April 3, 2012
I am still thinking about the character of Voss in the novel of the same name by Patrick White. The key: “Christ into man. Man. Man returning into Christ” must be applied to the unattractive character of Voss in the following way. He thinks at times he is God. There is no hint of the Christian spirit in him; he is interested in power and control. That would make him like the fallen angel Satan (“Paradise Lost”). While Colonel Hedben turned back, Voss could never have done such a thing; he is driven by his sense of being God in man, translated as power and control.
The sub symbols of Laura and the child Mercy are a twist of the virgin birth concept. Mercy is their bastard child.
Voss had his disciples who eventually turned away from him (from Christ); a mutiny.
Voss is butchered, and bled. His flesh and blood are devoured. The Eucharist, no less.
So, what was this book all about? Yes, the driving force, the obsession of a man despite reality.
Was this a commentary on fatalism? Man is doomed from the start? A commentary that man does not have a clue to what “God into man” means?
Yes. A gloomy outlook. I would not like to have dinner with Patrick White, despite his winning the Nobel Prize for this novel.