The Solid Mandala


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Catalogue: Other. Add to shopping cart More information. First edition V. Mr Mac Books Professional seller. Catalogue: Modern Firsts. Peter Goodden Books Ltd Professional seller. New York: Viking, First Edition; First Printing. ISBN: Remainder mark on top edge of text block.

Cloth, 12mo - over 6? Fortuna Books Professional seller. First UK Edition; Sm.

Time Booksellers Professional seller. Advance Copy. Sdescription G. Good condition with shelf wear and edge wear to covers, wear to bottom of spine, page edges browned. No Jacket. There was also a lot of dialogue, which limited the amount of fantastically dense, weird White writing, and really I come to his work for the prose, and the satire, and not the ideas.

The satire here, by the way, is great. Dec 26, Christian Schwoerke rated it really liked it. This was one of my favorite novels read during , so I should have prepared a much more elaborate evaluation of the work… After Voss, which I respected even more than I enjoyed, I was not sure what I might find in The Solid Mandala. While there is some of the stateliness of Voss in the language and the set pieces especially the walk the twins take together ear This was one of my favorite novels read during , so I should have prepared a much more elaborate evaluation of the work… After Voss, which I respected even more than I enjoyed, I was not sure what I might find in The Solid Mandala.

Underlying everything is the setting itself, a suburbia of conformity and small ideas and small emotions. Sep 03, WF rated it really liked it Shelves: australian , read This is an uncomfortable story to read, but which of Patrick White's stories isn't? If this novel was White's personal favourite, it must have been because he derived a grim satisfaction from exposing the dark and ineffectual aspects of the writer self, as exemplified by Waldo, as much as he enjoyed gradually revealing that the idiot savant, as represented by the "simple" twin Arthur, has hidden depths.

I hate the ending, but acknowledge that it was inevitable.

Mar 31, J. Just visited Australia, and had to stop by Sydney's Writers Walk, where a plaque for White is present near the harbor. Patrick White Nobel Prize winner, only Australian to win it is one of my favorite writers, and this is one of my best loved books from years ago. It's in the bed table to be read again May 25, Abmay rated it it was amazing. OH Arthur. Dec 27, Lukasz Pruski rated it really liked it. The cold light, the kitchen smells, had set almost solid in it. Yet, here they were, the two human creatures, depending on habit for substance, as they drifted through.

If habit lent them substance, it was more than habit, Waldo conceded bitterly, which made them one. After th " Waldo was leading his brother Arthur, as how many times, out of the brown gloom of the kitchen. No five stars this time as I am very stingy with that rating but it is another novel that shows a master of the English language at work.

The Solid Mandala

Another novel in which I savored so many sentences and fragments on so many pages. It took me the entire week to read the page novel. Sometimes I spent almost five minutes to read one page - so delightful the prose is. What amazing writing! Maybe only Nabokov could write such an utterly magnificent passage as: "As they lay in the vast bed time was swooping in waves of waves of yellow fluctuating light, or grass. The yellow friction finally revived their flesh. They seemed to flow together as they had, once or twice, in memory or sleep. They were promised a sticky morning, of yellow down, of old yellowed wormy quinces.

Waldo is the "clever twin," and "the one who takes the lead;" Arthur is "the backward one," simple and slow.


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But while Waldo is interested in words, Arthur is the twin more interested in people. They are so different yet they are one. The pace of the novel is extremely slow: an impatient reader will be right to say that not much is going on. One does not read a book like this for the story; the depth of the psychological study, the richness of psychological detail, the amazing insights of the nature of Waldo and Arthur's "twinness" far outweigh the scarcity of plot events.

I love the structure of the novel: the longer first part that focuses on Waldo is followed by much shorter second part where Arthur is the primary focus. The two "halves" are bracketed by short chapters ostensibly written about other participants of the story; they serve as prologue and epilogue for the plot.

I love the passages describing the brothers walking along the Barranugli Road, while the events from their past move by like on an old newsreel. One of the climaxes of the novel is the unforgettable, stunning scene of Arthur "dancing the mandala": "He danced the sleep of people in a wooden house, groaning under the pressure of sleep, their secrets locked prudently up, safe, until their spoken thoughts, or farts, gave them away. He danced the moon, anaesthetized by bottled cestrum.

He danced the disc of the orange sun above icebergs, which was in a sense his beginning, and should perhaps be his end. There is one thing I do not like in the novel: the author seems to be explaining the meaning of the title, writing in italics! It is believed to be the 'dwelling of the god'. Four-and-a-half stars Patrick White is an amazing writer.

His books are unusual and individual, passages occasionally drift into stream of conciousness, which I love, and it is easy to identify with even the strangest of his characters. The Solid Mandala is now one of my favourite of his books. Oct 12, Rue Baldry rated it really liked it. This is a quiet, slow-moving book which doesn't really contain any surprises, but I found it absorbing and convincingly written.

There was some uncharacteristic melodrama towards the end, and a few passages in Waldo's chapter were repetitive and long-winded, but apart from those things it was a very good read. It's beautifully written. The characters, times and place are all conjured very completely and convincingly and subtly. It's a great study in perception and ageing and in how we are shaped This is a quiet, slow-moving book which doesn't really contain any surprises, but I found it absorbing and convincingly written. It's a great study in perception and ageing and in how we are shaped by our unavoidable family connections and the roles they force us into.

It's also a very good example of how to write a story covering a long time period in a non-chronological way without ever being confusing. Jul 29, abhishek Chakraborty rated it did not like it. Full of symbols and Everything is so damn symbolic! Even the characters are outnumbered by the battery of symbols! This is not a great book, not at all and the worst part is not funny either. Nothing happens, nothing develops, except the symbols as the whole book in the end becomes a 'Mandala' Apparently Patrick White is not Samuel Beckett and so does when he aim for the theme of 'Nothingness', he misses it by miles and like other writers from pseudo-postcolonial genre Full of symbols and Nothing happens, nothing develops, except the symbols as the whole book in the end becomes a 'Mandala' Apparently Patrick White is not Samuel Beckett and so does when he aim for the theme of 'Nothingness', he misses it by miles and like other writers from pseudo-postcolonial genre White adds more mass to the postcolonial literature.

Jan 11, Jack rated it really liked it.


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  • My fav bit of half remembered text, a s housewife agrees to be horrified at an outrage: "Yairs," said Doris, then, for never let it be said that Doris had nothing to contribute on such topics, "Yairs. But you get the picture. There's a lot about mysticism and about Australian suburbia that I can just tell is flying over my head. I'll admit I'm a little disappointed the prose isn't as gorgeous as that in The Aunt's Story.

    I can however appreciate the formal intricacies: retelling the story from Arthur's point of view after Waldo's, bookending with Mrs Poulter. Aug 02, Trina rated it liked it. This book is a rather hard slog. White's prose is tightly related to poetry in places and makes interpretation a task to be done. It is entirely poignant, insightful, and meaningful, but it is not easy and it is anything but fast moving.

    I'm glad to have read it but will not be rushing to read any of his other works. Dec 19, Cheryl rated it it was ok Shelves: nobel-prize , olympics-challenge. I found this an extremely difficult book to get into and to follow. White focuses much more on psychology and the minds of people than on telling a story, and that made it very difficult to follow so much of the time.

    May 15, Gregory Marris rated it liked it Shelves: australian. Not my favorite Patrick While novel by a long shot. All the characters seems so paralyzed by their relationships and by what they are coveting within their hearts. Twin brothers with opposing characters but whom share a bed together their entire lives. Codependency at its worst. Dec 19, Tango rated it liked it.

    This was a hard read. The characters were not very likeable, but flawed and human, and their relationships were strange. I found parts of this quite confusing. Although the writing was good this was not my favourite White novel. I became more interested in this novel the more I read. Arthur is certainly an intriguing character. Waldo was fun, I will read The Brothers Karamozov because of him. But Patrick lost me several times… even missed the mandala thing. Jun 15, George rated it liked it.

    1966 Australian novels

    A well written novel. I found the characters not very interesting and quite sad individuals. Mar 01, Jonathan Gruber rated it did not like it. Jul 27, Voracious marked it as abandoned. Can't seem to get really interested in this. Aug 16, Jmolentin added it.

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    The Solid Mandala by White

    Read it about after finishing Eye of the Storm. I remember that it really drew me into their world.

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    OK, but i won't be rushing to read another Patrick White book. Oct 03, Brendan rated it really liked it. Had been meaning to read a Patrick White for a while. This one was fairly good. Twin brothers, one of which has aspergers or something grow up in a small town or suburb in Australia, starting in the 20s or something no specific date though I guess if I paid attention I could have deduced the date from the war The two brothers are chalk and cheese, one "rational" and intelligent, introverted to the extent of seeming unemotional, the other physically strong, however silent and humanistic.

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