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Reflections of a working writer and reader



Presque vu X

The Australian novelist, Patrick White, left behind a box full of papers which have been stored in the Australian National Library. patrick white

Out of the boxes came extraordinary treasures: photographs of the young swell at Cambridge in the 1930s; precious letters saved from the thousands he’d received in a long lifetime; the old man’s beret and beanie; theatre programs from four continents; a pile of recipes in his own hand; and the carbons of half a dozen brutal letters of dismissal of old friends, old agents and politicians he’d once supported.

“In the days when we spoke from the same platform I believe we were on about the same issues,” he wrote to the NSW premier Neville Wran in 1985. “Since success grabbed you, you have become a megalomaniac politician more interested in votes and your own glory than in human beings.”

The Nobel laureate with more than a dozen books in print earned less than $7000 in royalties in the six months before he died.


The Technorati Link Count Widget is a tiny snippet of javascript which shows how many blogs link to your posts. This is a possible future solution to the problem of comment spam?


Some words that may come in useful:
Adroit: Having ready skill, dexterous, active, clever.
Encomium: A formal or high-flown expression of praise; a eulogy, panegyric.
Rubric: A class or category.


Petrona has this little gem for the coming season:

This Christmas, most people will play as safe as the bookshop buyers and walk out with a Jeremy Clarkson or a Gordon Ramsay, happy in the knowledge it won’t be them who has to read it.

2 Responses to “Presque vu X”

  1. kimbofo says:

    John, did you realise your dress sense (namely the hat) bears an uncanny resemblance to Mr White’s? 😉

    jb says: I didn’t realise before I saw the two photographs next to each other. He was a good-looking bloke.

  2. Steve Clackson says:

    Hi John I sent this to

    jb says: Thanks, Steve. I hope they use it.