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Grudging nationalist, Mark Williams

Charles Brasch: Journals 1945-1957
Peter Simpson (ed)
Otago University Press, $60.00,
ISBN 9781927322284

I approached this book rather in the spirit of someone visiting a civic monument to a figure august and admired, but obscurely known. In the late 1980s, as one of the many editors of Landfall in that period, I spent time in the Caxton Press checking proofs, following a tradition of care established by Charles Brasch 40 years earlier. But the strong ghosts I recall in a building filled with reminders of eminence were those of Janet Frame, whose visits and material remnants still held occult power, and Robin Dudding, veiled in a scandalous story that I gathered had more than one way of telling. Brasch’s presence was fainter somehow, less detectable in the busy workings of the printing house that had hosted him and sacked his heir, Dudding.

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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review and Sociology

Christchurch circles and cliques, Helen Watson White

Bloomsbury South: The Arts in Christchurch 1933-1953 Peter Simpson Auckland University Press, $70.00, ISBN 9781869408480 When Christchurch poet and printer Denis Glover travelled to Britain in 1941 to serve in the Royal Navy, he left behind one literary circle and

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Posted in Art, Non-fiction and Review

Obsolescence is just the beginning, Peter Simpson

Director of The Holloway Press Peter Simpson celebrates the joy of letterpress. The Holloway Press is dedicated to letterpress printing, a technology rendered largely obsolete by the dawn of the digital age. Letterpress printing – that is, the direct impression

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Posted in Comment

Not to be sneezed at, Melissa Laing

Fantastica: The World of Leo Bensemann Peter Simpson Auckland University Press, $75.00, ISBN 978869404710   It has been a prolific few years for New Zealand art history at Auckland University Press, with monographs on Bill Culbert, Marti Friedlander, Len Lye

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Posted in Art, Biography, Non-fiction and Review

What, where, here, not here, Peter Ireland

Peter Peryer Photographer  Peter Peryer (photographs); Peter Simpson and Peter Peryer (essays) Auckland University Press, $59.99,  ISBN 9781869494178 Room Room Ann Shelton (photographs); Martin Patrick (essay) City Gallery in association with McNamara Gallery, $7.00, ISBN 0958270465 Acerbic old Degas once

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Posted in Non-fiction, Photography and Review

One-book wonder, Harry Ricketts

Collected Poems Charles Spear (Peter Simpson ed) Holloway Press, $200.00, ISBN 0958231370 Laclos (Les Liaisons Dangereuses), Emily Bronte (Wuthering Heights), Anna Sewell (Black Beauty), Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird): there’s an undeniable fascination about one-book wonders. Those were novelists,

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Posted in Literature, Poetry and Review

Cubist McCahon, Roger Blackley

Colin McCahon: The Titirangi Years, 1953-1959 Peter Simpson Auckland University Press, $49.95,  ISBN 9781869403898 A half-century ago, the literature of New Zealand art fitted on a single shelf, or – with a full collection of the periodical Art in New

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Posted in Art, Biography, Non-fiction and Review

Carnage on the coast, Paul Millar

Nine New Zealand Novellas  ed Peter Simpson Reed, $39.95, ISBN 0790009927 I’m not going to begin with a long, theorised discussion if the novella; there’s plenty of that around, and Peter Simpson’s introduction explores some of the key issues surrounding

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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review and Short stories

Hooked on wonder and mystery, Damian Skinner

Shane Cotton ed Lara Strongman City Gallery Wellington and Victoria University Press, $59.95, ISBN 0864734697 Jeffrey Harris Justin Paton Victoria University Press and Dunedin Public Art Gallery, $69.95, ISBN 0864734867 Engravings on Wood by Leo Bensemann  ed Peter Simpson Holloway

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Posted in Art, Non-fiction and Review
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