Patrick White’s Novels and Nietzsche


Patrick White experiments with language as a symbolic writer with a religious mission. His religion, however, is not that of a Christian although he extols the Christian values of humility and love. His religion is based on Dionysian faith which expresses a need to affirm life in all its forms. White's works might well have been influenced by a Nietzschean view of the world. By tracing the journey of Zarathustra in Thus Spake Zarathustra, one can see parallels with the development of the elected characters in White's first five novels as they move from a creative awareness of nihilism and futility to one of Dionysian affirmation of the world.

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Published 1 May 1980 in Volume 9 No. 3. Subjects: Literary influences, Spiritual & religious beliefs, Patrick White, Nietzsche.

Cite as: McCulloch, A. M.. ‘Patrick White’s Novels and Nietzsche.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 9, no. 3, 1980, doi: 10.20314/als.cb07d26728.