Flaws in the Glass

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Flaws in the Glass: a self-portrait
First edition
AuthorPatrick White
PublisherJonathan Cape
Publication date
Media typePrint (hardback & paperback)
Pages260 pp

Flaws in the Glass is Australian writer Patrick White's autobiography, published in 1981.[1][2][3]

The first 150 pages are given over to an introspective "Self Portrait". Two sections, "Journeys" and "Episodes and Epitaphs" follow. The "Journeys" are a colourful description of White and Manolys' movement about the Greek mainland and its many islands. White also talks about that familiar love-hate relationship many people have with Greece (page 201):[2]

"Greece is the greatest love-hate for anybody genuinely hooked ... If you are pure, innocent, or noble — qualities I don't lay claim to — perhaps you never develop passionate antipathies. But Greece is one long despairing rage in those who understand her ... Greece is mindless enough, unless when it comes to politics, and there confusion abounds."

White lists a number of exasperating aspects, incidents and images of Greece, "incidents and images such as these have helped temper my passion for Greece; they have forged a relationship without which my life would have been sterile indeed".

The final section illustrates White's prickly, socialist, republican, and poetic agenda.[4] "My pursuit of that razor-blade truth has made me a slasher", White concludes, "Not that I don't love and venerate in several senses – before all, pureness of heart and trustfulness."[4]


  1. ^ The Angus & Robertson Concise Australian Encyclopaedia. North Ryde, Sydney: Angus & Robertson. 1986. p. 475. ISBN 0-207-15305-1.
  2. ^ a b "Flaws in the glass : a self-portrait / Patrick White". National Library of Australia. Retrieved 11 October 2009.
  3. ^ "Arts & Entertainment : : Flaws in the Glass". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 11 October 2009.
  4. ^ a b "why bother with patrick white". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 16 February 2001. Retrieved 10 October 2009.