It turns out, despite his stern reputation, Patrick White can laugh, smile and even pat a purring cat.
He was even once a spy, or should I say an intelligence operative. And the skills he learnt in that role during World War Two allowed him to field the questions of many inept journalists with consummate skill.
In fact, you will hear him do exactly that in the first minute of my new podcast episode, Episode 119. Why read Patrick White, 1973 Nobel Prize for Literature, the Exile at Home? (released 7.30 pm AEST, 22/9/23)
These are among the surprises in the latest episode of The Burning Archive podcast.
You might ask why read Patrick White, Winner of 1973 Nobel Prize for Literature? If you are not Australian, or were born after 1980, you may even ask who is Patrick White?
Find out in this third episode of my series on the Nobel Prize for Literature. It discusses the life and works of the 1973 Nobel Prize for Literature Laureate, the novelist Patrick White, the only Australian to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. You will hear White react to the news of the prize in his own voice, and learn how this great writer was an uneasy exile at home, in more ways than one.
I discuss how his his life and novels offer a glimpse into the experience of Australia from 1945 to the 1980s, when in a way, though an advantaged White settler dominion of the British Empire, it too went through a process of cultural decolonisation.
I summarise the main themes of his novels, and offer my views on the best, informed by critical and appreciative studies by John Rickard, Christos Tsiolkas and John Beston.
And my recollections of reading White for nearly 50 years myself!
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