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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria University College, Wellington N.Z. Vol. 20, No. 6. May 9, 1957

In Memoriam

page 4

In Memoriam

Fairburn On N.Z.—

Speaking of a certain journal. . .

"What a dreadful bloody rag it is really. For one thing take the short stories—tho housewives day—screamingly, positively funny naughty children—slices of life—a miscroscopic chronicle of the suburbs. And then old——drooling on about rabbit turds—'Today I strangled a hare; I put my fingers into its throat and it quivered' . . . of course he had to cut it down a bit at one stage, you know."

"Oh wouldn't you laugh at the top of your voice.
If ever if came to pass
That Christ went by in a big Rolls Royce
And the bishop went on his arse."

"The Press: slow dripping of water on mud: thought's daily bagwash, ironing out opinion, scarifying the edges of ideas."

"In the suburbs the spirit of man walks on the garden path, walks on the well-aroomed lawn, dwells among the manicured shrubs."

N.Z. On Fairburn

"(He) was a man of tremendous power and versatility—a man who could distinguish himself with grace and deceptive casualness in an astounding number of mediums. He seemed incapable of amateurism in anything he touched. At one and the same time, or at no, or at all times, he could be artist, poet, razorsharp critic, satirist, formidable controversialist and publicist, university lecturer, inimitable clown, tramper and sailorman, and so it goes on. How is such a man to be described?"

(Brian Bell)

"Fairburn is a liberating force, a writer from whom one learns courage."

(James K. Baxter)

"No man better epitomised our faults, our virtues and our people than A. R. D. Fairburn."

(R. A. K. Mason)

Brian Bell has also made the following provocative query:

"How objectively will Fairburn be seen by certain key academic men who were his sparring partners in various disputes? What type of docketing with academic comfort deman before he is passed on to students? How will a rebellious big man fare at the hands of conformist little men? What is stirring at this moment in the echelons of New Zealand's academic mediocrity? What of the unproductive middlemen of literature, the poohbahs, humbugs ano windbags? What liniment is in preparation for the massage of what ego?"