The Old Quarrel

Patrick White and God by Michael Giffin Cambridge Scholars, 2017, 411 pages, £63.99 _______________________________ Michael Giffin announces his intention early in Patrick White and God, after describing White’s personal-cum-tribal relationship with the Anglican Church: This book attempts to locate Patrick White’s fiction within a 200-year phase in western philosophy and aesthetics beginning with romanticism in the late 18th century. The attempt is ambitious because his fiction is a critique of western consciousness, in particular its understanding of reason; however, his critique looks like a metaphysics—and perhaps a metapsychology—now challenged by an unstable marriage of promethean science and intersectional politics. Because…

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