Books: Australian Bark Painting

Voss (422 pp.)—Patrick White—Viking ($5).

Patrick White is an intellectual Australian novelist who hates to write about intellectuals and loves to write about Australians. His thoughtful novels (this is his fifth) make him somewhat enigmatic to his countrymen. Can such deep thoughts be harbored about such seemingly simple people as he portrays?

Author White, his country's only considerable novelist since the death in 1946 of Henry Handel Richardson, has filled his most ambitious book to date ostensibly with the adventure story of an explorer. But beneath the surface, it is really a self-examining essay...

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