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The Living and the Dead
To hesitate on the edge of life or to plunge in and risk change--this is the dilemma explored in 'The Living and The Dead'. Patrick White's second novel is set in the thirties London and portrays the complex ebb and flow of relationships within the Standish family. Mrs Standish, ageing but still beautiful is drawn to secret liaisons, while her daughter Eden experiments ...more
Hardcover, 358 pages
Published March 2nd 1993 by Penguin Classics
(first published 1941)
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White's sophomore novel—and one of the few with a non-Australian setting—shows scattered glimpses of his future greatness, but is marred by his ill-fitting Joycean influences which, unfortunately, render the entire composition somewhat sterile and brittle—very little of the living and too much of the dead. I, at least, found myself wondering why I was spending time following the saturnine rituals of White's dysfunctional London family during the period when the Spanish Civil War held Europe's di ...more
The writing here is so assured and very masterly. I often stopped and reread sentences or paragraphs that had a true poetry about them. The setting and style recalled Virginia Wolf's 'Mrs Dalloway' but unfortunately the plot here did not hang together as well as that novel does. White is missing the great myths that captured his imagination with the later novels. You get the impression after reading this novel that White did not think very much of London in the 1930s.
Gemengd oordeel: de stijl ligt erg in de lijn van Woolf en draagt zeker het thema van de afstandelijkheid, de onmacht te leven, te durven leven. Maar toch overtuigt het verhaal niet en regelmatig zijn er ook ronduit zwakke passages. Lectuur halfweg afgebroken.
Patrick Victor Martindale White was an Australian author widely regarded as one of the major English-language novelists of the 20th century. From 1935 until death, he published twelve novels, two short story collections, eight plays, and non-fiction. His fiction freely employs shifting narrative vantages and the stream of consciousness technique. In 1973, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for ...moreMore about Patrick White...