Dear Mr White

Dear Mr Write,

I am writing to you today to express the profound affect your work has had on me. I have only recently discovered your novels and essays and I am slowly making my way through your back catalogue. I have much to catch up on.I have been especially drawn to your short story `Down at the Dump’.

A number of elements in this story have reminded me of my childhood, with many memories flooding back to my mind. Some that had been long forgotten.

My grandmother had a front yard full of pixies, however unlike Myrtle, did not have us kids trained to cover them up when it rained. I do recall though spending summers at her house and helping repaint the ones that had faded due to the sun’s exposure. Grandma, like Myrtle was always seemed highly-strung and serious. She did not like to laugh. Her sister, who lived in the house next door, on the other hand was always full of life, beer in hand and ready to have a good time. Like Daise, she loved her garden and would spend hours attending to the flowers. My mother said she got her love of gardening from her Aunt.

I was extremely moved by the relationships between all the characters, in particular that of Daise and Ossie. The scene when Daise invites Ossie into her bed and she helps him ease his cramping legs is such a tender moment that elevates their relationship. Both characters are clearly `in the moment’ and portray a feeling of something more than just a mere sexual encounter. A moment that perhaps helps Ossie reclaim his lost manhood.

The most moving part of the story comes shortly afterwards-

“…to drown would have been worth it.”

The knowledge contained in that sentence has left me reeling. It is perhaps the most beautiful line I have ever read in my life.

Thank you Mr White for sharing your stories and your words.   Your view on Australian life and its people I find very honest and unique and I look forward to uncovering more of your work.




One Reply to “Dear Mr White”

  1. Hey Brendon,

    I really enjoyed reading your entry on Patrick White here. I appreciate what you’ve written and how you found his work relatable to your own life… I think Mr White allows us to identify many characters from our own lives in his works but it was funny to hear that your grandma and her sister fit so well with the ideals of Daise and Myrtle, except for the pixies of course. Maybe you weren’t Meg necessarily in this story then… 😉

    The scene you highlighted between Daise and Ossie was also one of my favourites so I’m really glad you highlighted it. Especially that one significant line that really encompasses the wider moment, and probably Ossie’s life as you stated.

    Great entry. Only noticed a missing space point in one of your initial sentences.


    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s