Tuesday, July 18, 2006

In the White Room

The place to be, my young chickadees, especially if:

a) you like a reading challenge, or
b) you're fond of Patrick White's books

is over at Sarsaparilla, where the ever-ingenious Laura has come up with the notion of a Patrick White read-in to:

a) protest about the PW malarky published by The Australian last weekend (check the Sars link for details), and
b) have a bit of fun as a literate blog community, to decide what we like or don't like about PW's writing for ourselves.

There's a discussion just ripping along about which book we should or definitely shouldn't read. High on the 'shouldn't' list are Voss and The Solid Mandala. i've got nearly all of his books and it's fun to go back along the shelf, dipping in to see what I like best.*

Join in!

Join us for the free love on the free love highway, where the love is free and the freeway's long. Journey begins once we agree what to read and when everyone has a copy (borrowed or bought).

Yeee haaarrrrr....

POSTSCRIPT: Laura's staging a White Idol tonight (19/7) to vote out the books we don't want to read and maybe some up with a conclusion about the book we do want. Be there or be square! Hit the link up above for all the action.

* Are you reading this, Dad? These are all *my* copies! Mine, I tell you. I didn't steal any of them from you, promise! They all have honourable provenance.


CelloBella said...

Voss was the book I credit with my personal growth as a reader. I was 16. I read every last page. I hated it all.

Before Voss I had a principle of finishing every book I started.

After Voss I allowed myself to put down books that were boring, overwritten or just plain bad.

I have never picked up another PW novel. And have been wary of Nobel Prize winning authors ever since.

Anonymous said...

Give my bloody books back!

Ampersand Duck said...

I think that just has to be a post in itself...

Armagnac Esq said...

I still struggle to put down books when they haven't engaged me, but I'm developing the skill.

Some literature should probably be written as short story; if you want to lay 400 pages down on a topic, make it engaging!

That said, i've never read White (RED WHITE BOOM) so my opinion is just utter bollocks!

Ampersand Duck said...

I don't think anyone should persevere with a book if it starts making their eyeballs bleed.

as I said on Sars, I can pretty roughly draw a line halfway down White's oeuvre (if I had misspelt it as 'oeuf' it might have translated as 'egg White'. tee hee!) between books I love and books I find completely inaccessible. Voss is in the latter, The Vivisector is in the former, and I find myself rereading it every couple of years.

Maybe you should try another one, cellobella? No biggie, though. Each to their own! Armaniac, I totally agree about the short story thing in some cases.

Everyone who is interested should head over to Sarsaparilla for the White Idol tonight. Vote!

(my door bitch says JORRS. Yairs indeed)

Zoe said...

And if we all disagree we can have a (ready?) READ WHITE BLUE!!!!!

Armagnac Esq said...

I can't believe you would white that!

Zoe said...

I know, it's white out innit?

Mummy/Crit said...

Oof! I've come too late to this thread, that'll teach me to go on holiday. I tried to read some White once ...something about Leaves.... when I'd packed up all my books to move, and the copy belonged to someone else so I left it out to give back to them. Didn't get very far. It just wasn't engaging, I have no probs with abandoning books that don't grab me.

worldpeace and a speedboat said...

christ, the only two White novels I tried to read were Voss and The Solid Mandala. my eyeballs are still scarred. dear god, I thought they were awful... I'm glad I'm not alone in that!

TimT said...

And if we all disagree we can have a (ready?) READ WHITE BLUE!!!!!

The rainbow theory of criticism?

It's a black day for literary theory ...