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Preview — The Vivisector by Patrick White
Hurtle Duffield, a painter, coldly dissects the weaknesses of any and all who enter his circle. His sister's deformity, a grocer's moonlight indiscretion, the passionate illusions of the women who love him-all are used as fodder for his art. It is only when Hurtle meets an egocentric adolescent whom he sees as his spiritual child does he experience a deeper, more treachero...more
“Birds rose and fell in the air, like the notes of music out of the piano shops in Surrey Hills.”
A true talent ought to dissect reality and reconstruct the bleeding fragments into something new – something dreadfully beautiful or beautifully dreadful capable to shock any pharisaic imagination.
“Again the long sad picture had got posse ...more
No, I'm reading this because a) the cover of this book is freaking amazing and b) I'm 33 now, and apparently that's the age when culture cringe* starts to f ...more
This book comes with great peripherals. On the cover of the Penguin Classics edition is a superb painting by Jason Freeman, showing an operation on a human eye; as brilliant as it is horrifying, the image perfectly captures the mind of the protagonist, Australian painter Hurtle Duffield, whose laser gaze sears into the souls of his subjects, even if he must destroy them in the process. You open the cover to find an excellent introduction by fellow-Nobelist J. M. Coetzee, and four pithy epigr ...more
Sold by his poor parents into a wealthy family, the driving force throughout his life is to realize his inner vision by whatever means he can. His ruthlessness in dissecting and exposing the passions and weaknesses of those around him in order to serve his art leaves him cut off from those warmer human emotions which could so easily be his until a musical child, whom he recognises ...more
The novel is about Hurtle Duffield, a boy essentially bought from his parents for a wealthy couple's amusement at his charm and cleverness. An initially sensitive and bright little lad, the act of being sold seems to bring out something darker in the boy, and his push towards becoming an artists reveals a brutal, crueler side of him that he ends up exploring mo ...more
I am not sure that ...more
This evening the indications are I will be employed all night. There is a football team been given the address. I will think of you between the scrums. I kiss you every where, Nance
I don't understand those bloody paintings I drawings or whatever they are but they may be something. If I could draw I would do you more realistic than life. How I would love it.
Again the long sad picture got possession of her. That was what she wanted: to be slowly and sa ...more
Courtney have a daughter Rhoda, who has a disability in the form of bent/stooped back. Hurtle is quiet unusual as compare to any normal children. Chiefly he is ahead ...more
Hurtle is, like many of White’s protagonists, an outsider and outcast. Born poor but adopted by a wealthy family, he was a ...more
It was re-assuring. I knew White had been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature a few years after publication of The Vivisector and as an attempt to inhabit the mental processes of an artist, such as his friends Sidney Nolan or Francis Bacon I ...more
So I'm not going to rate this but I didn't like this one bit. I could enjoy some passages and that I could tell that Patrick White is a good writer, but the story dragged and none of the characters are likable at all.
I read this for my book club, at the moment we're reading the shortlist of the Man Booker Prize 1970, and so far that year, in my opinion, not a strong year. I would have stopped reading this earlier if it wasn ...more
Patrick White began writing with 2 books of verse, before moving i ...more
and different to anything I've ever imagined. I've just read the book again and I was pleasantly surprised , that my understanding of English language 44 years ago, was much better then I thought. I loved the book , Patrick introduced me to a country ,that I've learned to love and enjoy.
Exploring the inner depths of an artists psyche and the horrible trail left behind of those who become his “muse”, this novel at times was poignant and scary. As a whole though I found this was far too arduous to possibly want to tell my friends to find the hidden gems within.
Made me laugh.
There's precious few laughs in this story. I haven't enjoyed this one, surprisingly, it has mostly been a slog to the last chapter, chap. 9.
A slow slide into tedious boredom. Skimmed to the end of the chapter. Goodbye Mr. Duffield.