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Ryan JS. The Faith of his Fathers - Another Source for Patrick White's Mysticism. 1980.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://e-publications.une.edu.au/1959.11/11132
The Faith of his Fathers - Another Source for Patrick White's Mysticism
All readers of the prose of Patrick White are familiar with its duality and the alternate polarities of the various shades of satire and of the ecstatic visions given momentarily to the few who search in isolation and torment for the deeper springs of being either within themselves or in awed contemplation of nature's infinitude. For the latter, the authorial quest long ago encapsulated this in the words of his essay (1958), 'The Prodigal Son' - "I wanted to discover the extraordinary behind the ordinary, the mystery and the poetry, which alone could make bearable the lives of such people." To assist the critical search for the well-springs of this attitude, several researchers have gone, like John B. Beston, to 'The Family Background and Early Years of Patrick White', his 1974 paper in 'Descent'. White has himself assisted us here by his various comments on his earlier life, as in his interview with John Hetherington entitled 'Life at Castle Hill' or in his own recent piece 'Flaws in the glass - Sketches for a self-portrait'. Most of the information of these is biographical or concerned with the experiences of the mature man, although there do occur odd references to books read and to the members of his family.