seeing David Marr present a fabulous session called "The Man and His Face" (Melbourne Writers Festival), portraiture and photos of Patrick White some of which have been in private collections (and never seen in public and unearthed gems). Marr was great in recalling stories of photo shoots and circumstances surrounding the photos and paintings. As always he put into context the recurring annoyance of people's understanding of the "falling-outs" with Nolan, Whitely. Unfortunately Happy Valley has been sitting on the bedside table unread as of yet (never enough time..). Everyone buy a copy and enjoy!
#80 Thanks Steven.