Review of Patrick White by Barry Argyle
The Writers and Critics series, published by Oliver and Boyd, includes a number of distinguished essays. Barry Argyle's study of Patrick White is not one of them. It gives the impression of having been written in haste and irritability; and in his attempt to give an account of the reception accorded White's work Mr Argyle contrives to be both hopelessly out of date and quite unnecessarily unjust. Ten or twelve years ago there may have been some point in saying that Patrick White 'has often been misunderstood, sometimes maligned and too infrequently praised'. Today the observation is both irrelevant and misleading. Since the publication of The Tree of Man his work has probably received more close and more favourable critical attention than that of any other Australian author. It is certainly no longer in need of the high-minded and angry defence put forward by Mr Argyle.
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