May 13, 2007

Voss, by Patrick White

The plot of this novel is of epic simplicity: in 1845 Voss sets out with a small band to cross the Australian continent for the first time. The tragic story of their terrible journey and its inevitable end is told with imaginative understanding.
The figure of Voss takes on superhuman proportions, until he appears to those around him as both deliverer and destroyer. His relationship with Laura Trevelyan is central personal theme of the story.
The true record of Ludwig Leichardt, who died in the Australian desert in 1848, suggested Voss to the author.

Patrick White was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1973.

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