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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington N.Z. Vol. 3, No. 7

Book review

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Book review.

A man and his wife. Frank Sargeson

It has some at last;—the spirit that is animating innumerable writers in America and many in England has at last descended on one writer in this little backwater, on one solitary man who writes as ho hears and as he pleases—Frank Sargeson. His book is a collection of short short stories on title". "A nan and his wife", and it is one of the most significant publications in the history of this country's literature.

Those stories have not the fascinatingly flippant backchat of the Saroyan technique. Mr. Sargeson has cut adrift from this sort of effrontery, which certainly anuses, but at the sane time leaves one with an impression of glittering vanity- emptiness. He has not suffered by his repudiation of this sort of humour. His stories now possess a solidity and truthfulness which wins your sympathy almost before you know you had such a commodity. He has you just where he wants you, and his grip does not [unclear: slackcon] nor yet is it a chinese burn. He is as delicately balanced as Katherine Mansfield (may her tribe increase) upon that point of "dainty equilibrium" that is, alas, so inaccessable. And Mr. Sargeson is never coarse, and in fact many of his lines have the crystal ring of clear poetry. They toll of the old, unhappy, far-off things.

His characters are jagged—rough-edged, and coloured black. Yet they are united in some subterranean fashion by close bonds, which would extend to every New Zealander. They act like hearers, dockers and clerks, and they talk like shearers, dockers and clerks. Yet they have something of the universality which makes a nation out of a cosmos of individual personalities. Hence Mr. Sargeson's importance, and the reason why you should have him on your shelves. You will road him again and again.

To praise a writer is of little value, and to consure is positively useless, yet I cannot leave you to Prank Sargeson without commenting on the uniform lack of colour that is displayed in all these stories. Hero is his fault, if we are to find fault. New Zealand is a land full of colour and Mr. Sargeson is black, yes—most monotonously black, with one or two patches of grey. However this is his peculiarity and in a way it makes him what he is. With this I leave you to him;—Mr. Sargeson.

Wellington Training college Choral Society. Annual Recital

"they ... talk like clerks "

I've been Charged to write a report about the concert. Was not so bad after all; even very good. Like it all right. A good choir they have got. I say. I bet there wasn't anybody in the audience who didn't enjoy those Russian folksongs. An there was a crowd of people, I tell you; never seen so many in my life at a Training College concert. But I'd better go through the items one by one, otherwise somebody may be hurt.

Well, they started with a pretty nice choral recital called "Rolling down to Rio" by a man called Edward German. You'd like to Jump up and dance or whistle to that tune. Gee, and did it have swing. Then our good friend Vesta page break Emanuel stood up and refused to sing "Mono but the lonely heart" by Tschaikowski. Instead of that she gave us a Brahms song and famous "Impatience" by Schubert. She was quite first class that evening and sure, nobody could object to her choice of songs. Just the right stuff for her voice, keeping a lot in reserve and just giving us a tickle by the idea what a noise she could make if she only would. Good on you, Vesta. And then we (at least I) made the discovery of Joan Wollerman. Ever heard a fine song like Sea-[unclear: Wraek]" by Hamilton Merty? An she was good to look at too, pity somebody told me afterwards her [unclear: whato conclis] were artificial; but he may be a liar. I liked them anyhow. Last your I remember, I thought a bit of Roll out the Barrel when listening to him, but this year he was o. k. only when it came to the bass-notes the bottom dropped out of his voice. Still, he was good and we liked Vaughan Williams. 'The sky above the roof'. (Just to show you that there is modern English music just as good as anything else over composed).

Ever heard anything like the "Overture on Yiddish, thomos" by Prokofiof? Then reds were certainly pleased that the man who composed this sparkly bit of work is a [unclear: Soviot] Russian. Funny that then underdogs should bo able to produce anything fine like that. [unclear: Clarinet], string quartet and piano gave us an exciting suite of sad thomos and merry melodies all loosely women together and did the audience applaud enthusiastically afterwards

During interval wont out and got some fresh air, as awfully sticky inside. Thom Training Colt go people should look for a bit bettor ventilation, anyhow afterwards they sang that "Power of Sound" they've been talking such a lot about. And fair dinkum it was a first class performance. Of course, wo were a bit tired after all that singing and playing but still we could enjoy the tunefulness and melody of that cantata. Would have boon better though to play it twice over, once to appreciate the words and once to listen to the music 'cause both are equally important. That after "[unclear: Jesu], joy of man's desiring" by good old Bach and an orchestra piece called "Handel in the Strand" - some what in the way of "Mr. Bach goes to town - rather amusing; closed the recital.

And when after the end people shouted "Good old [unclear: Tomm]" it was quite clear that we all have to be thankful again to Mr. Young of Training College. Thank you, Mr. Young and all the ones that participated.


some folks I know are always warried
that when they die they will be burled
and some I know are [unclear: quick elated]
because they're going to be cremated

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reproduction at that. It had little variety in colours - red, yellow, green and white exhausts the choice. There is no depth to it, nor has it a foreground comparable to many a second-rate amateur water-colour. Granted the splendour of a regal crown has its place, but the gold has become tarnished, the jewels dulled. The whole is unrelieved black. In the other corner is a signature, a hastily scrawled signature, a signature for a cheque rather than the masterpiece which has captured this newly built nation.

Across the body of the work is printing, heavy black type, with figures down the side. A very symbol of mass production. And for a background, small fortunately, but jarringly present, the oft-repeated words "New Zealand Government". Surrealism? No. Surrealism never had the hold on the people that this has. Surely it is a tragic condemnation of art appreciation in New Zealand that the most sought prize in the land should be that mass-produced, art-less miniature, the Petrol Coupon;