Blog Archives

Unthawing, Hugh Roberts

Hard Frost: Structures of Feeling in New Zealand Literature 1908-1945 John Newton Victoria University Press, $40.00, ISBN 9781776561629 Telling the Real Story: Genre and New Zealand Literature Erin Mercer Victoria University Press, $40.00, ISBN 9781776560851 If there is a better…
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Posted in Literature, Review

An anatomy of neoliberal angst, Hugh Roberts

Neoliberalism and Cultural Transition in New Zealand Literature, 1984-2008  Jennifer Lawn Lexington Books, $95.00, ISBN 9780739177419 The 1984 Labour government’s legacy has been a curious Rorschach test over the years. I can recall talking to my students in classes at…
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Posted in Literature, Non-fiction, Review

Culture wars, ancient and modern, Hugh Roberts

The Critic’s Part: Wystan Curnow Art Writings 1971-2013 Wystan Curnow Adam Art Gallery/Victoria University Press, $80.00, ISBN 9780864739322 Then It Was Now Again: Selected Critical Writing Murray Edmond Atuanui Press, $44.00, ISBN 9780992245368 The editors of The Critic’s Part tell…
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Posted in Essays, Non-fiction, Review

What are ya, mate? Hugh Roberts

Pacific Highways (GriffithREVIEW 43) Julianne Schultz and Lloyd Jones (eds) Griffith University, $35.00, ISBN 9781922182241 Is New Zealand peculiarly burdened with the curse of national introspection? Even to pose the question is to succumb to that curse; or perhaps to…
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Posted in Essays, Fiction, Literature, Non-fiction, Poetry, Review, Short stories, Sociology

Sourcing the golden goose, Hugh Roberts

Elements of Modernism in Colin McCahon’s Early Work Gordon H Brown Art History Programme, Victoria University of Wellington, $15.00, ISBN 9780475122032 Toss Woollaston: Origins and Influence  Tony Green Art History Programme, Victoria University of Wellington, $15.00, ISBN 9771176304001 Colin McCahon…
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Posted in Art, Essays, Non-fiction, Review

Green thoughts in green shades, Hugh Roberts

The Truth Garden Emma Neale Otago University Press, $30.00,  ISBN 9781877578250 The Bengal Engine’s Mango Afterglow Geoff Cochrane Victoria University Press, $25.00,  ISBN 9780864737618 Warm Auditorium James Brown Victoria University Press, $28.00,  ISBN 9780864737649 From Manoa to a Ponsonby Garden…
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Posted in Literature, Poetry, Review

Conviction or reflection, Hugh Roberts

The Settler’s Plot: How Stories Take Place in New Zealand  Alex Calder Auckland University Press, $45.99, ISBN 9781869404882   Cosma Shalizi has proposed a useful division of non-fiction works into two categories, “works of reflection” and “works of conviction”: A…
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Posted in History, Literature, Non-fiction, Review

Writing frankly, Hugh Roberts

Frank Sargeson’s Stories Janet Wilson (ed) Cape Catley, $47.99, ISBN 9781877340284   The Dictionary of New Zealand Biography tells us that “Frank Sargeson’s major achievement was to introduce the rhythms and idiom of everyday New Zealand speech to literature”, and…
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Posted in Literature, Review, Short stories

Knocking the Nationalists, Hugh Roberts

The Invention of New Zealand: Art and National Identity 1930-1970 Francis Pound Auckland University Press, $75.00, ISBN 1869404149 Francis Pound’s The Invention of New Zealand is an uneven and often quirky work but one with which anyone interested in the…
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Posted in Art, History, Non-fiction, Review

Poets for the ear, Hugh Roberts

James K Baxter: Poems  Sam Hunt (ed)  Auckland University Press, $29.99,  ISBN 9781869404345 Doubtless: New and Selected Poems  Sam Hunt Craig Potton Publishing, $29.99, ISBN 9781877333811 Googling the phrase “New Zealand’s greatest poet” finds hits evenly divided between James K…
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Posted in Literature, Poetry, Review
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