Indirections: A Memoir 1909-1947
As poet, editor, and patron of the arts, Charles Brasch made a lasting contribution to New Zealand cultural life. In retrospect he seemed born to the sheltered life of artist and aesthete; in fact it took nearly forty years of trial and error, of intense self-scrutiny and continuing private quest, for Brasch to discover and justify his vocation. 'These early years, up to the founding of the quarterly Landfall in 1947, are the subject of this memoir.
Charles Brasch was born in Dunedin, New Zealand, in 1909, into a prosperous commercial family. His mother's early death left him struggling throughout a difficult childhood to meet the demands of an ambitious father who never really understood him. Schooling at Waitaki and three years reading history at Oxford strengthened his interest in the arts and brought friendships that were to be important for the rest of his life. A subsequent visit to New Zealand convinced Brasch finally that he could not accept a business career, but must somehow make himself into a writer. In 1932 some of his early work was published in the Auckland journal Phoenix.
The following decade was spent chiefly out of New Zealand — in Egypt, working on the site of Akhenaten's capital at Tell El Amarna; travelling in Italy, Germany, and Russia; and teaching at The Abbey, a small experimental school for disturbed children at Little Missenden. Briefly back in New continued on back flappage breakpage break