The Hanging Garden by Patrick White

Reviewed by
April 2012, no. 340

The Hanging Garden by Patrick White

Reviewed by
April 2012, no. 340

‘Genius,’ as Arthur Rimbaud put it, ‘is childhood recovered at will.’ Rimbaud himself abandoned poetry at the age of twenty and thereafter refused to look back, but Patrick White exemplified the rule in writing The Hanging Garden. He was sixty-eight at the time, and had just completed his rancorous memoir Flaws in the Glass (1981); having disburdened himself of a lifetime’s gripes and grudges, he now re-imagined adolescence in a novel about two refugees – a boy from blitzed London, a girl from Greece – sent to Sydney early in World War II. He worked on it for a few months at the start of 1981, then set it aside, suspending the lives of the disparate but psychologically twinned characters at the end of the war.

From the New Issue

You May Also Like

Leave a comment

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

NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login 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.