Patrick White: Voss (2382 words)

  • Brian Kiernan (University of Sydney)
Download PDF Save to Bookshelf Share on Facebook Tweet Report an Error

Set in colonial Australia during the 1840s, and invoking narratives of exploration from that time, Voss encompasses an extensive range of references: historical (but also, by implication, contemporary), stylistic and, covertly, autobiographical. Although the novel’s narration is distanced by irony throughout, White’s attribution of its conception to his experiences of the Middle-Eastern deserts during the second World War—the war he later described in his autobiographical essay “The Prodigal Son” ( Australian Letters 1,1958. p. 39) as being against the “arch megalomaniac” Hitler—and also to his reading the journals and accounts of early Australian explorers after his disappointed return to …

Kiernan, Brian. "Voss". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 September 2006
[, accessed 18 October 2017.]

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here.