Books: Villains of Refinement


by PATRICK WHITE 608 pages. Viking. $8.95.

In awarding Australian Novelist Patrick White the 1973 Nobel Prize, the jury observed that he had "introduced a new continent to literature."

However true that may be, it is not too harsh to say that White might have received less critical veneration if he came from Wales or Idaho. Still, for 30 years he has quietly written long, uncompromising and cerebral novels. Voss (1957), a study of a German exploring the Australian interior frontier, shimmered with metaphysical mirages. With desert-dry irony, The Solid Mandala (1966) considered the lives of twin brothers, respectively...

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