Creatively wicked, Roger Robinson

Quarrels with Himself: Essays on James K Baxter as Prose Writer
Peter Whiteford and Geoffrey Miles (eds)
Victoria University Press, $40.00,
ISBN 9781776561711

As a landmark of New Zealand literary scholarship, James K. Baxter: Complete Prose, edited by John Weir, published in four volumes in 2015, is alpine in scale. Reviewing it in the Summer 2015 issue of New Zealand Books, John Newton aptly called it a “massive terminal moraine”, also describing Baxter’s profusion of words as a “manic deluge”. Such geomorphically inclined imagery continues in this new collection of essays about Baxter’s prose, where Weir’s edition is called “tectonic”, “a substantial blockade”, making “visible … the full range and depth”, “monumental” (at least five times), and “heroic”.


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