The Eye of the Storm by Patrick White

I was hoping, as I began reading Patrick White’s The Eye of the Storm, that there would be heaps of erudite reviews out there in cyberspace, to help me make sense of it so that I didn’t write anything really inane here. Alas, no, hardly anybody has tackled it so at this stage I am free to interpret it any way I like and few but experts skulking in academia will be any the wiser. I expect I’ve missed heaps. Patrick White’s books are like that, and that’s what makes them so good. Each time I re-read one, especially if in the interim I’ve stumbled on some other work of literature that’s he’s referenced, I enjoy it more because I notice new things…

The Complete Review found The Eye of the Storm ‘impressive’ and recommends it for readers with ‘staying power’. Anderson Brown in Puerto Rico had a go at it, intrigued by the exotic idea of a Nobel Prize winning author being ’an Australian, no less’. But apart from noting that White’s ‘terrain is the nature of consciousness’ approached in a ’painterly’ way, he doesn’t have a lot to say in his review. Martha Duffy at Time thought it ‘pallid and self-indulgent’ and wished that ‘that the storm would blow every bit of it away’. (She was a journalist who started in fashion magazines and a royal watcher, so make of her vehemence what you will).
King Lear and the Fool by William Dyce
(Wikipedia Commons)
It is Alan Lawson, at the ABC website about White who makes the connection between King Lear and this novel. (Though the book is littered with references to Lear, so it’s not exactly revelatory. Unless you don’t know King Lear. Best to read a quick summary at Wikipedia if you don’t.)

To read the rest of my review please visit

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© Read the NobelsMaira Gall