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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 10, No. 6. May 28, 1947


There has been so much talk of producing a literature of our own that it has, I think, blurred our vision. We are passing through the self-consciousness and introversion of adolescence when we need to be reminded that no one else thinks about us nearly as much as we do, and that disturbingly few people would care if New Zealand completely disappeared in one of her earthquakes—surely one of her few claims to world notoriety. What I mean is this: that it is all very well to write verse about the golden kowhai and the scarlet pohutukawa, and earthy stories in the vernacular. I have no specific complaint about this practice for, as Fairburn remarks, "art is a broad highway." But we want something more than a bicycle track, and I do not think that we can develop an enduring literature until we turn our gaze, not inwards, but outwards on the world and see how much we are a part of it, and in how few things we are different. It is only when we speak with a common voice that our arts will be remembered.