The Solid Mandala
, the seventh published novel by Australian author Patrick White
Patrick Victor Martindale White , an Australian author, is widely regarded as an important English-language novelist of the 20th century. From 1935 until his death, he published 12 novels, two short-story collections and eight plays.White's fiction employs humour, florid prose, shifting narrative...
, Nobel Prize
Since 1901, the Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded annually to an author from any country who has, in the words from the will of Alfred Nobel, produced "in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction"...
winner of 1973, first published in 1966. It details the story of two brothers, Waldo and Arthur Brown, with a focus upon the facets of their symbiotic relationship. It is set in the White's fictional suburb of Sarsaparilla, a setting he often employed in his other books, such as with Riders in the Chariot
Riders in the Chariot is the sixth published novel by Australian Author Patrick White, Nobel Prize winner of 1973. It was published in 1961 and won the Miles Franklin Award in that year...
. The book is typical of White's writing style, and is slow paced, with little considerable action, instead focusing upon the inner turmoils of the aforementioned characters.
The book is split into four chapters, each narrated in the third-person omniscient limited style; by far the largest is the second, which is limited to Waldo Brown's point of view. Following this is a chapter told through Arthur Brown's view.
It tells the story of two brothers, Waldo and Arthur Brown, and the mutually-dependent and mutually-antagonistic relationship they share: Waldo is cold and supremely rational in his behaviour while Arthur is more warm-hearted and instinctual, so that together they represent what White saw as the two conflicting and complementary halves of human nature.
It is notable for being heavily tipped to win the 1967 Miles Franklin Award
The Miles Franklin Literary Award is an annual literary prize for the best Australian ‘published novel or play portraying Australian life in any of its phases’. The award was set up according to the will of Miles Franklin , who is best known for writing the Australian classic My Brilliant Career ...
, the third of White's novels to be nominated for the prize, until White personally intervened and withdrew it from consideration so that other writers might stand a chance of winning.