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 8 (pp. 113-30)

Chapter 8 (pp. 113-30)

1. I have attempted to draw a line between "light" and "serious" fiction; what are your views on the qualities that distinguish them? Would you disagree with any particular decisions?

2. Bill Pearson said in 1952 that if an artist is to be honest, "his page 154 audience must be honest; they must be prepared to speculate about themselves. This is something New Zealanders will not do." Discuss our attitude to "honest" books about ourselves. Do you think that in 1965 we still refuse to "speculate"?

3. Overseas critics have often regretted Janet Frame's "aimless events and objectless soliloquies" which, says Time, "belong in a fashionably satiric exposition of meaninglessness". The truth is otherwise, for rational control of her material is inevitably difficult for her. What do you think is the value of her kind of creative writing?

4. How much insight into truth do you find in the novels about our small town life?