Talk:Patrick White

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Birthdate[edit]

According to this he was born on May 28, not May 18.

Thanks for pointing this out; his autobiography also mentions May 28. Fixed the article. Lupo 07:07, 28 May 2004 (UTC)
Sorry, must've been a typo. Does anyone have a public domain picture of White? Ambivalenthysteria 08:48, 28 May 2004 (UTC)

Un-Australian?[edit]

his books were largely ignored in Australia (three of them having been called ‘un-Australian’ by critics

Which books? Citation?

Proudly un-Australian, Singkong2005 23:32, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

Dunno; does it matter? Unsure what the word really means, beyond its manipulative, nationalistic agenda. Tony 23:36, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

Articles needed[edit]

Unfortunate to see only two or three of his works have pages. Maybe we could get started on Tree of Man, Aun't Story, Fringe of Leaves sometime?

Copyright examination[edit]

Oops,[edit]

Of course I didn't add Women Writers cat, I added Writers from NSW cat, but let wrong edit summary drop in! ... Sterry2607 13:43, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

infoblot[edit]

I propose that the infobox be removed. The information is (or should be) also in the main text. It compartmentalises information and creates POV over its prioriy ("Domestic partner" is a put-down term, and who are we to say that it's important enough to elevate to the very top of the article? Tony (talk) 01:38, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

Twentieth anniversary of the great man's death is coming up[edit]

September 2010. I wonder whether there's any interest in working this up to featured status and applying for main-page exposure on the day? I'll post at other relevant pages, too. I could assist, but I'd do it only as a team-member.  :-) Tony (talk) 04:18, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

pic of him[edit]

Well thank god someone has put one there. I'm not sure it will stick in copyright terms, but it certainly lifts the article and is important for the readers' understanding. I have had no success in getting the ABC or the Australian National Library to release or locate a copyright-free image of the man. The ABC, which runs the most comprehensive site on White, said fine, if an annual fee is paid (I'm not paying out of my own pocket). It's extraordinary that national cultural institutions are so unwilling to assist, given White's importance to Australian culture. Tony (talk) 08:20, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

Order of Australia[edit]

Did Patrick receive the Order of Australia? Did he renounce the honour later on, when the government started to give out knighthoods in the Order? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 182.239.146.64 (talk) 13:19, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

There's no listing at It's an Honour for him. That in itself doesn't mean he didn't get an award, because some winners choose not to permit their awards to be listed there. Nor does it mean that he was offered one but declined it. Or that he accepted one but later renounced it. But there's no mention of anything like this in Marr's biography, and fwiw I've never heard of any awards even being offered, let alone declined.
All I can say is that it would be very surprising if a man of his stature wasn't at least offered an AC. Maybe one was offered and he said no, thanks but it's never made the news. He wasn't one for feeding the press with personal information. -- ♬ Jack of Oz[your turn] 20:04, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
Patrick White was awarded the Companion of the Order of Australia in 1975, but resigned from the Order the year after. He was also offered a knighthood prior to that. I don't know whether somebody is allowed to unilaterally renounce an Order of Australia award. If the Order of Australia is like the British orders (ie, Order the British Empire, etc), the recipient can't unilaterally renounce an award once it is granted and accepted by the recipient. So it might be correct to list an AC as his postnominal, even though he renounced it. The fact that there is no listing for him at It's an Honour would have no effect whether or not he still actually has the AC award, or the postnominal.

http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/white-patrick-victor-14925 — Preceding unsigned comment added by 219.90.200.150 (talk) 11:27, 11 June 2013 (UTC)

Both Patrick White & Nugget Coombs were in the group of 6 awarded the first civil (now called general) ACs in the Queen's Birthday Honours List 1975.
They both resigned from the order in 1976 when the AK was created - see
I haven't yet located the gazette entries for their resignations.
As they both resigned, from that point neither of them were ACs, and hence no-one else is entitled to call them ACs, and hence neither appear in "It's an Honour". Pdfpdf (talk) 10:00, 23 March 2014 (UTC)
Obviously I hadn't checked the Marr biography very well in May 2012 (above), because it's there alright: Around 1970 he'd declined the offer of a knighthood (p. 516). Then in early 1975 he was invited to dinner at Jim McClelland's house, and Sir John Kerr was also there. Earlier in the year, he'd been offered a Companion of the Order but had neither accepted nor rejected it at this time. At one point in the evening, Kerr took White aside and told him it was really important that such a notable figure should be associated with the Order from the outset. That made White's mind up (p. 554). Then he quit the Order some time after 11 November 1975 (p. 578). Marr makes no mention of it having anything to do with the new level of knighthood that Fraser introduced. He's quoted as saying to Geoffrey Dutton at the time All such honours are bribes, and all honours are political ... Thinking as I do, I shall get on with my dreadful fate of being an Australian, but at least without the irrelevant baubles. White attributed his change of heart to his disillusion over Whitlam's performance as PM, not to anything Fraser did. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 11:20, 23 March 2014 (UTC)
Very interesting! It seems that finding the resignation dates of the two of them becomes more important, because
  • It indicates whether they did it in tandem or independently
  • It indicates what they did it in response to - i.e. the dismissal, the announcement of knighthoods, and/or other factors.
I find it interesting that Elizabeth Webby (who wrote the ADB entry and quotes Marr as a reference) presents a slightly different view to Marr.
Cheers, and thanks, Pdfpdf (talk) 12:56, 23 March 2014 (UTC)
It was reported on 11 June 1976 that Nugget Coombs had resigned from the Order on 3 June 1976, specifically because of the introduction of knighthoods. That is clear.
On 22 June 1976, Government House refused to comment on reports that Patrick White had resigned from the Order. I wouldn't normally place much store in this sort of thing, but it says he resigned on 18 June 1976, which would square nicely with the foregoing. As to the reason(s) for White's resignation, here are White's own words, containing no reference to knighthoods. It was solely about "the sacking of the elected government".
It seems to me that White unintentionally contributed to the confusion here. He resigned AFTER the introduction of knighthoods, but, according to his own words, not BECAUSE of the introduction of knighthoods. He could have resigned months earlier, any time from 12 November 1975, but chose to wait for 7 months to manifest his outrage. Because his resignation came at much the same time that Coombs resigned, commentators have generally made a link they weren't entitled to make, but an understandable one nonetheless, and they now say both men's reasons were the same. But that seems not to be the case.
This, BTW, says that two other people resigned in 1976 after Fraser introduced knighthoods. I wonder who they were. I'd be surprised if they were also Companions. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 02:19, 24 March 2014 (UTC)