Title: The New Zealand Novel 1860-1965

Author: Joan Stevens

Publication details: Reed Publishing (NZ) Ltd, 1966

Digital publication kindly authorised by: Sylvia Johnston

Part of: New Zealand Texts Collection

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The New Zealand Novel 1860-1965

Chapter 5 (pp. 63-78)

Chapter 5 (pp. 63-78)

1. Reviewing Dan Davin's Roads From Home, Sargeson wrote, "Something very like New Zealand is to be found in astonishing abundance inside the covers of his novel."24 He then adds that this sense of reality is due to the fact that the book takes the puritan spirit for granted, puritanism being a major influence on our behaviour. Would you agree, either about Davin's book, or about the importance of puritanism in New Zealand life?

2. Do you agree with the suggestion that Frank Sargeson's / Saw in my Dream is about the search for a real self?

3. Robert Chapman, reviewing David Ballantyne's The Cunninghams in Landfall, June 1949, writes:

"The familiarity of Gilbert suggests that New Zealand prose writers may be experiencing a not unlikely temptation to listen with Mr Sargeson's 'asdic' and thus receive only lower middle class fish noises and an occasional submarine character."

Does this seem to be true, either of The Cunninghams, or of other post-Sargeson writing, even up to the present day?

4. Obviously the present writer does not have as high an opinion of James Courage's novels as many critics do. What is your view?