voss and the vivisector


Patrick White, the first great novelist to come out of Australia, was born in 1912, won the Nobel Prize in 1973, died in 1990 and his work promptly dropped from fashion. His style of narrative-driven psychological modernism seemed outmoded, perhaps, when the highbrow section of the literary marketplace had turned to the exuberant post-modernism of Salman Rushdie and David Foster Wallace, on the one hand, and the differently stylized realisms of Raymond Carver and Alice Munro on the other. A chapter from one of White’s novels, submitted pseudonymously to a list of top publishers in 2007, was rejected by every one of them. White — who was gay, had a gallows wit and self-consciously cast himself as an outsider, both ahead of his times and behind them — would have seen the humor in that. He once said that he had wasted his life writing and should have stuck to “learning to cook properly.”

more from the LA Times here.