Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 36, Number 10. 23rd May 1973
John Hales reviews "Neil Wright reviews a kitset of 26 poems by Dennis List"
John Hales reviews "Neil Wright reviews a kitset of 26 poems by Dennis List".
"Dennis List is my alter ego, and I am his"— So Niel Wright, writing in his first published review of Dennis List's published collection of poems. Of course Niel Wright is wrong. He always is. In actual fact, as everybody knows, Dennis List is my alter ego, and I am his. From the start Dennis has had a very high regard for my literary potential, in fact such a high regard that my literary potential has remained constant. I just haven't written anything.
This literary dormancy, hibernation-call it what you will —is not uncommon on the NZ literary scene. When you consider that of all the farmers, businessmen, school-teachers, and public servants that make up NZ society, the five per cent who actually release their potential into words are like the mere froth on a glass of beer, and the few who actually get published are the specks of spittle floating on the froth.
However this review is not of List's book but of Wright's review of List's book. Although few people have yet suspected it Niel Wright is my alter alter ego and I am his. We worship each other at our alters. Eight years ago I said that Niel Wright might have the potential of a good reviewer, and then again he might not. His review proves the correctness of my prediction, which shows that I am just about as avante as Wright's garde.
But I was not merely content to praise Niel, I slapped his back, he slapped Dennis's, and Dennis slapped mine. Which indicates that we are even kinkier than the Romantic Imagination.