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 6 (pp. 79-94)

Chapter 6 (pp. 79-94)

1. "Well, if you want realism, you must put up with realism; it page 153 isn't nice." (Kippenberger.) Where should the line be drawn, on artistic grounds, in a war novel?

2. Which seems the best novel, to readers with war experience, Brave Company, For the Rest of Our Lives, or I'll Soldier No More?

3. The novel proper is about the interaction of life and character; its plot springs dramatically from what people are, as much as from what they do. War is accidental, and its events are without personal causation. Must war novels, then, be always of a special kind?

4. E. H. McCormick notes that the background of Ruth Park's novels is "only too recognisably New Zealand—a land of Maoris, moas, spouting geysers, and snowclad peaks" into which is invariably introduced "a female waif whose vicissitudes provide a slender plot". His verdict is that "Ruth Park's not inconsiderable feat is to unite two art forms and two epochs, to suggest at once Mrs Aylmer and Jennifer Jones".

What is your view?