Tuesday, March 1, 2011

New Patrick White manuscript

An item in the Sydney Morning Herald today announced the publication of a new Patrick White manuscript in 2012. No sense is given of the nature or date of the manuscript, but I infer it is a novella-length work from roughly the era of Three Uneasy Pieces, in other words very late work. It is always wonderful to have a new work--however flawed or problematic--from such a great writer, but particularly auspicious in that, given that the major conferences on White have been most likely already held in advance of his centenary, and that he disappointingly fid not win the 'lost' man Booker Prize for 1970, the publication of the manuscript furnishes an opportunity for White to make 'news' in 2012 and therefore for all the more attention to be drawn to the anniversary. The two scholars involved Elizabeth Webby and Margaret Harris, are longtime pillars in Australian Literary Studies; I have met Elizabeth numerous times including last year in Sydney, and she has beeb a guiding force in the ongoing journey of Antipodes and of the intellectual life of Australianists everywhere  I only met Margaret once, at our conference in Florida in 1990, but it was an important and influential meeting for me, and her work on a variety of topics--not just Australian--has beeb illuminating. So we can look forward to a well-edited and no doubt intriguing White book next year. 


  1. The following info comes from AustLit's Newsflash on their homepage:

    Random House Releases Patrick White e-Books with More to Come
    Random House Australia has just published eleven Patrick White works in e-book format. The books range in price from $12.95 to $24.95 and include Flaws in the Glass and The Tree of Man (both $12.95) and The Vivisector and Voss (both $24.95). Next month, Memoirs of Many in One, out of print for over twenty years, will also be published as an e-book, retailing for $32.95.

    In 2012, Random House will release White's previously unpublished novel 'The Hanging Garden'. White's biographer David Marr read the manuscript after it was acquired by the National Library. Marr describes the novel as 'a masterpiece in the making' and believes 'its abandonment after 50,000 words was a watershed in White's life'. ('Patrick White: The Final Chapter', Monthly 33 (April 2008): 28-42) Publication of 'The Hanging Garden' will coincide with the centenary of White's birth.

  2. FYI, here's the link to David Marr's discussion of the NLA's Patrick White archives (including a few notes on 'The Hanging Garden') in The Monthly: http://www.themonthly.com.au/monthly-essays-david-marr-patrick-white-final-chapter-873.