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Writing Wellington: Twenty Years of Victoria University Writing Fellows

No Ordinary Son and The Clone People

page 22

No Ordinary Son and The Clone People

By comparison, really excellent writing of a quality only matched by the Kalyani tribe of the Hindu Kush Mountains, a tribe only slightly lower than the Maori are to Heaven, is to be obtained in the texts written by Maori authors. Descended from the Gods, the poet of No Ordinary Son and the great Wordweaver of the West Coast, really do show that the Empire has indeed Struck Back. The paper will consider the negative aspects of global English on the sacred Sanskrit-Maori language and how the sterling battle has been waged by Xena and her Maori literary warriors to combat further marginalisation, invisibilisation, appropriation of text (cf Season of the Stew and The Sinking Pukkah-Papa) and demonising of the Maori people by the villainous Pakeha. Discussion will also focus on essentialism vs synthesis, post-nativism and indigenous essence, and the upturning of notions of Centre and Rim in other (r)evolutionary Polynesian texts such as Cuzzies and Leave Us the Banyan Trees.

The paper will also disclose the great literary secret, actually known to Maori all along, but only confirmed by the discovery of gold tablets on sacred Hikurangi Mountain, that Shakespeare's mother was a Maori. The implications of post-Shakespearian literature in English being a long lost branch of the Ngati Porou oral tradition (Shakespeare's appropriation is being contested in an action currently before the Waitangi Tribunal which seeks to reclaim him as a taonga) will be particularly highlighted in the paper.

Na reira, kia kaha, kia manawanui, kia toa ki o tatou mahi tuhituhi i te Ao, ka mate ka mate ka ora ka ora etc etc.

(Author's Note: This magical and spiritual ritualistic karakia or prayer must remain untranslated to preserve the very sacred nature of Maori textuality, all praise be to Allah, and to recognise the primacy of the reo.)