Patrick White is a giant among the moderns. His massive novels, which chart the lonely paths to truth, challenge orthodox notions about fiction and reality. He has created a wholly new kind of prose to embody his prophetic visions of truth and his fierce denunciations of modern society.

Originally published in 1984, John Colmer’s study of the Nobel Prize winning Australian novelist was the first to survey all his published works. It differs from earlier studies in using fresh autobiographical material, in revealing the links between the plays and the fiction and in stressing White’s vision of duality rather than his much praised affirmations of harmony. Where previous studies have been exegetical this one is also evaluative. It illustrates the process by which White has come to recognize the necessity for the reintegration of the alienated visionary into society.

chapter 1|17 pages

Introduction and Early Fiction

chapter 2|14 pages

Middle Novels: Australian Epics

chapter 3|15 pages

Middle Novels: Artists and Visionaries

chapter 4|12 pages

Plays and Short Stories

chapter 5|16 pages

Last Novels: ‘The Ordinary Ones’

chapter 6|3 pages

Conclusion: White and The Critics