A man of letters

by
November 1994, no. 166
Buy this book

Patrick White: Letters edited by David Marr

Random House Australia, $49.95 hb

A man of letters

by
November 1994, no. 166

Letters turn talking to yourself and to someone else into the same thing. The recipient can’t interrupt, and can’t answer back, at least not yet. Self-obsession is almost a virtue in letters since correspondents who won’t talk about themselves are boring. But letters also make for unreliable autobiography because they’re written out of an understanding not just of what the sender wants to say but also what the recipient needs to hear – and every recipient is different. This is why reading letters not addressed to you is taboo: you invade the privacy of two parties.

Michael Heyward reviews 'Patrick White: Letters' edited by David Marr

Patrick White: Letters

edited by David Marr

Random House Australia, $49.95 hb

Buy this book

Leave a comment

If you are an ABR subscriber, you will need to sign in to post a comment.

If you have forgotten your sign in details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to ABR Comments. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.