Patrick White

Patrick White (* 28. May 1912 in London; † 30. September 1990 in Sydney) was an Australian writer. As so far only Literaturnobelpreisträger of its continent (1973) it is considered as one of the most important English-speaking authors 20. Century. Its complete work covers 12 novels, in addition poems, Kurzgeschichten, dramas, essays and an autobiography.

Table of contents


childhood and youth

Whites parents Victor White and Ruth Withycombe were Australians, whose smallrural ancestors of Somerset in England had emigrated to Australia. The White family had brought it there as a cattle breeder to considerable landed property, and the married couple bereiste after the wedding about two years Europe and countries of the Near East, so that Patrick White was born 1912 in the Londoner quarter Knightsbridge. When it was six months old, the family returned to Australia and established themselves in Sydney. One lived his younger sister Sue and the child girls and Dienstboten, a distance, those in two neighbouring dwellings, one for parents and one for Patrick, became characteristic for Whites relationship with its parents.

After the family 1916 it had bought a large messuage in Sydney Patrick got sick with four years at asthma, that its grandfather had already deceased mütterlicherseits. The attacked health, which held it from sporty activities and „boy plays “, might have made their contribution to rather mental occupations: Patrick read much, visited with its nut/mother the theatre and gave own small dance conceptions in the friend circle of the nut/mother. With the play in the extensive garden plants it developed its own childlike secret rituals, in addition, a deep relationship with nature.

At the age of 10 years Patrick was sent on a boy boarding school in Moss Vale in new South Wales, where one expected because of the high land climate improvement for its health. Although it needed one while, in order to get accustomed to living together with other children, it finally akklimatisierte and began themselves with the letter of own plays - whereby those might be owed quite „adults “topics of the environment and the age of the pubertierenden boy. 1924 came the school however into financial difficulties, and Whites parents sent the boys on suggestion of the boarding school line on the Cheltenham college in England, where it spent four years of its youth, a time, which it designated later than „four years old term of imprisonment “.

White withdrew itself into itself and had few friends in the college. Early it was conscious itself its Homosexualität, which still strengthened its Introvertiertheit in the school environment. In the vacations it bereiste with its parents Europe; the internal distance to its parents could not be bridged however. Its closest friend became Ronald Waterall, an older pupil, with whom he divided the passion for the theatre. They visited together theatre and dance conceptions in London and schwärmten for their favourite dancers. When Waterall left the school after its conclusion, White was again alone with itself.

Patrick White persuaded his parents to be allowed to leave the college in former times in order to become actors. They consented on the condition that he would come first home to Australia, in order to try a life on the country. Patrick and its cousin Alf were only male inheriting of the White' cattle breeding enterprises.


White worked two years as a farm assistant, first in Bolaro, a farm on the edge of the Snowy Mountains in new South Wales, then on a messuage one the Whitycombs at Walgett in the north of the country. Its parents hoped still that its artistic ambitions would disappear, if he had become acquainted with the hard life on the farm. White developed a close relationship with it surrounding nature, began however parallel again to write.

Above all its nut/mother supported his project after the little successful farm episode to go to Cambridge; from 1932 to 1935 it studied French and German literature at the King's college. A first unfortunate love for a Mitstudenten frustrated it; like many homosexual ones of its generation he did not dare to speak about its feelings and was afraid a life in isolation. Its friendship with the fellow student finally flowed nevertheless in a dear relationship.

1933 it traveled in summer holidays to Germany. Despite the national socialism beginning it enjoyed its stay and spent until 1935 nearly its whole vacation time in Germany. It developed a passion for the German literature of the romance, bereiste the whole country and tried the political developments to ignore.

… despite some disturbing meetings with the Nazi mentality, the book burns during my time in Heidelberg, despite the pursued Jews, who lived a shade existence in the same road, Hitler at the beginning of my dear relationship with Germany was still another target of the Hohns and mockery for liberally thinking Germans. We sat on our safe balconies over the wood ditch in Hanover, drank liquor and laughed ourselves broken. [1]

Still during Whites study time in Cambridge 1934 two of its poems in the newspaper The London Mercury appeared: Meeting Again and The Ploughman, which was taken up 1935 also to the yearbook The Best Poems OF 1935, the up to then most important acknowledgment of its literary work. The pressure of a first poem collection under the title The Ploughman and OTHER Poems was financed in Australia von Whites nut/mother; it organized also the performance one of its plays by an amateur troop.

1935 locked White the university with the Bachelor OF kind and established themselves assistance of a financial support of its father of 400 Pound in the month in a Londoner artist quarter. It flowered up, wrote some, that remained unpublished and revised the novel Happy Valley written during its farm time. It met its old schoolmate Ron Waterall again, closed close friendship with the Australian painter Roy de Maistre and dived into the world from James Joyces Ulysses .

writer life

as 1937 its father died and to it 10,000 Pound left, could it its writer life resume, without having to take too much on material success consideration. It wrote two further dramas and finally found to 1939 a publisher for Happy Valley; the novel found well-meaning admission in London, then it was praised Elizabeth Bowen and harsh ore READ for instance by Graham Greene , even if the too clear influences of the Ulysses were criticized. Critics in Australia were less inspired by the description of the Australian land life.

White left its second novel Nightside unfinished, after he had experienced some negative opinions in addition - later he spoke its decision to have regretted.

1939 traveled White to the USA, in order to find a publisher for Happy Valley and to begin a new novel. It bereiste Kaliforniern and new Mexico and Cape Cod in Massachussets, where The Living and the DEAD developed.

Happy Valley might have shown some critics and readers that I was a writer; now I had to prove it to me, by continuing. I assume, then most second novels written [2]

the second novel found in New York fast a publisher, however none in London. When Great Britain occurred the Second World War, White returned to London and as an intelligence collection officer to the Royal air Force was taken up. During the war it was inserted in the Near East, into Egypt, Palestine and Greece. In Alexandria he became acquainted with the Greek officer Manoly Lascaris, which should become its life companion.

successes as writers

after its dismissal from the war service pulled White and Lascaris 1946 to Australia and bought an old house in Castle Hill outside from Sydney. They spent 18 years on the Dogwoods baptized messuage, bred flowers, vegetables and milk cattle, and White published 1955 The Aunt's story and The Tree OF one. Into German The Tree OF one was translated 1957 under the title to the peace never came the tree of humans by Annemarie and Heinrich Boell. Although in the USA and England successfully, zeriss it ignored however the Australian criticism partly than „unaustralisch “and the public the novels. Only with the novel Voss came 1957 the break-through also in its homeland; White was distinguished with the first Miles Franklin Award.

The 1961 published novel Riders into the Chariot (German in the fiery car, 1969), which the monotonousness of the life in the fictitious Australian town Sarsaparilla describes, became a best-seller and a White received again the Miles Franklin Award.

Sarsaparilla remained in the 60's a motive by Whites work; in the short stories collection The burnt ones (1964, German the burned ones, 1992) and the piece of The season one meets OF Sarsaparilla again.

1964 sold White and Lascaris Dogwoods and pulled more near in the center of Sydney.

White had made itself a name among the large English-speaking writers. It led a withdrawn life nevertheless and avoided interviews and public appearances, even if its friend circle had become larger. 1968 wrote White The Vivisector (1972, the painter , appeared German 1974) the character study of an artist. It denied parallel to its friend Sidney Nolan however heftigst. About in order this time did not decide to accept White, further honors for its work more. It leaned the Britannia Award endowed with 10.000 US Dollar likewise starting from like a further Miles Franklin Award. He took part however in the selective procedures for other winners.

An offer of Harry M. Miller for the development of a film script to Voss was not realized.

White engaged itself politically against censorship, which was still usual in Australia at that time; thus it fought approximately for the permission of Philip Roths novel Portnoy complaints. In addition it signed a statement of Australian politicians, artists and university graduates against the Beiteiligung of its country at the Viet Nam war.

The Nobelpreis for literature had been supplied Patrick White for its epische and psychological telling art, by those to the literature a new continent is awarded. White sent its friend Sidney Nolan to Stockholm, which received the price representatively of him.

As direct reaction to the Nobelpreis the edition of the novel The Eye OF the Storm (1973, German in the eye of the storm, 1974) was doubled and the advance was increased to the next novel. Prize money used Patrick White for the donation Patrick White Awards for writers of many years and however so far unsuccessful. 1973 were selected White in addition 1973 to the Australian of the yearly.

old age

White supported the laboratory government of Gough Whitlam, and developed, after this had fallen over two scandals 1975, a anti- royalistische attitude, which clear it made in one of its rare television appearances.

The 70's brought health problems for White with itself; Eye problems and chronic lung complaints belonged to. When 1979 its novel The Twyborn Affair (German the Twyborn affair, 1986) for the Booker Prize were nominated, White asked the jury to take it from the proposal list to in order to give to younger writers a chance. Soon thereafter it announced that the Twyborn affair was its last novel and it will in the future only write for radio or stage.

1981 published White its autobiography Flaws into the Glass: A Self Portrait (German tears in the mirror, 1994), in which it some aspects of its life responded, about which he had up to then not spoken, so for instance its Homosexualität and his decision, the Nobelpreis not to receive. At the Palmsonntag 1982 turned on a meeting to 30.000 listeners and expressed themselves against the uranium mining industry and nuclear weapons.

With note IR OF Many in One appeared 1986 Whites last novel. In the same year Voss was uraufgeführt as opera. White rejected to participate in the premiere in the Adelaide festival there queen Elizabeth II. , and preferred it was likewise invited to see the performance in Sydney. 1987 wrote White Three Uneasy Pieces, in which he stated its thoughts on aging and the effort around aesthetic perfection, and supported the author David Marr, which wrote its biography, in nine meetings with the detail questions.

White died to 30. September 1990 in its house in Sydney. Its ash was scattered some days later by Manoly Lascaris and its Agentin Barbara Mobbs in a pond in the Centennial park.


of poem volumes

  • Thirteen Poems, approx. 1930 (under the alias Patrick Victor Martindale)
  • The Ploughman and OTHER Poems, 1935


  • Happy Valley, 1939
  • The Living and the DEAD, 1941
  • The Aunt's story, 1948
  • The Tree OF one, 1955 (German: To the peace the tree of humans never came, 1957)
  • Voss, 1957
  • Riders into the Chariot, 1961 (German: In the fiery car, 1969)
  • The solvently Mandala, 1966
  • The Vivisector, 1970 (German: The painter, 1972)
  • The Eye OF the Storm, 1973 (German: In the eye of the storm, 1974)
  • A Fringe OF Leaves, 1976 (German: The Lendenschurz, 1982)
  • The Twyborn Affair, 1980 (deusch: The Twyborn affair, 1986)
  • note IR OF Many in One (1986)


  • The Burnt Ones, 1964 (German: The burned ones, 1992)
  • to The Cockatoos, 1974
  • Three Uneasy Pieces, 1988


  • Return ton of Abyssinia 1947
  • Four Plays, 1965
  • bend Toys, 1978
  • signal Driver, 1983


  • Flaws into the Glass: A Self Portrait, 1981 (German: Tears in the mirror, 1994)
  • Patrick White Speaks essay, 1990
  • Letters, given change of David Marr, 1994


  • David Marr, Patrick White: A would run, Sydney 1991
  • Karin Teetzmann, Patrick White and the journalistic literature criticism in the Federal Republic of Germany in the comparison with Great Britain, thesis, 1993, ISBN 3-925348-32-8

Web on the left of

  • {{#if:
| | * Literature of and over Patrick White in the catalog of the DDB



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