Patrick White on creativity

Patrick White (1912-1990)

Patrick White (1912-1990)

‘I am not writing for an audience; I am writing, and if I have an audience I am very glad. I shocked some people the other night by saying writing is really like shitting; and then, reading the letters of Pushkin a little later, I found he said exactly the same thing! It’s something you have to get out of you. I didn’t write for a long time at one stage, and built up such an accumulation of shit that I wrote The Tree of Man.’

From ‘In the Making’ (a speech he gave in 1970)