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New Zealand Literature

March 26, 2011

Daylight - Elizabeth Knox

Sometimes I quite enjoy reviews; good ones give you a taste of the discussion and a response to it too.  Mostly I like engaging with another reader’s ‘reading’.

Lydia Wevers reviews Picking up the Traces in

Since it’s Elizabeth Knox’s work I’m thinking of just now, I’ll repeat Wevers’ mention of her in this review (for itself, the review is interesting too):

“Patrick Evans recently published an article in the Listener accusing contemporary writers of ‘neutralising the New Zealand referent‘ in order to gain access to a global market. Echoing Curnow… Evans urged the production of a ‘comprehensive, meaningfully localised world’, and argued that writers like Elizabeth Knox and Damien Wilkins are not providing us with the cultural geography it is our right to expect. Of course there are many arguments around these assertions….”

p161 (my emphasis) Wevers, Lydia.: review of Jones, Lawrence. “Picking up the traces: the making of a New Zealand literary culture, 1932-1945.” Journal of New Zealand Literature (22) 2004, 160-9. (2004)

This annoyance with our writers does surface periodically and I see the reason why, but do I need to see NZ to enjoy the book? No

I do like the landscape of the novel to feel real, though… I didn’t feel like Dreamhunter‘s landscape lacked cohesion.

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