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Harold Edward (Hal) Porter (16 February 1911 – 29 September 1984) was an Australian novelist, playwright, poet and short-story writer.Click here to see the full biography
Harold Edward (Hal) Porter (16 February 1911 – 29 September 1984) was an Australian novelist, playwright, poet and short-story writer.
Porter was born in Albert Park, Victoria,Hal Porter Britannica Online Accessed: 21 October 2007 grew up in Bairnsdale, Victoria and worked as a journalist, teacher and librarian.Porter, Hal (AustLit) Accessed: 14 February 2007. A car accident just before the outbreak of war prevented him from serving in World War II. His first stories were published in 1942 and by the 1960s he was writing full-time. His 1963 memoir, The Watcher on the Cast Iron Balcony, is regarded as an Australian masterpiece.
His other works were less successful. The literary critic Laurie Clancy said: "Porter's novels are, with one exception, less successful than his stories, not least because his scorn for most of his characters becomes wearying over the length of a novel." The exception, Clancy thought, was The Tilted Cross, a historical novel set in Hobart in the 1840s.Laurie Clancy, A Reader's Guide to Australian Fiction, Oxford, Melbourne, 1992, p. 186.
After Porter's death, his friend and biographer Mary Lord revealed in her book Hal Porter: Man of Many Parts that Porter had had sexual relations with Lord's then ten-year-old son; despite this, she chose to remain friends with him. Other critics, notably Noel Rowe, have argued that a close reading of his various works reveals a strong interest in paedophilia.Click here to hide this biography