Patrick White

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This is the first book-length study which uses recent developments in literary and cultural theory to elucidate Patrick White's life and work. Taking advantage of recently published letters and biographical information, it rethinks White's place in our history and culture. It places White inpostwar Australia, arguing that he is best regarded as a writer whose rather conventional modernist writings negotiated the end of colonialist relations with Britain. It addresses connections between White's homoerotic sexuality and his writing head-on, suggesting that many of his texts, notablyVoss, attain some of their most powerful effects from being written in and about the closet. Professor During also views Patrick White as an autobiographical writer who drew on his life-history to construct an image of himself as a genius: a strategy which successfully set him at the head ofAustralian national literature. It is likely that future studies of White will be in debt to this pioneering work of criticism.

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The Australian
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About the author (1996)

Simon During is Robert Wallace Professor of English at The University of Melbourne.

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