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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 7, No. 1 March 28, 1944

Not N.Z. Literature

Not N.Z. Literature

But there is an equally grave short-coming in the choice of subject matter. "Spike" contributions were not New Zealand literature at all. Since the Romantic Revival there has been in literature a consciousness of locale, of setting in time and place. Whereas Horace or Pope were poets and only incidentally Roman or English, authors since the time of Scott are national, Lowland Scots, Irish, etc. This is true of today; writers are modern and of this or that place—U.S.A., China or U.S.S.R.

New Zealand is finding herself as a nation. As an independent part of a greater Pacific unit we are passing from adolescence to maturity. This change has found its political expression in the Anzac pact and its literary expression in such publications as "New Zealand New Writing."

"Spike" lags behind these literary pioneers. From internal evidence it would be difficult to discover its country of origin. Similarly there is little to stamp it with the mark of modern times. Certainly the cinema is mentioned; the war is hinted at; the "now" has come out better than the "here."

Most of us know other countries only through study. By neglecting our own literature we must turn to standardised and conventionalised themes. We hope some day to pick up a "Spike" which has the freshness of our own literature; where we read not of Moscow and Hollywood but of Wellington and Taranaki—and of Libya (for the exploits of the N.Z.E.F. are part of our national life).

The critical analysis of life in other countries has been a necessary pre-requisite of any literature of our own that will not be crude and elementary, but we have reached a stage where we should have assimilated enough of this to begin solo flight.—Junius.