Re: Patrick White
~a few snippets from an article published by the Sunday Times book review.
concerning Refuge fiction, White and Golding compared and contrasted.
THE HANGING GARDEN by Patrict White is published by Cape.
White was writing at 70, eyesight failing, and this unfinished manuscript was his last work, better known for Voss (1957) and Riders in the Chariot (1961) it promised to deliever another significant work, had it been finished.
It has been quoted as being 'an old man writing tenderly about youth', a refugee novel, in the vein of William Golding's Lord of the Flies, but unlike Golding's novel, it is tender in those depictions.
Set in the 'garden' of the title above Sydney habour in contrast to that other garden in Flies.
Mystical experience for White was not an unreachable ideal, but vividly and commonly real, manifesting in the fall of lght, the dissolving material surfaces of the world and the strange instinctual knowings that configure our imaginations. To describe such fugitive experience he developed a style that refused the comforts of recognisable syntax. Words are often acquitted of their usual obligations, left to pivot like compass needles looking for their lost norths. To White's admirers, this was his chief genius, to his detractors it as his chief failure.
The Australian poet AD Hope notoriously castigated him for writing 'pretentious and illiterate verbal sludge' But sludge was a perfect descriptor of White's stlye, he was fascnated by the epistemological ooziness of the world and the blurs and smudges that characterize our perceptions.
The Hanging Garden is rich with evidence of White's experimentation.
Both Golding and White were mystics, Golding was obsessed by making what he sometimes called 'the darkness within' visible, whereas White acknowledged the mysticism of objects.
Last edited by Hamlet; 12-Apr-2012 at 20:29.
Reason: typing fast, typos and chasing out errors.
"Man cannot do without beauty, and this is what our era pretends to want to disregard"
Myth of Sysyphus ~ by Albert Camus