Monday, 29 November 2010

Post#166 Patrick White - A Denunciation

Patrick White is the only Australian to have yet won the Nobel Prize for Literature. What that says to me is that the Nobel Prize is greatly overrated. I was subjected to White's efforts at literature through the coercion of a University course in English. Fifty lashes with the cat would be a distinctly preferable ordeal. I came to the rapid conclusion that his oeuvre was a massive derivative of the principles behind the "Royal Nonesuch" as described by Mark Twain in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. If ever there was a rort upon the credulous... The style of his writing is obscure, conceited and tiresome. The subject matter is grotesque, trivial, odious. The old boy loved bodily functions and was particularly fond of constructing scenes in which anality could feature. A while ago someone made a big deal of the fact that publishers rejected unattributed samples of his works sent to them as purported efforts of novice writers. This was supposed to be a scandal and a shame. I say that it demonstrates fine judgement on the part of those editors. If only educators would see the light and spare students from him in future. In fact, if the Nazis come back and want books to burn, I'll drive the trucks to the bonfires for them - as long as they're loaded to the gunnels with the wanks - er - works of Patrick White. I denounce him as a vile, obnoxious curmudgeon and fraud.


Susmita said...

you surely have away with words!

Retarius said...


Count Sneaky said...

The only comment that comes to mind after your devastating review is the old saw..."Other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?" Fortunately, I have never been exposed to this author's work and have taken the appropriate shots to protect myself. Your student. Count Sneaky

Retarius said...

Goodonyer, Sneaky!

I wrote this quite a while back in 2008 for a companion blog, "Retarius Denounces" which I abandoned and deleted. It only had a couple of posts and I decided I could manage with just this one.

Re-reading this post I noticed the degree of vituperation. It's simply an expression of loathing. I didn't bother to try to prove my case with quotation.

I sent copies of it to several other Australians who've read his material and received enthusiastic agreement. Once you have read him it's easy to understand what motivated me. Most people I mention it to have said that it should have been said loud and long many years ago by all of us.

There's a lot of genuinely great Australian writing that deserves to take the place he's occupying.