peteg's blog


/noise/movies | Link

With Albert at his place. I haven't seen this in an age. It's great as far as Scorsese Italians-in-America go.

/noise/beach/2012-2013 | Link

Abortive snorkeling attempt with Albert at Little Bay (while Sandy sat on the beach). The water was fine and clear but full of jellyfish with angry-red inner bits that, according to Albert, do sting. (Plausibly Pelagia noctiluca.) Beautiful day for it otherwise.

Patrick White: The Cockatoos

/noise/books | Link

As The Vivisector wasn't totally crap, I went looking for another Patrick White in the UNSW Library. They don't seem to have Voss, so maybe I won't get to that.

This one seemed promising as it is a compilation of six short stories:

  • A Woman's Hand shows White's inability to imagine women as having much of an explicable internal life.
  • The Full Belly: Greece occupied by the Nazis. I found it difficult to grasp what he was getting at.
  • The Night the Prowler is decent (I believe he turned it into a play) but flawed by the opening gambit being the rape of his protagonist, which severely limits where he can take things. I didn't find the arc at all plausible.
  • Five-Twenty maps the decline of a couple who retire to the Parramatta Road. White is in his element and comfort zone here, just as he was in the final movement of The Vivisector.
  • Sicilian Vespers was OK but didn't amount to much.
  • The Cockatoos was the pick of this collection for me, with White exercising his ability to keenly observe social dynamics and pretensions. It also benefits from him not being as brutal as he typically is.

Overall this collection isn't great, if only because White cannot formulate a plot worth a damn.