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Poem — C K Stead

The Silence The dead we think are gone except when dreams return them. So it was Frank Sargeson took me aside in Hell and said, “You know, my friend, the ways the wind among the reeds is used by shaman…
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Life in the bush, by the bay, Dougal McNeill

Speaking Frankly: The Frank Sargeson Memorial Lectures 2003-2010 Sarah Shieff (ed) Cape Catley, $31.99, ISBN 9781877340277   Celebrating Katherine Mansfield: A Centenary Volume of Essays Gerri Kimber and Janet Wilson (eds) Palgrave Macmillan, $162.00, ISBN 9780230277731   It was a…
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Posted in Essays, Lecture, Literature, Non-fiction, Review

Risk, C K Stead

An extract from C K Stead’s new novel. It was in December that Tom Roland was at home standing in front of the television set thinking about travel. The memory of a poem had set him off on this track.…
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Poem — C K Stead

Back then (but briefly) Reading Sam’s poem while Charlotte’s cat ecstatic nudges, kneads, roars her purr in my right ear and the page speaks about age how much loved and by how many back then and ‘the force that through…
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Through the unknown, remembered gate, Murray Bramwell

South-West of Eden: A Memoir 1932-1956 C K Stead Auckland University Press, $45.00, ISBN 9781869404543 It was T S Eliot in “East Coker” who wrote: “In my beginning is my end.” In a quite different, earlier poem, he produced the…
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Posted in Memoir, Non-fiction, Review

The man who wished to be other, C K Stead

No Fretful Sleeper – A Life of Bill Pearson Paul Millar Auckland University Press, $59.99, ISBN 97818690404192  It must have been 40 years ago that Bill Pearson told me an anecdote about his first days at school. When he reached…
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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction, Review

Had experience, missed meaning, Dougal McNeill

Plume of Bees: A Literary Biography of C K Stead Judith Dell Panny Cape Catley, $39.99, ISBN 9781877340239 Modernism, born in the era of wars and revolutions, grew on contradiction. Centred in London, none of its greatest writers were English.…
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Steadfast, Dougal McNeill

Collected Poems 1951-2006 C K Stead Auckland University Press, $59.99,  ISBN 9781869404185 The American critic Lionel Trilling, writing in the early 1960s of his experience teaching what we would now call modernist literature, felt unsettled by the ease with which…
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Posted in Literature, Poetry, Review

The Dr Johnson of New Zealand literature, Michael Hulse

Book Self C K Stead Auckland University Press, $38.99,  ISBN 9781869404123 It isn’t in the spirit of the age that a Goethe will still attract his Eckermann, or a Dr Johnson his Boswell. A companion free of all other commitments,…
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Posted in Literature, Non-fiction, Review

Poem — C K Stead

Three to the Left   1 Vivienne   Today was her send-off. In a plywood coffin hand-painted with flowers she was laid out on trestles in the Trades Hall, eighty-four years of Stalinist conviction leavened by jokes.   Tunelessly interspersed with reminiscence…
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