Blog Archives

Editorial – Issue 61

Copycat crime A few decades ago a newspaper ran in full without permission a crucial chapter of an enthusiastically awaited political book on the eve of its publication. I remember this for the copyright dispute it provoked more than for…
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Editorial – Issue 60

Mind your language!   The plurality of communication styles upstream of current stakeholders is relatively porous; but some destabilised pluralities evidence significantly more porosity than others. We’re sorry – we’ll read that again. As Orwell’s power-crazed pigs might have put…
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Editorial – Issue 59

And the winner is   Literary prizes are, of course, a good thing, and only the most curmudgeonly of spoilsports would want to abolish them. In a profession with few career markers, prizes like the Montana New Zealand Book Awards…
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Editorial – Issue 58

Kids stuff Readers – and sometimes even writers – seem to think that writing for children and young adults is the literary equivalent of dunking soldiers in your boiled egg. Fun, possibly, but not what a proper grown-up writer should…
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Editorial – Issue 57

Poetry reviewing and the art of dullness Reviewing poetry is hard, harder probably than any other kind of reviewing. With fiction, there are (usually) characters and a plot to provide a starting point. With history, ecology, or economics, there are…
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Editorial – Issue 51

All in the same nest The Germans have a word for it: Nestbeschmutzung. It literally means “fouling the nest”, but it has a more general meaning of “putting down your own kind”. This is in effect what Rosemary McLeod did…
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Editorial – Issue 56

Foul winds and fair play. The rugby season is over at last – for all of a couple of 
months. But the challenger series for the America’s Cup is already beating to windward. And our professional cricketers, in whatever light…
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Editorial – Issue 50

No, not sour grapes   People will always bitch about literary awards, and  literary awards will always seem inherently unfair. This year’s Montana New Zealand Book Awards will have thrown up their share of sniping, backbiting and dis-appointed egos. Some…
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Editorial – Issue 55

Enemies of promise   “Whom the gods wish to destroy they first call promising.” That was Cyril Connolly in 1938, warning of the dangers threatening writers of the time. More specifically, in his ground-breaking part-memoir, part-critical volume Enemies of Promise,…
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Editorial – Issue 49

Two cheers for biography Biography doesn’t always get a good press. It has been Said to have “added a new terror to death”, while Oscar Wilde remarked that “[e]very great man nowadays has his disciples, and it is always Judas…
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