Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 9, No. 5. May 7, 1946
Spike—1945 — A Criticism . .
A Criticism . . .
(We have received a criticism of a criticism that we publish without prejudice. If any other critics wish to air their views on this subject, we will be glad to publish them. It is a good sign that "Spike" could arouse such a difference of opinion.—Ed.)
I am glad your reviewer liked "Spike "45." I did not. I was disappointed, even dismayed. As the first post-war issue with a greatly enlarged format, we could have expected extra space for original contributions. Instead, we got advertisements. There were 96 pages, plus two inside covers, printed, of which 32½ pages were ads. in "Spike "30," the first year of the war, there were 73 pages, of which 4 were ads. So in 1939 we got 75 pages of reading matter, and in 1945 we got 64 pages.
"And what was there in this Advertiser's Annual? Not very much.
Outstanding was Fam's wholly sympathetic study of Professor Kirk—a study of a gentleman who was also a scholar. But where was his portrait? Of the prose, "There are no Neutrals in Hell." and "Maybe the Army" are best summarised in the opening words of the latter—"It's all one hell of a muddle." P.S.—Are the two pseudonyms to mislead? Chez Griffier and the factual articles were good.
Did the Tournament teams matter so much?
Poems? Some, but has the breed of lyricists died out at VUC? There are two opinions on free verse. It can be good, but often it is very had. Lyric is more in the students' tradition than free verse. The New Building was timely and well prepared. A poetry judgment that wasn't.
No prose judgment at all. But if the best prose was selected, then any judgment could be only a life sentence with "hard."
There was no review of "Salient," a serious omission, since "Salient" is the only periodical organ that surveys College activities.
Plunket Medal Report was absent.
Cappicade Report was absent.
The Clubs were an uneven bag. Seventeen clubs filled eight and a half pages, of which one and a half pages were filled with a verbose cradle to grave account of SCM activity. Does SCM account for one-sixth of the students' social time?
I am disappointed in the preponderance of advertisements. Doubtless they were a finaifcial success. I hope so, since they cannot be justified on any other account. But to the reader they are embarrassingly omnipresent, entirely overpowering the text at limes.
I am dismayed at the literary standard. The maturity of FAM stands out like a beacon above the [unclear: vonntable] balderdash of Neil Mountier.
I do not like slating a publication into which so much time—but lost time—went. But after three mouths of reading "Spike '45" and comparing it with previous "Spikes" back to 1936 I can still only declare; "There wasn't much in it."—J.S.A.