Review of The Mystery of Unity: Theme and Technique in the Novels of Patrick White by Patricia A. Morley
It has often been suggested that Patrick White's stature as a novelist has never been adequately recognized. The Australianness of his material and the unAustralianness of his attitude to it have proved stumbling blocks for critics and reviewers both here and abroad. The appearance of The Mystery of Unity, the work of a Canadian scholar, Dr Patricia A. Morley, is of especial interest in that it places White's fiction within a universal literary typology derived from Northrop Frye's Anatomy of Criticism, an approach already explored in Manfred Mackenzie's ingenious 'generic' readings of some of White's novels. One great advantage of this method of approach lies in its concentration on the internal structure of each work and its tendency to exclude extra-literary irrelevancies. At the risk of rather drastic simplification, Dr Morley succeeds fairly well in laying bare the main themes and organizing symbols of White's novels.
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