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Maurice Gee secondary literature: PART 1

March 27, 2011

Plumb trilogy - Maurice Gee

Man! Someone should do a cultural analysis on the body of secondary literature surrounding Maurice Gee.

There is a wealth of study there and it’s great to read.  If you want to see how literature is analysed, you couldn’t go wrong to get all the articles written on Maurice Gee!

There’s canon-formation, identity crises, individual growth, symbolism, humanity, violence, silences, in amongst microscopic analyses of literary meaning, etc etc.

A lot of it focuses on New Zealand identity in literature; the Pakeha mindset, the post-colonial experience, etc… You get analyses of major characters, minor characters, narrative time, leitmotifs, the occasional metaphor (though I think more could be made of this, too), first-person narratives, etc.

Of course, most of these analyses cover the Plumb trilogy (and certainly the books are deserving of analysis) and most of it seems confined to a certain academic era (is this entirely tied to the publication of Plumb?)… and there’s still nothing on his literature for children, which is one of the more significant absences in this body of literature, if you ask me;

Want to know what contemporary New Zealand thinks of itself? Look at the academic interest! The children and the elderly… where are they? Well, a lot of that is in Gee’s work too… it really does beg thinking about.

The secondary literature surrounding Gee’s work is a cultural case study in itself.                   …TO BE CONT….

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