Poetry and politics, Sarah Sharp

Robert Burns: Poet and Revolutionist Harry Holland (Dougal McNeill ed) Steele Roberts, $30.00, ISBN 9780947493172 Writing during the 1920s, Harry Holland describes the celebration of Burns Night as an event which unites Scots around the world: be the Scot where he may, in the wilds of … Continue reading

Hipster pulp, Dougal McNeill

New Hokkaido James McNaughton Victoria University Press, $30.00, ISBN 978 086473 9766 James McNaughton’s New Hokkaido is not the “adventure that thrills and disquiets at every turn” promised in its blurb, but it does qualify as a page-turner: I read on, eager to finish and be done with … Continue reading

Constant uncertainty, Dougal McNeill

Journals 1938-1945 Charles Brasch Margaret Scott (transcriber), Andrew Parsloe (annotator) Otago University Press, $60.00, ISBN 9781877372841 Enduring Legacy, the Hocken Library’s 2003 exhibition marking the release of Charles Brasch’s papers from their embargo, was subtitled “patron, … Continue reading

A pleasing oddness, Dougal McNeill

Letters of Frank Sargeson Sarah Shieff (ed) Vintage, $50.00, ISBN 9781869793333 Karatani Kojin, announcing the “end of modern Japanese literature” in 2004, caused some alarm amongst readers, despite Japan’s (for us, and comparatively) philosophically open-minded and expansive literary … Continue reading